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Stanford picks up a huge non-conference road win over No. 10 UConn

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Shabazz could only bail them out so many times.

No. 10 UConn had picked up their four biggest wins by a total of five points, relying on the heroics of their star guard to carry them to the wins. But it wasn’t enough on Wednesday night. With Stanford erasing a double-digit second half deficit and taking a 53-51 in the final minute, Napier missed a challenged, pull-up jumper. After Stanford missed the front end of a one-and-one, Napier gave the ball up to Omar Calhoun who missed a deep three at the buzzer.

And with that, the Huskies had their first loss of the year.

We tried to warn you. This UConn team, as much fun as they are to watch and as good as Napier has been this season, is just not a top ten basketball team. There isn’t enough support for Napier on this roster. UConn entered the night shooting 46.5% from three. They were 0-for-13 in the second half. Napier missed five threes from beyond the arc in the final ten minutes. UConn finished with 13 points in the half, making just five field goals.

The story of this game isn’t UConn, however.

It’s Stanford.

Johnny Dawkins has talent. The Cardinal, through the first month and a half of the season, have been a disappointment. This is a group that was considered a sleeper in the Pac-12 entering the season, but for a myriad of reasons — injuries, weird lineups, inconsistent play from stars — Stanford was unable to live up to those expectations.

They lost at home to BYU in a game where the Cougars shredded their defense. They got worked over by Pitt at the Barclays Center. Their best win heading into Wednesday? Northwestern? Houston?

That’s what’s so important about this win. UConn may not be a top ten, but they’re a tournament team. And Stanford now owns a win on their home court.

It gets better. The Cardinal take on the struggling Michigan Wolverines at the Barclays Center. Win that game, and Stanford will not only head into Pac-12 peaking, but they’ll have a non-conference resume strong enough to give them some leeway when it comes to an at-large bid.

That’s big news for Dawkins as well.

It’s not a secret that his seat has been heating up in recent seasons. Despite the talent on the Stanford roster, they’ve been disappointing during his tenure. A step closer to a tournament appearance is a step closer to job security.

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.