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Report: Jessie Evans to join Dickey Nutt’s staff at Southeast Missouri State

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With the first of three open evaluation periods less than a week away, this is not a good time for a college head coach to have just one assistant.

That’s what faced Southeast Missouri State head coach Dickey Nutt, who decided at the end of the season not to retain Jeremy Case and Kyle Gerdeman.

According to the Southeast Missourian, the number of assistant coaches will rise to two and the addition will be an experienced coach at that.

Jessie Evans, who has been an assistant at five schools (including Arizona, where he was part of the program’s lone national title in 1997) and a head coach at Louisiana and San Francisco, will reportedly join Nutt’s staff.

Evans has a head coaching record of 179-146 with the bulk of his success coming at Louisiana, where he led the Ragin’ Cajuns to two NCAA tournament appearances.

Evans joins Jamie Rosser on the SEMO staff, and it remains to be seen if Nutt has someone in mind for the vacant position and if they’ll be on board before July 11 (start of first open evaluation period of July).

Southeast Missouri State finished tied for fourth in the OVC with a 9-7 mark (15-16 overall), but the Redhawks failed to reach the .500 mark despite increasing their win total for the second straight season.

While the OVC will get tougher with the arrival of Belmont and defending champion Murray State isn’t going anywhere, the Redhawks’ top four scorers will return led by forward Tyler Stone (14.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and guard Marland Smith (12.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg).

Can the addition of Evans and his experience help SEMO take the next step towards truly contending in the OVC? Their fans can only hope that this will be the case.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

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: