Jalen Steele

Mississippi State’s Jalen Steele suspended indefinitely

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An already thin Mississippi State roster has gotten thinner as junior Jalen Steele was suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules, the school announced Saturday.

Steele, a native of Knoxville, Tenn., has been a constant amidst all of the changes in Starkville, but now must sit on the sidelines for an indeterminate amount of time. He has seen action in 13 games this season, 11 of them starts, after retuning from a wrist fracture that kept him out of eight games early in the year.

In those 13 games, Steele averaged 9.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. His best game of the season came Jan. 12 in a road win over Georgia when he scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

Without Steele available, Mississippi State now has only six scholarship players available and two eligible walk-ons. Coach Rick Ray inherited a difficult situation with the Bulldogs, and it has been made no easier with this news Saturday. They take on No. 2 Florida at 4:00 p.m. ET and the host Gators are favored by 29 points.

Steele reportedly did not make the trip to Gainesville with the team.

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: