JayVaughn Pinkston, Junior Cadougan, Jamil Wilson

Report: Villanova’s Jayvaughn Pinkston battled MRSA during the offseason

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Jayvaughn Pinkston had quite the health scare over the summer, as he underwent a pair of surgical procedures to help him recover from MRSA, a staph infection, in his leg. Zach Braziller of the NY Post has the details:

One morning, Villanova’s star junior forward couldn’t get out of bed, unable to put any weight on his right leg. He needed crutches to get around. His leg felt funny, like it was in a microwave overheated. Puss was oozing out of his calf and it was turning orange.

That does not sound pleasant.

The first procedure was simple: four small incisions in his leg to try to drain some of the puss, but that didn’t work so Pinkston had to undergo surgery. He now has a clean bill of health, but that shouldn’t downplay the seriousness of the matter.

MRSA, or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, can be fatal. It’s not an exaggeration to say that if doctors hadn’t identified the infection as early as they did, Pinkston could have lost his leg. It’s the same infection that has plagued the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season.

Pinkston missed a month worth of workouts and didn’t even touch a ball for three weeks, but assuming he can himself back into shape, he should be ready to go by the time the season begins.

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: