This past week has been a busy one for Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber and his staff, with two Class of 2015 prospects verbally committing to join the program next season. Four days after guard Barry Brown made his decision to become a Wildcat, 6-foot-9 forward Dean Wade followed suit. Wade’s a native of St. John, Kansas, and his verbal pledge makes him the first in-state product to commit to Kansas State during Weber’s tenure.
News of Wade’s commitment was first reported by Brett Regan of Rivals.com.
As a junior Wade averaged 21.9 points, eight rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game on a team that went 26-0 and won a Kansas Class 2A state title. His playing during the spring and summer that led to added interest from mid- and high-major programs, and in the end Dean picked Kansas State over schools such as Creighton, Iowa, Vanderbilt and Wichita State. Rivals.com currently has Wade ranked 107th in the Class of 2015.
Dean, who also had praise for the Kansas State coaches and fan base, told Kellis Robinett of the Wichita Eagle that the closeness of the team was one reason why he made the decision to commit to the Big 12 program.
“Everything about Kansas State excites me,” Wade said. “The team is really family oriented. They are always around each other, always having fun. Then they go play basketball and they are serious. It’s just a really good group to be around.”
Kansas State will lose two forwards at the end of the 2014-15 season, as both Nino Williams and Thomas Gipson are seniors. Among the front court players who will return in 2015 are sophomores Wesley Iwundu and Brandon Bolden, and freshman Malek Harris. In total Kansas State has three 2015 verbal commitments, with Brown and Wade joining Eric Cobb in the Wildcats’ recruiting haul.
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.