Bob Huggins, Aaric Murray

Report: West Virginia kicks Aaric Murray off the team

1 Comment

Bobby Huggins has finally gotten fed up with Aaric Murray, as he kicked the talented, 6-foot-10 center off the team, according to a report from Jeff Borzello of CBSSports.com.

“At the end of the day, we came to a mutual agreement it was best for him to continue his career elsewhere,” is how Huggins described the nature of Murray’s departure to Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News.

Murray averaged 8.8 points for the Mountaineers this past season, but he spent much of the year in the doghouse, at times struggling to get consistent minutes. Murray averaged 15.2 points and 7.7 boards as a sophomore at La Salle, but he got the boot from that program as well, which turned out to be the best thing that John Giannini could have done; La Salle made the Sweet 16 this past season.

Murray transferred to West Virginia after leaving La Salle and was arrested for marijuana possession while sitting out the 2011-2012 season. Where this story gets interesting, however, is that Murray has already graduated from WVU, per Borzello. With a year of eligibility remaining, he can transfer to another program without sitting out a season. Will anyone be willing to take the risk on a kid that has gotten kicked off of two teams in the span of three years?

Murray becomes the fifth player to transfer out of West Virginia this offseason. Jabarie Hinds, Aaron Brown and Volodymry Gerun all left the program in early April, while Keaton Miles transferred out in May. It’s understandable. After finishing last season under .500, Huggins decided to clean house.

WVU actually looks like it is heading in the right direction, however. They have a young back court returning — Juwan Staten, Eron Harris, Terry Henderson, Gary Browne — and bring in a recruiting class headlined by four-star big men Devin Williams and Elijah Macon.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

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: