Kevin Ollie

Kevin Ollie believes he’ll be at UConn for duration of his five-year deal

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Kevin Ollie spurned the NBA two weeks ago, agreeing to a five-year deal with UConn.

Several NBA franchises had targeted Ollie as a potential coaching candidate following UConn’s unlikely run to its second National Title in four years. If NBA teams want to make another run at the NBA journeyman turned college coach, they might have to wait.

“I have a five-year contract and I believe I’m going to be here the whole five years,” Ollie told Don Amore of the Hartford Courant on Tuesday at a golf event in West Hartford.

“There’s no place else I’d rather be,” Ollie added. “Questions about leaving [UConn], I kept telling you all the same things and you kept coming up with other questions. But I’m not going anywhere.”

Ollie’s new deal, signed on May 22, runs through the 2018-2019 season. He will be paid $2.8 million in the first year of his new contract, making him one of the 10 highest-paid coaches in country. If Ollie, 41, were to make the jump to the NBA in any of the final three years of his deal, he would have to pay a buyout of $1 million.

The 13-year NBA veteran was linked to multiple coaching vacancies this offseason. The Cleveland Cavaliers, owner of the No. 1 overall pick in this month’s NBA Draft, were reportedly pursuing Ollie the hardest while the Los Angeles Lakers were considering reaching out to him.

In two seasons as the UConn head coach, Ollie has amassed a 52-18 record. Despite losing All-America point guard Shabazz Napier, the returning and incoming perimeter for the Huskies makes them a preseason top-20 team.

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.