Ed Cooley

Combo guard becomes Providence’s third 2015 commitment

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Having already landed commitments from forwards Ryan Fazekas and Alex Owens, Providence head coach Ed Cooley added to his backcourt on Thursday. 6-foot-3 guard Drew Edwards, who has shown the ability to play both guard positions at Calvert Hall HS in Baltimore, verbally pledged to attend Providence in 2015.

The news was first reported by Edgar Walker of DMVelite.com via Twitter.

Last season Edwards averaged 14.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game on a team that finished the season with a 28-6 record and reached the title game of the Baltimore Catholic League playoffs. Among the other schools considered by Edwards were Dayton, Kansas State, Richmond and Clemson.

In a story written by Matt Bracken of the Baltimore Sun, Edwards mentioned his relationship with Cooley and the fact that Cooley doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon as reasons why he chose Providence.

“Coach Cooley just signed a new contract. He’s not going anywhere anytime soon,” Edwards told Bracken. “He’s been at Providence and turned the program around. … His heart and soul is at Providence. He grew up right around Providence. That’s the spot for him.”

Providence may not have a senior in its backcourt heading into the 2014-15 season, but this is a program that needed additional depth in that area. Kris Dunn, who’s struggled with injuries in his first two seasons as a Friar, will be a junior this season with Cleveland State transfer Junior Lomomba (sophomore) and freshman Kyron Cartwright both being underclassmen.

Providence has just two seniors on this season’s roster, forward LaDontae Henton and center Carson Desrosiers.

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.

h/t ShockerHoops.net

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.