Raphael Chillious

Assistant coach Raphael Chillious returns to Washington

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After one season at Villanova assistant coach Raphael Chillious has returned to the Washington program, the Pac-12 school announced in a press release Thursday.

As a member of Lorenzo Romar’s staff from 2010-12 Chillious helped the Huskies win three conference titles (one regular season and two tournament titles), and the combination of his return and the hiring of highly regarded assistant T.J. Otzelberger (formerly at Iowa State) could be the boost that the Washington program needs.

“I’m excited to have Chills back,” Romar said in the release. “He is very familiar with our program. The fact that he was here with us once and then went away, he has an advantage this time around in that he can make an impact from day one and he really gets what it takes to be successful at the University of Washington.”

During his first stint in Seattle, Chillious played an important role in the development of the Husky guards with current Sacramento King Isaiah Thomas being one of the benefactors.

Chillious’ return will be key in that area as Washington will rely on a perimeter nucleus that features C.J. Wilcox, Andrew Andrews and McDonald’s All-American Nigel Williams-Goss this season.

Chillious didn’t spend much time at Villanova, but he’s anticipating that coaching in a conference that has a style much different than the Pac-12 will benefit him in his second run as an assistant under Romar.

“It was a different perspective playing, coaching and recruiting in the Big East. It’s very different from the Pac-12,” Chillous said in the release. “That has given me more tools in my coaching tool box. It was hard leaving those guys last year, but now I’m back.”

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

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: