Pe'Shon Howard

Guard Pe’Shon Howard to transfer from Maryland

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Maryland junior Pe’Shon Howard will transfer away from College Park and likely move closer to his ailing grandmother in California, the school announced in a release on Monday.

Howard spent three seasons with the Terrapins and averaged 3.3 points and 3.6 assists per game during his junior season. Over the course of his career, he played in 83 games and averaged 4.7 points and 3.5 assists.

“We wish Pe’Shon the best and thank him for his contributions as a student-athlete at the University of Maryland,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said in a statement. “We are disappointed that he is leaving, but Pe’Shon shared with me that his grandmother is ill in California and that he would like to finish his final season of eligibility playing closer to home. We understand this is best for Pe’Shon and his family and will support him through this transition.”

“It was a very difficult decision because I really enjoyed my three years as a student-athlete at Maryland, but my grandmother is sick and I feel it is best that I be closer to my family,” Howard said in a statement. “I love my teammates and wish them the very best and appreciate all of the support and guidance that I received from my coaches.”

Maryland finished 25-13 this past season, including 8-10 in the ACC. The Terrapins advanced to the semifinals of the NIT, but were eliminated by Iowa.

With Howard leaving the program, Maryland will rely more on soon-to-be sophomore Seth Allen next season. Incoming freshman Roddy Peters will also likely be a key part of the rotation. Peters is a Top 100 prospect and native of Maryland.

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: