Michael Frazier II

Florida testing guard Michael Frazier II for mono

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There may not be a team in the country that is further from being at full strength than Florida is.

Let’s run down the list, shall we?

Will Yeguete is still recovering from offseason knee surgery and has yet to be cleared for practice. Eli Carter, who transferred into the program from Rutgers, isn’t yet available for practice as he is recovering from this gruesome broken leg he suffered back in February. Damontre Harris is dealing with a hamstring issue. The most-heralded freshman in Billy Donovan’s recruiting class won’t be available until at least December, if at all, due to academic issues that he’s had in the past. And Scottie Wilbekin was only recently allowed to return to practice after being suspended indefinitely from the team over the summer. He may miss a few games early in the season.

Those are a lot of bodies to be laid up at one time, and it got even worse this week.

Michael Frazier II is currently out with a virus which has prevented him from practicing, but the Florida staff is apparently concerned that this could end up being mono.

“The only thing we’re worried about is does he have mono, that’s the biggest fear,” Donovan told Kevin Brockway during SEC media days in Birmingham, Ala. “And if he does, that’s a three-week to a month, him being out of competition, out of playing, out of everything. I don’t know that to be the case. Apparently you can have a false positive test … as of right now he just has a virus that’s prevented him from practicing.”

Losing Frazier would be a major loss for a team that is only practicing with seven scholarship players and two walk-ons. Mono is the kind of virus that can knock you out of shape really quick, and Frazier is an important piece to this team, Florida’s resident sharpshooter that was impressive enough this summer to earn a spot on the U19 national team.

The start of practice is important for college teams, especially ones that are bringing in so many new faces and have so many players headed for bigger roles. They learn the system, they learn how to play with their teammates and they learn what their job will be on either end of the floor.

This is a headache that I’m sure Billy Donovan didn’t want to deal with.

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: