JamesDickey

Houston adds junior college guards Tione Womack, Brandon Morris

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Even with Top 20 prospect Danuel House, 6-9 forward Danrad “Chicken” Knowles, and big man Valentine Izundu signed from the Class of 2012, Houston is not done.

The Cougars added two more signatures on Thursday, with junior college guards Brandon Morris and Tione Womack.

Womack, from Hagerstown CC (Md.), is a 6-1 point guard who averaged 10 points and 7.6 assists this past season, leading HCC to a 28-5 record.

“He has been a proven winner everywhere he has competed, and we look forward to his leadership on our team,” Houston coach James Dickey said in a release. “Tione has a pass-first mentality that creates easy scoring opportunities for his teammates and is a quick, solid on-ball defender.”

He will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Morris is similar in size to Womack, at 6-0, 185 pounds, and played junior college basketball at Kansas City CC (Kan.).

This past season, he averaged 16.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.9 assists.

“He is an explosive lead guard with great court vision,” Dickey said in a statement. “He can defend as well as score. Brandon will add experience to our backcourt.”

Houston’s recruiting class is in the Top 20 in the nation, and these two junior college additions can only help.

The Cougars finished last season 15-15, including 7-9 in Conference USA. Leading scorer Jonathon Simmons is foregoing his senior season and heading to the NBA draft after averaging 14.7 points per game in his junior campaign.

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: