Marquette capped the non-conference portion of its schedule on Saturday afternoon with a 71-48 win over Samford, with Jajuan Johnson coming off the bench to lead four players in double figures with 14 points. The win nearly came at a major cost for the Golden Eagles however, as senior forward Jamil Wilson was forced to leave the game in the first half due to a left knee injury.
After undergoing an MRI on Saturday evening, it was revealed that Wilson’s injury is a sprain and he’s considered to be day-to-day according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
According to the Journal-Sentinel, head coach Buzz Williams essentially held Wilson out for precautionary reasons, with the Golden Eagles opening Big East play at Creighton on Tuesday night. And given Marquette’s resume to this point in the season, with their best win in non-conference play coming in the semifinals of the Wooden Legacy over George Washington, that matchup in Omaha sets up to be a big one.
“I would say he’s fine,” Williams said. “He probably tweaked something. I think he could’ve played and he wanted to play. In the last non-conference game, regardless of who the opponent is, I don’t think that I would’ve played him. I think it was the conservative approach to make sure nothing structurally is wrong.”
Wilson, currently averaging 11.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, ranks second on the team in scoring behind senior center Davante Gardner. They’re the only two Golden Eagles averaging double figures, and against Samford all four of Marquette’s double figure scorers came off the bench. If Johnson and Deonte Burton (13 points) can build off of their performances against the Bulldogs, that would bode well for Marquette moving forward.
But even with the progress shown by the freshmen, Marquette will need Jamil Wilson on the floor Tuesday night as Creighton features All-American forward Doug McDermott. McDermott can score from anywhere on the floor, and having the athletic Wilson available will help Marquette in defending the preseason Big East Player of the Year selection.
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.
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.