Dave Rice

UNLV’s Byrce Dejean-Jones out 4-6 weeks with broken hand

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With the college basketball season less than two weeks again, UNLV received some bad news on Friday afternoon, as it was announced that Bryce Dejean-Jones will be out 4-6 weeks with a broken hand.

“We have all seen how hard Bryce has worked to get ready for the season,” said head coach Dave Rice in a press release. “I know he will work equally hard to be ready to play when he is cleared from this injury. This is adversity for Bryce and for our team and we will all support him as he goes through this.”

According to the report, the 6-foot-5 Dejean-Jones, broke the third and fourth metacarpal bones in his left hand during a team workout on Thursday.

Dejean-Jones was slated to be a starter this season for the Runnin’ Rebels after sitting out the entire 2011-2012 season, following a transfer from USC.

As a freshman with the Trojans, Dejean-Jones averaged 7.6 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.

In mid-June, UNLV landed a late commitment from forward Savon Goodman. That pickup could be big, as the 6-foot-6 forward may be leaned upon, while Dejean-Jones is sidelined. According to Taylor Bern of the Las Vegas Sun, Goodman has looked good so far and could be a suitable replacement until Dejean-Jones recovers.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

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: