Tennessee and new head coach Donnie Tyndall picked up some good news this week as rising sophomore shooting guard Robert Hubbs III was cleared to return to full-contact drills.
In a report with WBIR, Tyndall spoke about the return of Hubbs, who had season-ending shoulder surgery after appearing in only 12 games last season. Hubbs didn’t play last season after the Volunteers’ December 30th win over Virginia. Despite not playing in 2014, Hubbs appeared in too many games to garner a medical redshirt from the NCAA, as he played in more than 30 percent of Tennessee’s games last season.
“There was no soreness, there were no bumps along the way. Knock on wood he’s been good,” Tyndall said to WBIR.
The new coach went on to say that Hubbs has been through one full-contact work out already. The Volunteers were originally hoping to get Hubbs cleared by June 1st, but gave him some extra time as a precautionary measure.
Hubbs was a five-star prospect coming out of high school in Newborn, Tennessee but struggled to find his shot his freshman season as he averaged 5 points and 1.5 rebounds and 18.3 minutes per game. The 6-foot-6 guard only shot 30 percent from the field and 28 percent from the three-point line.
Although Hubbs struggled as a freshman, his return to Tennessee was huge for Tyndall with the first-year Volunteers’ coach losing so many players to transfer while also having to recruit an all-new spring recruiting class.
Tyndall is hoping that a healthy Hubbs finds his shot in his sophomore season as the shooting guard could be counted on for big minutes as one of the few holdovers from the Cuonzo Martin era.
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.