The Secondary Break: Thursday’s Links

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The McBucket List and his path to 3,000 points (Sports Illustrated)
Creighton senior forward Doug McDermott will play his first Big East Tournament game on Thursday night as the Bluejays face DePaul. Thus begins the quest to accomplish another goal, which is to win the event. But prior to that, here’s a look at some of the points McDermott scored on his way past the 3,000-point mark.

30 for 30 Shorts: “Untucked” (Grantland)
The 1977 Marquette basketball team had some incredibly unique uniforms, as they were designed to not be tucked in. The look was controversial, but Al McGuire’s team rose above that to ultimately win the program’s first (and to this point, only) national title.

Season complete, time for Hokies’ new AD to decide James Johnson’s fate (Hampton Roads Daily Press)
Virginia Tech’s tough season, one in which they were overmatched on most nights in the depth and talent categories, came to an end Wednesday afternoon as they fell to Miami in the first round of the ACC tournament. With that comes the time for new athletic director Whit Babcock to take a look at James Johnson’s program, and he’ll need to decide whether or not Johnson is the right man for the job.

College basketball’s conference tournaments? Here’s why I hate them (The Sporting News)
Conference tournaments are a hot-button topic of sorts for some, with upset losses suffered by favorites in smaller leagues triggering the argument that these games are more risk than reward. Another argument that gets made is the fact that three (or more) days are lent more credence than a solid two months in conference play.

Kansas basketball coaching tree flourishing (Lawrence Journal-World)
Bill Self’s Kansas Jayhawks have once again put together a very good season, winning a tenth consecutive Big 12 title. But the good times have also been experienced by members of the Kansas coaching tree, with Danny Manning (Tulsa), Barry Hinson (Southern Illinois), Larry Brown (SMU) and Jerod Haase (UAB) all putting together solid campaigns.

Villanova benefitting from Arcidiacono’s evolution (CSN Philly)
As a freshman Villanova point guard Ryan Arcidiacono was sked to be the leading offensive option for the Wildcats, which led to more shot attempts and points for the New Jersey native. But as the team has grown stronger Arcidiacono’s game as evolved, becoming a better distributor and a more efficient scorer as well.

Ted Bancroft walking off after walking on at Providence College (South Coast Today)
Providence senior guard Ted Bancroft may not receive the playing time or accolades that have been given to classmates Kadeem Batts and Bryce Cotton, but the senior’s proven to be more valuable than many expected the walk-on to be when he arrived. Bancroft has played in 27 games this season, and when the Friars have lacked depth he’s answered the call.

SLU’s freshmen learning all they can from seniors (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Jim Crews’ Atlantic 10 champion Saint Louis Billikens are a senior-led squad, with guard Jordair Jett and forward Dwayne Evans II being two of the headliners. And with that class out of eligibility at the end of this season, the Billikens’ young players have looked to absorb as much as they can from the savvy veterans.

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.


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.