Ed Cooley

Kris Dunn sparks second half comeback in Providence’s win over Vanderbilt

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On Friday night, Michigan wasn’t the only team to overcome a 16-point deficit.

Led by its sophomore point guard Kris Dunn — the former McDonald’s All-American — Providence rallied off 17 straight points to erase Vanderbilt’s 16-point lead, en route to the Friars’ 67-60 win over the Commodores in the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam quarterfinal.

Vanderbilt led 56-40 with under 10 minutes to play, when Providence made its game-changing run. Providence slowly chipped away at the lead, but with 7:30 to play the Friars took complete control with Dunn scoring four points, grabbing three rebounds, dishing out five assists and coming away with two steals during that stretch. Providence overcame the deficit and took the lead with just over three minutes to play when Dunn handed off to Bryce Cotton for the jumper.

On the other end, Vanderbilt struggled to get anything to drop, going scoreless for almost eight minutes. A 3-pointer from Rod Odom gave Vandy a brief lead as PC rallied off six straight buckets.

On Nov. 2, Dunn left an exhibition game with a shoulder injury, the same shoulder injury that pushed back his collegiate debut until December last season. Dunn being sidelined put up huge concerns for Providence, though the Friars still managed to knock off Boston College on opening night, followed by games against Brown and Marist.

Dunn was rated as the No. 1 point guard in the Class of 2012 coming out of New London High (Conn.) and has the potential to be a breakout player this season. With Dunn back in the lineup and more importantly healthy, Providence has a talented back court with him and Cotton.

That back court gets a test on Sunday against La Salle in the semifinals.

While Providence remains undefeated, Vanderbilt suffers its second heart-breaking loss this week. On Tuesday, the Commodores forced overtime against Butler only to come up short inside Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Former Wichita State assistant returns as a consultant

Chris Jans, Gregg Marshall
Associated Press
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Prior to a one-year stint as the head coach coach at Bowling Green that came to an end in early April as a result of an incident at a Bowling Green restaurant, Chris Jans was a member of Gregg Marshall’s coaching staff at Wichita State from 2007-14. During those seven seasons Jans was a key figure as the Shockers made the progression to a respected national power.

Jans is back in Wichita, with Paul Suellentrop of the Wichita Eagle reporting Thursday that he’s serving as a consultant to the program. Jans’ consulting agreement runs for 45 days, which the school can renew, and he’ll be paid $10,000 for the work. While Jans isn’t allowed to do any coaching, he can watch practices and provide Marshall and the coaching staff with his observations.

“He will be able to consult with the coaching staff, only on what he observes in practice,” said Darron Boatright, WSU deputy athletics director. “By NCAA rule, a consultant is not allowed to have communication with student-athletes … not about basketball-related activities or performance.”

While Jans (who according to the story has served in a similar role for another school) can’t do any coaching in this role, his return does give Marshall another trusted voice to call upon when needed. Wichita State bid farewell to an assistant coach this spring with Steve Forbes being hired as the head coach at East Tennessee State, with his position being filled by former Sunrise Christian Academy coach Kyle Lindsted.

h/t ShockerHoops.net

AUDIO: Rick Pitino discusses allegations, future at Louisville

Rick Pitino
Associated Press
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Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.

The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.

“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.

“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.

“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”

Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.