Big East Basketball Tournament - West Virginia v UCONN

Sophomore wing Jeremy Lamb leaving UConn for NBA

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Connecticut’s had 13 players leave early for the NBA during Jim Calhoun’s coaching tenure. Sophomore Jeremy Lamb will be the 14th.

The lanky wing announced his decision Tuesday, which doesn’t come as a huge surprise. He could’ve come out last season after the Huskies’ run to the national title and been a first-round pick. Lamb might be a lottery selection this season.

“It was a difficult decision, but after much prayer and discussion with my parents, I feel that it’s in the best interest of me and my family to declare myself eligible for the upcoming NBA Draft and pursue my dream of playing professional basketball,” Lamb said in a statement.

The 6-5 All-Big East player averaged 17.7 points and 4.9 rebounds a game during UConn’s uneven season. He’s not aggressive and doesn’t take over games, but there’s no denying that with his size, long arms and shooting stroke, Lamb will be a tantalizing prospect for any pro team.

“It’s never easy to lose a great player from your program, but Jeremy has a unique opportunity that he needs to take advantage of,” UConn coach Jim Calhoun said in a statement. “He’s been a great kid to coach for the past two years … his teams have won 52 games, been to two NCAA tournaments, and won a national championship. I look forward to him developing into a terrific player in the NBA and secondly, as he’s promised me, to come back and finish his degree.”

Lamb might not be the first UConn player selected in 2012, though. Center Andre Drummond is expected to be a top 10 selection if he declares for the draft.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

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: