Andrew Wiggins

Andrew Wiggins drops 57 in a response to Sports Illustrated article

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Andrew Wiggins, the top high school basketball player in the nation, exploded for 57 points in Huntington Prep’s 111-59 win over the Marietta College JV team on Thursday night. The offensive outburst was sparked by a Sports Illustrated article posted about him earlier in the day.

The article, written by Pete Thamel, examined the highs and lows of the Canadian product. It discussed his talent and his ceiling-less potential while also mentioning Wiggins’ two-month stint at a North Carolina prep school several years ago, and questions about his motor.

“After that article dropped, I knew I had to respond,” Wiggins told Zack Jackson of Fox Sports Ohio. “That was the best way to respond.”

Wiggins shot 24-for-28, even more impressive is that the No. 1 recruit has been battling a case of bronchitis during this stretch of the season. Although it was a Division III junior varsity squad, according to Jackson, Huntington Prep and Marietta played twice last season with Wiggins and Co. winning by single digits each time.

The 6-foot-7 Wiggins is likely to pick from either Kentucky, Florida State, North Carolina or Kansas. Wiggins has previously visited Florida State, the alma mater of both of his parents.

Rob Fulford, Wiggins’ coach, told Fox Sports Ohio, following the game that his star player does have the tendency to play harder “in spurts.” If this is any indication of what Wiggins looks like when he’s fully locked in, he could live up to the hype as the world’s top high school-aged prospect and be that future NBA All-Star that several college coaches told Thamel they believe he can be.

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: