Syracuse University's Waiters celebrates a foul by Kansas State University in the second half of their NCAA men's college basketball game in Pittsburgh

Report: Dion Waiters leaving Syracuse, will enter NBA draft

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Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv is reporting that sophomore guard Dion Waiters will not return to Syracuse and will, instead, enter the NBA draft.

A source told Zagoria that Waiters was, “definitely not coming back” to school.

Waiters was heavily critical of the refereeing in Syracuse’s 77-70 loss to Ohio State, even going as far as to say that it felt like the Orange “were playing five-on-eight.” If the report holds true, it would prove to be his last game at Syracuse.

The Philadelphia native averaged almost 13 points and three assists per game, coming off the bench this season. Despite being the Sixth Man, he was arguably the Orange’s most important player, perhaps rivaled by center Fab Melo.

Waiters continues to build an NBA-ready body, reportedly having a body fat composition of only 4 percent. Add that to the fact that he plays with a signature kind of swagger, and he is building a persona that could match his physical build.

Analysts say Waiters could be a Top 20 pick in the 2012 draft.

Players who retain their amateur status have until April 10 to remove their names from the NBA draft early-entry list, but the NBA does not require their names be entered until April 29.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
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Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: