RJ Evans

Connecticut guard R.J. Evans will return from injury tonight vs. No. 25 NC State

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When Connecticut tips off against No. 25 NC State in New York City Tuesday night, guard R.J. Evans will be dressed and ready to play, the school has announced via Twitter.

Evans, a 6-3 native of Salem, Conn., has not played since UConn’s loss to New Mexico on Nov. 19. He had been suffering from a sternoclavicular (collarbone) sprain, which can take significant time to heal. Prior to his injury, he had been averaging 5.8 points and 1.8 rebounds per game.

His best game of the season came on Nov. 11 when he scored 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting from the field in a win over Vermont.

Evans played the first four years of his college career at Holy Cross, but was granted a fifth year of eligibility by the NCAA and transferred to Connecticut this spring. Evans’ return adds more depth to the Connecticut backcourt, which is led by Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright.

The Huskies tip off against NC State Tuesday night at 9:30 p.m.

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: