Scott Machado wins 2012 MBWA Player of the Year award

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After a season in which he was one of the best point guards in the nation, Iona senior guard Scott Machado has been honored with the Haggerty Award as the 2012 Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association Player of the Year.

The MBWA honors the best players and coaches in the New York City-Metro area in a given year.

Machado led the Gaels with 13.6 points, 9.9 assists, and five rebounds per game in 2011-12, a season in which Iona finished 25-8, including 15-3 in the MAAC.

The Gaels lost to BYU in a First Four game of the NCAA tournament.

Machado, a Queens, N.Y., native, now enters the NBA draft, where he is projected to be selected between the late first round and mid-second round.

At 6-1, 180 pounds, Machado worked best in Iona’s high-scoring, up-tempo offense last season. He was rivaled by North Carolina’s Kendall Marshall as perhaps the nation’s best point guard.

In other Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association awards, Manhattan coach Steve Masiello and former Wagner coach Dan Hurley shared co-Coach of the Year honors.

Hurley is now at Rhode Island, where he takes over for Jim Baron as the Rams head coach.

St. John’s freshman Moe Harkless, who has declared for the NBA draft, was named the 2012 MBWA Rookie of the Year. He averaged 15.3 points and 8.6 rebounds for the Red Storm in 2011-12.

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: