While much of the attention regarding recruiting is focused on the players and the programs they commit to (as it should be), fan reactions can also be eye-catching. Of course there are the angry types who react to their favorite team missing out on a prospect as a spoiled child would, albeit with a lot more profanity.
But on the other end of the spectrum there are the fans who react with joy when their long-suffering program hits the recruiting jackpot. That was the case for Seton Hall fans Thursday afternoon, as 2014 shooting guard Isaiah Whitehead verbally committed to attend the Big East school following his senior year at Lincoln High School (located in Coney Island, the school has produced players such as Stephon Marbury, Jamel Thomas, Sebastian Telfair and Lance Stephenson).
One fan, Robert Manganaro, took things to another level however with this reaction. Apparently Manganaro stated that he would douse himself with blue Gatorade if the Pirates landed Whitehead, and it’s good to see that he followed through with the guarantee.
And if you think that was just a two-bottle affair, it wasn’t.
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.
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: