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Michigan commit Austin Hatch moves to California for final prep year

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Austin Hatch has had a rough high school career. And almost all of his trials have come off the court.

The 6-6 forward, who has stuck with his commitment to Michigan since his sophomore year (and they to him), survived not one, but two plane crashes, the first killing his mother and two siblings, another taking the lives of his dad, stepmother and a family dog and landing him in critical condition.

As a result of his injuries, he missed almost a full year of high school and was granted an additional prep year to get his academics in order and fully recover from his injuries.

Now, Hatch has decided to finish his prep career in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Times is reporting Hatch will enroll at Los Angeles Loyola High School, where he will live with a family member in Pasadena while he finishes high school. Hatch had previously attended the Canterbury School in Fort Wayne, Ind.

He’s still recovering from a severe head injury he suffered in the June 24, 2011 plane crash and it’s unclear whether he’ll be physically able to play. And more importantly, he’ll need approval from the California Interscholastic Federation, Southern Section, first. He was granted the extra year of high school eligibility by the Indiana High School Athletic Association, so this will be an entirely different appeal process.

If he is able to play, Hatch will go against stiffer competition in the CIF than he would’ve in the IHSAA. But he also steps into a solid program. Loyola has won three CIF titles in boy’s basketball since 2002 — four in total — the last coming in 2011. It was also named one of the top all-boys prep athletic programs in the nation by ESPN Rise from 2008-2011.

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:

Niang, Morris lead No. 14 Iowa State past No. 24 Texas

Iowa State forward Georges Niang drives past Texas guard Tevin Mack, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
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After falling at Texas Tech for the second straight season midweek, No. 14 Iowa State needed to bounce back with No. 24 Texas visiting Hilton Coliseum. The return of Jameel McKay, who was suspended for two games, certainly helped the Cyclones and the play of Georges Niang and Monte Morris was key as well. But the biggest difference on this night was the fact that Iowa State was able to limit the effectiveness of Texas point guard Isaiah Taylor.

 

Taylor scored just nine points on 3-for-14 shooting from the field, and with Morris and Niang scoring 24 points apiece the Cyclones won by the final score of 85-75.

Taylor had multiple opportunities to make plays around the basket thanks to his ability to beat defenders off the bounce, but he struggled to finish. Add in a 0-for-4 night from three, and Texas’ most dangerous offensive option was unable to duplicate his performance in the first meeting between the two teams. In Texas’ 94-91 overtime win over the Cyclones January 12, Taylor scored 28 points and dished out six assists with just one turnover, shooting 11-for-17 from the field.

Four Longhorns finished in double figures, with Tevin Mack and Javan Felix scoring 18 apiece, but with Morris decisively winning the point guard matchup Texas was unable to pick up the win on the road.

For Iowa State the aforementioned tandem of Morris and Niang performed as they did in the first meeting, which should come as no surprise. What helped them, especially when it came to Texas attacking the basket, was the presence of McKay. McKay finished the game with eight points, seven rebounds and four blocks in 22 minutes of action, and to have their best interior defender back on the floor certainly helped the Cyclones on this night.

With their lack of depth Iowa State’s margin for error is small, especially when it comes to foul trouble, injuries and disciplinary reasons. Even with Texas’ size advantage Iowa State outscored them in the paint 48-34, and McKay’s defensive ability factored into that. The Cyclones can put points on the board with the best of them, but at some point they’ll need to string together stops as the games get even bigger.

Iowa State managed to do that down the stretch, with Morris and Niang running the show offensively. And that’s a good formula to be able to rely upon as the season approaches its most important month.