Stanley Johnson, Aaron Gordon

Stanley Johnson, Rivals No. 3 in Class of 2014, mixtape (VIDEO)

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My favorite player in the Class of 2014 to watch on over the course of the summer was Stanley Johnson, a 6-foot-5 wing out of California that plays for the Oakland Soldiers.

Johnson is the No. 3 player in the class and is being courted by the likes of Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky and Florida. He’s a beast, there’s no two ways around it.

And while Johnson’s mixtape is entertaining enough, it’s just another example of why you can’t base your opinion of a player off of highlights. He reminds me a bit of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist — or Ron Artest — in the way that he plays. He’s as tough as they come on the court, and has the skill set and strength to play multiple positions. I asked one high-major coach what position they think Johnson fits best at the college level, and his answer was “junkyard dog”.

Two quick stories that should let you get a feel for what I mean:

– At the Nike Global Challenge in DC, Johnson’s USA West team was struggling to stop Brazil’s Danillo Siqueira, an athletic point guard that was getting to the rim at will during the first half. Johnson, unprompted, called for a switch and proceeded to lock Siqueira down. In the second half, Brazil started beating up on the West in the paint, so Johnson played center on the defensive end for the remainder of the game, controlling the glass and taking away Brazil’s advantage in the paint.

– On two different occasions, after a loss on the AAU circuit, Johnson blew off reporters (including myself) that were trying to land an interview. He’s competitive. Losing matters, even if it’s a pool game at an inconsequential AAU event.

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: