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DePaul lands local product Tommy Hamilton Jr.

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DePaul has added another piece to their 2013 recruiting class, as 6-foot-9 center Tommy Hamilton Jr. committed to the program, according to multiple reports.

Hamilton is rated as a three-star recruit, according to Rivals, but he’s got a much higher upside than that. The son of city public league legend, Hamilton entered high school as one of the Big Three, along with Alex Foster and Jabari Parker, in Chicago’s Class of 2013, but things never panned out for him at Whitney Young high school. He transferred to IMG Academy for his senior year.

Some of it was due to injury. He missed his junior season with an injury. Some of it was self-inflicted. He didn’t play much on the AAU circuit last summer. And as a result, he scared off a lot of the schools pursuing him. He reportedly picked DePaul over Bradley.

But as Illinois Preps Bullseye explains, Hamilton has quite a bit of potential:

In terms of overall skill-set, Hamilton’s potential and upside are through the roof.  It is all a matter of how bad Hamilton wants it and how hard he is willing to work in order to make it happen.

From an offensive standpoint, Hamilton has the ability to put the ball on the floor as well as pull up and consistently drain shots from beyond the 3-point line.  He is also an outstanding passer from the top of the key.  While Hamilton has often had the tendency to play soft and doesn’t jump well, when he puts his mind to it he is quite capable of being a force on the glass and a physically imposing interior defender who can block shots.

More importantly, however, Tommy Hamilton is a name people in Chicago know. He played for the Mac Irvin Fire. He’s good friends with top 75 recruit Billy Garrett Jr., who is also going to DePaul and the son of a DePaul assistant coach, and knows quite a few of the best players from the city in the Class of 2014 as well. If Oliver Purnell truly wants to make the Blue Demons relevant in the new Big East, he needs to start keeping the talent in Chicago in Chicago.

Hamilton’s not a bad place to start.

(Image via Rivals)

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

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: