Rick Pitino gets late signature, 2012 center Mangok Mathiang headed to Louisville

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Louisville added Montrezl Harrell to bolster their frontcourt and the Cardinals have now added even more size, securing the signature of 6-10 center Mangok Mathiang from IMG Academy (Fla.), according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Mathiang, a member of the Class of 2012 and native of Sudan, averaged 12 points, 10 rebounds, and four blocks per game last season for IMG. Despite that, though, he may reportedly run into some eligibility issues with the NCAA.

“We think there’s some things we’ve got to take care of, but he’ll be there when school starts,” his high school coach, Loren Jackson, told the paper.

This late signing was made possible because 2012 commit Terry Rozier has decided to do a prep year at Hargrave Military Academy (Va.), opening up a scholarship for Pitino to use.

Before signing with Louisville, he was reportedly garnering interest from Kansas State, Georgia, Central Michigan, Auburn and Mississippi State, according to the paper.

The Cardinals are coming off a season in which they finished 30-10, including 10-8 in the Big East. Coach Rick Pitino led his team to the Final Four, where they fell to the eventual national champion Kentucky Wildcats.

For 2012-13, he returns three of the most important pieces from last year’s team, Peyton Siva, Chane Behanan, and Gorgui Dieng, along with guard Russ Smith. The aforementioned Harrell and now Mathiang, if he qualifies, will add depth.

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: