SEC Vanderbilt Mississippi Basketball

Vanderbilt forward Sheldon Jeter elects to transfer

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Last May 6-7 forward Sheldon Jeter chose to attend Vanderbilt, picking the Commodores over Penn State and Wisconsin and South Carolina with Pittsburgh showing some interest late but never offering the Beaver Falls, Pa. native.

Jeter played 17.5 minutes per game as a freshman, averaging 5.5 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. And after one season in Nashville Jeter has decided to transfer, as announced by the school Friday afternoon.

“Sheldon has indicated that he’d like to play closer to home, and we wish him the best,” Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings said in the release.

Even with Jeter’s decision to transfer the Commodores don’t lack for depth in the front court. Rod Odom (10.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and Josh Henderson (21 starts in 2012-13) both played prominent roles in the rotation last season and will return, as do Shelby Moats and James Siakam.

Vanderbilt also signed two solid forwards from Texas in the 2013 class, Damian Jones and Luke Kornet. With all of those players on board, it may have been tough for Jeter to see a significant bump in minutes had he not wanted to play closer to home.

As noted above Jeter received a scholarship offer from Penn State when going through the recruiting process, and it remains to be seen if head coach Patrick Chambers looks to make another run at Jeter.

In addition to rising sophomores Brandon Taylor and Donovon Jack the Nittany Lions will have freshmen Payton Banks and Julian Moore fighting for minutes this season.

As for Pittsburgh, the Panthers have five players capable of playing small forward but just three at the power forward and center positions. Senior Talib Zanna is the most experienced of the three, with junior college transfer Joseph Ochebo and freshman Mike Young being the others.

Obviously with no announced list from Jeter it’s anyone’s guess as to which schools he would be interested in. But with both major conference schools in the area likely having room for another front court player, he won’t lack for quality options.

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: