tom-crean

Tom Crean latest coach to offer scholarship to 8th grader

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Tom Crean isn’t the first coach to offer an 8th grader a scholarship. Heck, he isn’t even the first Indiana coach to do so. (Bob Knight offered one to Damon Bailey way back when.)

And you can hardly blame Crean for offering this one, either.

Eron Gordon, the younger brother of former Hoosiers star and current NBA player Eric Gordon was reportedly offered a chance to play for Indiana on Sunday night, according to the Indianapolis Star. The 6-1 guard will attend the same high school as his older brother, North Central (Indianapolis), but says he isn’t worried about following in Eric’s footsteps or matching expectations. He’s just trying to play ball.

Besides, lots could change between now and when he graduates in 2016.

When Tim Floyd offered Ryan Boatright a scholarship in 2007, Floyd wasn’t even around when Boatright finally played his freshman season (at UConn). And when Kentucky offered Michael Avery a scholarship back in 2008, the-coach Billy Gillispie wasn’t even around long enough to see him play high school ball.

Gordon’s also being recruited by Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin, so he might not even choose the Hoosiers.

The only thing I know for sure? Illinois is going to be very careful when it comes to handling Gordon.

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: