Fuquan Edwin, C.J. Wilcox

Willard: Brandon Mobley injury ‘doesn’t look good’

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This was supposed to be a season of promise for Seton Hall, but now coach Kevin Willard has yet another reason to kick something.

Forward Brandon Mobley, went down with a separated right shoulder in the game. Today Jerry Carino is reporting that Mobley’s MRI on the shoulder isn’t helping matters.

“It doesn’t look good,” Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said. “Hopefully we won’t have to have surgery on it.”

The 6-9 Mobley, who is averaging 9.5 points per game, is now the latest in a long line of injuries for the Pirates, who are still a respectable 12-5 overall, but 1-3 in Big East Conference play.

In all, Mobley, a sophomore, is the sixth player to be hit with an injury this season. Patrik Auda (redshirting due to a foot injury), Brian Oliver (coming back from an ankle sprain), Aaron Geramipoor and Kevin Johnson are also on the mend from injuries and coming back. Aaron Cosby missed time in the preseason with a knee injury.

Injuries are something I’ll never fault a team for, short of the coaches just pulling a Billy Gillispie and putting their players through hell. Mobley has been a steady presence for Seton Hall all season, so it’s safe to say that this is the most significant blow to a Pirates’ roster that has seen it’s share of significant blows this year.

As far as a timetable for his return, there has been no word.

So who steps in for Mobley, should he be out for a lengthy amount of time? Carino mentions Haralds Karlis in the story. The 6-5 sophomore scored 11 points in the loss to the Friars. Center Gene Teague, a redshirt junior who trails only Fuquan Edwin averaging 12.5 points per game, will definitely be asked to take more of the load inside. There’s really no other healthy options, at least that would be effective. Look for Seton Hall to apply the “by-committee” title to a lot of areas, with so many injuries,

The situation isn’t insurmountable for Seton Hall. Getting guys healthy will be the key. But that’s going to have to happen while pushing through the final season of the Big East as we all know it. Four of their next six games are on the road and they include trips to Marquette, Georgetown and Pittsburgh with a home date against Cincinnati thrown in.

David Harten is the editor and founder 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: