Rutgers University Introduces Eddie Jordan

Eddie Jordan introduced as head coach at Rutgers

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Rutgers introduced Eddie Jordan as their next men’s basketball coach on Tuesday afternoon, ending a search to replace Mike Rice after he was fired amid scandal.

Jordan takes control of the Scarlet Knights, his first college head coaching job, after spending the past season under Mike D’Antoni with the Los Angeles Lakers. He previously held head coaching gigs in the NBA with Sacramento, Washington and Philadelphia.

“This is going to be a challenge, but a wonderful challenge,” Jordan said in a statement. “There is a lot of work to be done. I would like to thank the Rutgers University Board of Governors, the Board of Trustees, President Robert Barchi and Interim Director of Athletics Carl Kirschner for their confidence. The support in and around the Rutgers community has been tremendous. It will definitely help to form the foundation of our program moving forward.”

Jordan’s contract is for five years and $6.25 million. The money is guaranteed. He’ll be charged with helping the recovery process left from the scandal left by Rice and former Athletic Director Tim Pernetti, who were both fired after video surfaced of Rice exhibiting physical and verbal abusive behavior towards his players in practice.

A Rutgers guard from 1973-77, he helped the program to its only Final Four in 1976. He still holds program records for assists and steals. Jordan’s son, Eddie II, was a three-year letterman for the Scarlet Knights football team (2000-01, 2003). The elder Jordan served an assistant in two different stints with the Scarlet Knights from 1984-85 and 1988-1992.

This is a great hire for Rutgers. Jordan is a recognizable figure within a program that doesn’t have much recent success. He also has considerable ties to the NBA, which can help attract some top talent, which should be helped with the school being right next to New York City. As Washington D.C. native, he’ll definitely want to tap those connections for recruiting that area.

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: