Just two days after it was reported that rising senior point guard Quincy Taylor has decided to transfer from UAB, head coach Jerod Haase landed an important recruit in the form of Gulf Coast State guard Chad Frazier (6-4, 190 pounds).
In 29 games this season Frazier, who at various points in his career committed to Oklahoma State and Texas A&M, averaged 15.6 points, 4.7 assists and 3.9 rebounds per contest.
Frazier’s decision is a big one for the Blazers as Taylor (3.0 apg) and Terence Jones (3.6 apg) were the team leaders in assists last season. UAB welcomes three point guards among its seven newcomers, as Frazier joins incoming freshmen Dayshawn Watkins and Denzel Watts.
Both Watkins and Watts have signed a National Letter of Intent to attend UAB.
Leading scorers Rod Rucker (14.5 ppg, 82 rpg) and Jordan Swing (14.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.7 apg) return for the 2013-14 season, and with many of Conference USA’s best basketball programs moving to the American Athletic Conference this summer the Blazers may be able to improve their status within the conference.
How successful Haase and his staff are in doing so will hinge on how well the returnees mesh with the seven newcomers.
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
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.
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: