Zay Jackson

Judge in Zay Jackson case recuses himself

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The Zay Jackson saga took a curious turn on Monday, as the judge presiding over the case decided to recuse himself on the day that Jackson’s sentence was supposed to be finalized.

“I got to thinking about it.  There are times when the court has no choice but to recuse in a matter,” Chief Circuit Judge Dennis Foust said. The issue at hand? Foust has some ties to Murray State, and given that the victims of the vicious assault (seriously, watch it here) were not happy with the plea bargain, it only made sense for him to step aside.

Jackson will head back to court on November 13th. The new judge has the ability to change the plea deal, which currently calls for a 30 day sentence to be served on the weekends, as well as a suspension of his driver’s license, anger management classes, restitution and community service.

More importantly, since Murray State won’t allow him to play until this is resolved, it appears as if it will keep him off of the basketball court this season.

Frankly, I think this is a fair punishment.

Jackson will be required to go to class and keep his grades up if he ever wants to play at the Division I level again, but instead of being able to party on the weekends, he’ll be sitting in a jail cell. When you toss in the fact that he won’t be playing basketball, that sounds pretty fair for a first-time offender. What he did was despicable, but if he’s never been in trouble before, it shouldn’t ruin his life.

This gives him a second chance and an opportunity to better himself as a person. I hope he takes advantage of it.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

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: