On Thursday ULM head coach Keith Richard made official the signing of former Illinois State forward Jamaal Samuel, giving the Warhawks another big man. Samuel, a 6-foot-9 forward, averaged 2.5 points, 2.4 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game last season for Illinois State. Samuel played just over 11 minutes per game for the Redbirds, with his most productive outing coming in a win over Northern Iowa in early February.
Samuel made all five of his field goal attempts in that game, finishing with ten points, five rebounds and two blocks. That was the only game in which he reached double figures offensively, with his best rebounding performance (eight) coming in a win over Bradley on February 15.
Samuel will have to sit out the 2014-15 season per NCAA transfer rules, and he’ll have two years of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2015-16 campaign.
“Jamaal is a 6-9 kid with great length and a good skill level,” Richard said in the release. “He will benefit greatly from the year he has to sit out to comply with NCAA transfer rules. With added strength and experience, he will be a positive addition to our team in 2015-16.”
ULM loses two front court starters at the end of the 2014-15 season in small forward Tylor Ongwae and center Marvin Williams, with the former being the Warhawks’ lone double-digit scorer (16.1 ppg) a season ago. Samuel is ULM’s seventh newcomer this offseason, with four being junior college transfers.
ULM finished the 2013-14 season with a 10-17 record, going 7-11 in Sun Belt play.
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.