John Cooper

Miami University announces addition of two transfers

Leave a comment

Having finished the 2012-13 season with a 9-22 record (3-13 Mid-American Conference), the Miami RedHawks found themselves in a position where adding depth to the program would be more than welcome.

Add to that the fact that leading scorer Allen Roberts (12.3 ppg) is no longer with the program, and there’s a chance that the 2013-14 campaign could bring on more growing pains for second-year head coach John Cooper.

On Friday, Cooper announced the official addition of two transfers, 6-10 forward Blake McLimans and 6-3 guard Willie Moore. McLimans, who spent the last four seasons at Michigan (redshirting in 2009-10; 4.3 mpg), will be eligible to play immediately and he’ll be a two-sport athlete as well. A pitcher in high school, McLimans is expected to join Miami’s baseball program.

Moore didn’t see much playing time in his one season at Oregon (7.2 mpg), averaging 2.1 points per game in 2012-13. And with the Ducks retaining the likes of Johnathan Loyd and Dominic Artis, as well as adding Houston transfer Joseph Young, that was unlikely to change in 2013-14. Moore, who has three years of eligibility remaining, will have to sit out the 2013-14 season per NCAA transfer rules.

As a result Miami gains two players who have been a part of successful programs, something that shouldn’t be taken lightly given the task in front of coach Cooper and his staff.

“We are thrilled to add these two players to our program,” Cooper said in the release announcing the moves. “Both Blake and Willie bring postseason experience with them to Miami, which will only help us as we move into the future. I think it always helps when you have young men in your program with NCAA Tournament experience.”

Miami lost ten of its final 11 games last season, and the RedHawks struggled throughout the 2012-13 campaign defensively (11th in the MAC in both field goal and three-point percentage defense) and on the boards (12th in rebounding margin, 11th in offensive rebounding percentage and 9th in defensive rebounding percentage).

Senior forward Will Felder (11.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and sophomore guard Reggie Johnson (8.4 ppg) return in 2013-14, as the RedHawks look to take the next step in their rebuilding project.

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)
Leave a comment

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)
Leave a comment

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: