julius-randle

Julius Randle to miss three months with injury

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One of America’s top high school basketball recruits is set to miss three months with a foot fracture.

According to Jason Jordan of USAToday, Julius Randle will miss that amount of time after injuring his foot in a Thanksgiving tournament while playing for his prep team, Prestonwood (Texas) Christian. The news comes straight from Randle’s mother, Carolyn Kyles.

It’s a minor setback, but Julius is a fighter,” Kyles said. “We’ve already begun to set up rehabilitation for him and he’s a naturally a little down now, but he’ll be back before you know it.

Randle will undergo surgery Tuesday afternoon. He is a consensus top 5 recruit in the nation according to multiple recruiting services.

It’s a tough situation for Randle, but I can’t see it affecting his recruitment. All the top teams like Kentucky, Florida and Kansas are vying for his services, and that won’t change. If the kid is already starting his rehab and making strides, then there’s a firm belief he’ll be ready to go for the summer.

You’ve really got to feel for Prestonwood, a nationally-ranked program with a lot riding on this season and this is the second major injury for the team. According to the report, Prestonwood’s Mickey Mitchell, a top recruit in 2015, tore his ACL playing on the football team and will miss the entire season.

If the timeline holds, however, Randle will be back for the Texas state playoffs.

David Harten is the editor of The Backboard Chronicles. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.

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: