Louisville Cardinals NCAA Basketball Celebration

Russ Smith could decide NBA future on Wednesday

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Louisville guard Russ Smith told members of the media that he will announce his decision on whether or not he’ll enter the NBA Draft on Wednesday.

Smith, who had been reported to be entering the draft shortly after Louisville’s victory in the national championship game two weeks ago. Since that story, in which his father was the one who started the speculation, Smith has been said to be “50/50” on which way he’ll go.

Smith went from a reserve guard who barely played as a freshman and nearly transferred to being the offensive focal point of a team that has been to back-to-back Final Fours and won a national title in the last two seasons. He averaged 18.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and was one of the top defenders in the nation, averaging 2.1 steals per game in 2012-13.

(CLICK HERE to follow along with who is turning pro and who is returning to school.)

The reviews on Smith’s pro prospects have varied. He’s got the ability to score, and his shot selection improved from last season to this season — his shooting percentage went from 35.6 percent in 2011-12 to 41.4 this season — and he has the lateral quickness and ball-hawking abilities to stick in the league defensively, but being in that 6-foot to 6-1 range, his ability to play the two-guard is suspect.

He may need to improve his point guard skills to hang at the next level, but with junior college transfer Chris Jones and freshman Terry Rozier slated to come in next season to replace Peyton Siva, who knows if he’ll get the chance? It really does look 50/50 at this point.

The deadline for underclassmen to enter the NBA Draft is April 28.

Follow David Harten 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: