IUPUI athletics

Report: IUPUI hires Memphis ass’t Jason Gardner

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It was announced earlier this month that Todd Howard would not return as head coach at IUPUI next season. Non-BCS level programs will sometimes wait until the Final Four weekend to make a decision, using the event as a semi-clandestine interview session, but athletic director Michael Moore did not want to wait an extra seven days — ESPN’s Jeff Goodman is reporting there is a verbal agreement between IUPUI and Memphis assistant Jason Gardner to be the program’s next head coach.

A former guard at Arizona, and an assistant under Josh Pastner for only one season (he also had a stint on Loyola Chicago’s bench), Gardner is an Indiana native, and Moore clearly has confidence that while he has only been a coach for several seasons, he is ready to lead his own program for the first time.

One benefit of this possible hire (since it has not been officially announced by the school) is how it affects the transfer of ex-Purdue guard Ronnie Johnson. While a Tiger, Gardner had been gauging Johnson’s interest in transferring to the AAC program, and now that he is at IUPUI, he could make a pitch from one Indiana native to another to restart his college career at the Summit League school.

Louisville’s Rick Pitino on allegations: ‘We will get through this’

Rick Pitino
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville coach Rick Pitino remains defiant that his program will survive the allegations in a book by an escort alleging that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.

Pitino said Tuesday that the Cardinals “will get through this the right way.”

The coach told a packed room at a tipoff luncheon that he understands the motivation behind Katina Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” but questions the need for the alleged activities given the talent his program has produced.

Pitino added, “We will find out the truth, whatever it may be, and those responsible will pay the price.”

Georgia Tech lands Class of 2016 guard

Brian Gregory
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Georgia Tech picked up its third Class of 2016 commitment on Tuesday as the Yellow Jackets landed a pledged from three-star guard Josh Okogie.

The 6-foot-4 guard is considered the No. 143 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016 rankings and Okogie played with a very talented Team CP3 in the Nike EYBL. In 22 games this spring and summer, Okogie averaged 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.

Okogie joins three-star wing Christian Matthews and four-star big man Romello White in head coach Brian Gregory’s Class of 2016 at Georgia Tech. The group is definitely a solid influx of talent with some coming from successful grassroots programs.