(Brian Ray/The Gazette-KCRG)

Jarrod Uthoff finally set to begin college basketball career at Iowa

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The transfer saga of Iowa forward Jarrod Uthoff was long and drawn-out. If you may recall, the former Wisconsin forward was prevented from transferring to a long list of schools by Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan, which led to media backlash and finally Ryan easing things up on Uthoff.

Although Uthoff was a class of 2011 recruit with high hopes, he’s never actually played a game of college basketball after redshirting his freshman season at Wisconsin before transferring and sitting out last season — while paying his own way — at Iowa.

Now Uthoff is on scholarship at Iowa and ready to compete for minutes among Iowa’s potentially deep front court and his teammates at Iowa are already raving about him to The Gazette.

“Jarrod’s an outside guy, also can drive it,” Iowa senior forward Zach McCabe said. “We just have a bunch of depth and that’s kind of what you need in a team.

“Jarrod’s been playing really well this summer and obviously he can hit outside shots. He creates match-up problems for those guys inside.”

Iowa sophomore guard Mike Gesell also likes what Uthoff can bring to the court.

“He’s a match-up nightmare for opposing teams,” Mike Gesell said. “He’s 6-9, 6-10, long, tremendous shooter. He’ll be able to create some match-up problems for us. He can defend, too, so he’s really going to help us out this year.”
Uthoff hasn’t played in a game that mattered since winning Mr. Basketball in Iowa in 2011, so this season will be an interesting test to see how he’ll fare in the rugged Big Ten after a two-year layoff. With an ability to shoot and stretch the floor, Uthoff should see minutes as a matchup-problem stretch “4” and if he can adequately defend and rebound Big Ten forwards, he could be a key part of Iowa’s expected resurgence.

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: