The Secondary Break: Tuesday’s Links

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FDU is early king of New Jersey hardwood (Bergen Record)
With a new head coach in Greg Herenda, Fairleigh Dickinson entered the 2013-14 season having lost its final 15 games of the season prior. And without a win over a Division I opponent since January 2013, it was clear that Herenda has his work cut out for him. But in less than a week the Knights picked up wins over Rutgers and Seton Hall, which should be seen as progress for the once-struggling program.

Coaching in Calipari’s shadow, Pastner keeps Memphis among nation’s elite (USA Today)
Given their recent struggled in games against ranked opponents, Memphis’ win over then-No. 5 Oklahoma State on Sunday was an important step in the right direction for Josh Pastner’s program. But it isn’t as if Pastner hasn’t experienced success at Memphis, where in five-plus seasons he’s won 75% of his games.

Jim Boeheim’s November record is superb, but another ACC coach has fared better (Syracuse Post-Standard)
During his tenure at Syracuse, head coach Jim Boeheim has won 91.1% of his games in the month of November. That percentage ranks second amongst ACC coaches, and the leader isn’t Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski or North Carolina’s Roy Williams either.

Parker Van Dyke is living his Ute dream (Salt Lake Tribune)
Utah’s racked up six wins to start the 2013-14 season, but they’ve done so against competition that is nowhere near the level they’ll face in Pac-12 play. That changes on Tuesday night when the Utes visit Boise State, and one of the newcomers who has contributed thus far is freshman guard Parker Van Dyke. Originally planning to begin his two-year LDS mission this year, Van Dyke postponed if for a season to help out the program he’s supported forever.

Kevin Ollie making UConn his own (ESPN)
There’s likely nothing tougher in coaching than to be the man who follows a legendary figure, and that was the position Kevin Ollie found himself in last fall. But his Huskies rose to the challenge, resulting in the former UConn point guard being given a long-term contract. And while much of what Jim Calhoun established remains present, Ollie’s adding his own touch to a program that will be asked to carry the banner for the American Athletic Conference as the league establishes itself nationally.

Michigan State’s seniors deserve national attention, too (
With so much hoopla surrounding this season’s crop of freshmen, returnees have been overlooked in some instances. And there are a number of coaches who believe that the hype for the newcomers is overshadowing the performances of these veterans, with Michigan State having two seniors to rely on in Adreian Payne and Keith Appling.

Pittsburgh mayor tweets shots at police lieutenant who moonlights as an official (Pittsburgh Tribune)
During Pittsburgh’s win over Stanford last week one of the officials was Larry Scirotto, who is also a lieutenant in the Pittsburgh Police Department. Of course, Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravenstahl took the opportunity to openly ask via Twitter how Scirotto has the time to do both jobs, claiming after the fact that no disrespect was meant.

Video of the Day: The return of “Trick Shot Titus”
The sweet-shooting Titus Ashby is back with a third video, one that includes cameos from actors Channing Tatum and Bradley Cooper, and a stop at Wichita State’s Charles Koch Arena.

Louisville campus police reviewing escort allegations

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Louisville campus police now say they are reviewing allegations that a former men’s basketball staffer hired escorts to dance and have sex with recruits and players in a dormitory.

Katina Powell has alleged in a book released online over the weekend that former Cardinals director of basketball operation Andre McGee paid her $10,000 for dancers to perform 22 shows from 2010-14 at the players’ Billy Minardi Hall dormitory. The school reported those allegations to the NCAA and has launched an investigation.

“The University of Louisville Police Department, in consultation with the Louisville Metro Police Department and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, is reviewing allegations regarding the men’s basketball program,” University police chief Wayne Hall said Tuesday in a statement.

It was the first confirmation that police are looking into the allegations. When contacted last week, a campus police operator said they weren’t aware of the book allegations, and it was unclear at that time if an investigation had been launched.

Cardinals coach Rick Pitino has said that McGee denied Powell’s allegations.

McGee left in 2014 and is currently an assistant at Missouri-Kansas City, which has put him on paid leave.

Pitino said Saturday that he hasn’t read Powell’s book titled “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen” and doesn’t plan to. The 104-page book was published by an affiliate of the Indianapolis Business Journal and is scheduled for hardcover release Oct. 12.

The woman said that she and three of her daughters, along with other women, danced and stripped for Louisville recruits and players and performed sex acts with them, according to the book. Powell, 43, also said McGee offered recruits alcohol at those parties.

Upon hearing of the allegations, Pitino said he did some investigating on his own before being told by the school’s compliance department not to talk to players. But the coach said he talked to other assistants about the allegations and all of them denied knowing of the activities outlined in Powell’s book.

“I’m going through 15 people who worked here, and not one person even had a premonition of something wrong,” Pitino said. “Not one person living in the dorm had even the slightest premonition. It just doesn’t make sense to me.”

Louisville has hired Chuck Smrt of the Compliance Group, which assists schools in NCAA cases, to review the allegations.

McGee left Louisville in 2014 to become an assistant at Missouri-Kansas City under Kareem Richardson, who was a Cardinals assistant from 2012-13. He was placed on paid administrative on Friday and has been unavailable for comment. McGee’s Louisville attorney, Scott Cox, didn’t comment because the investigation is ongoing.

St. John’s hires Mitch Richmond as a special assistant

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St. John’s added its second Hall of Famer to the coaching staff on Tuesday, announcing Mitch Richmond had been hired as a special assistant to first-year head coach Chris Mullin.

Mullin and Richmond, along with Tim Hardaway, made up Run TMC, the short-lived, high-scoring offense the Golden State Warriors played from 1989-91.

Mullin was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 2011. Three years later, he was a presenter to Richmond’s enshrinement in Springfield.

“Mitch is committed to helping us build this program and develop an environment for sustained success at St. John’s,” Mullin said in a statement. “He has tremendous basketball insight, a vision for the game and a passion to share his knowledge. Obviously, his experience in different roles throughout his career as a player, scout and mentor will have an impact in many areas.”

Earlier this summer, Mullin bolstered his coaching staff with the additions of associate head coach Barry Rohrssen and Matt Abdelmassih. Greg St. Jean was hired later in the summer.

The Red Storm open the 2015-16 season on Nov. 13 against Wagner.