DeAndre Kane

DeAndre Kane writes letter thanking Marshall, Huntington community

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After being dismissed from the program in late-April, former Marshall guard DeAndre Kane became one of the most sought-after players on the transfer “market.”

Having averaged 15.1 points and seven assists per game as a redshirt junior, the Pittsburgh native would be able to help his next school of choice immediately as a graduate student.

Ultimately Kane decided to transfer to Iowa State for his final season of eligibility, but the move to Ames didn’t result in the guard forgetting about the people of Huntington, W.Va.

On Saturday night the Huntington Herald-Dispatch published a letter from Kane to the Marshall and Huntington communities, thanking them for their support during his four years as a member of the Marshall program.

Included in the letter is an apology for not leading the Thundering Herd to the NCAA tournament:

I know that things didn’t end here the way I wanted them too and I apologize for not leading the team to the NCAA Tournament because this city deserves it. What I do promise though is to bring something back to this community better than a basketball championship — hope and fun for the kids. Whether I play pro basketball or just become a business man, I’ll continue to contribute to the youth in this area once I get my career.

Thanks to Marshall University and the Athletic Department for giving me my first college opportunity. Thanks to the coaching staff that helped me through the years develop as a player and thank you to all of my teammates. I wish my brothers good luck next season and hope they can bring the C-USA title home.

This is the second time in less than a month that a player has expressed his thanks to the Huntington community, with Kansas signee Andrew Wiggins doing so in late-May.

Certainly a classy gesture on Kane’s part, as he certainly had an impact on both the Marshall program and the Huntington community during his time at the school. And, the letter also reveals how much of an impact that Huntington had on him.

h/t Ames Tribune

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: