NIT St. John's Virginia Basketball

Report: Former Virginia guard Taylor Barnette picks Belmont

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With the start of classes for the upcoming academic year rapidly approaching, college basketball transfers who have yet to pick a new destination are running out of time to do so. 

However former Virginia guard Taylor Barnette knows where he’ll continue his college career, as it was reported by Jeff Borzello of CBSSports.com on Saturday that Barnette has decided to transfer to Belmont. In his lone season as a Cavalier Barnette played in 26 games, averaging 2.6 points in 9.5 minutes of action per contest. 

In mid-July it was announced that Barnette made the decision to leave Charlottesville, with head coach Tony Bennett stating that the 6-3 guard made the decision because he desired a larger role. 

Barnette will have three years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2013-14 season, and that year off (in regards to his ability to play in games) should help him learn the style of play preferred by head coach Rick Byrd. And it goes without saying that Barnette’s going to be playing at a higher pace than he did at UVA. 

According to Ken Pomeroy’s numbers Belmont ranked 117th in adjusted tempo (67.1 possessions/40 minutes) last season, and their average possession lasted 16.6 seconds (37th). By comparison Virginia ranked 328th in adjusted tempo (61.0 possessions/40), and their average of 20.0 seconds per possession ranked 314th. 

Belmont lost two key components to their backcourt rotation at the end of the 2012-13 season in Ian Clark (18.2 ppg; was named NBA Las Vegas Summer League MVP) and Kerron Johnson (14.0, 4.8 apg), and they’ll lose another after the 2013-14 season as J.J. Mann is entering his senior campaign. 

Outside of Mann the Bruins don’t have a great deal of experience on the perimeter, with many of the young players who will have opportunities to earn playing time this season slated to be around when Barnette becomes eligible to play in 2014. 

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: