Mitch McGary enters as one of the best big men in the country, though he has been sidelined with a lower back condition since September. The Michigan Wolverines open the season on Nov. 8 against UMass Lowell. However, it’s unclear if McGary will play, as no timetable has been set for a return.
“I really don’t have any pain,” McGary told reporters during Michigan’s media day on Thursday, according to Brendan Quinn of MLive.com. “I’ve never really had any pain. It’s just a little condition that I was dealing with, but right now I’m day-to-day and I’m feeling great. There’s no timetable for me being back. We’re just being cautious right now and we’ll see what happens in the future.”
Head coach John Beilein added that his sophomore forward is showing “great progress.” The 6-foot-10 McGary is the key piece in the front court and despite the setback, Beilein believes McGary will return to the floor with no limitations.
“We are very optimistic about him having a complete season — I mean of him being able to play and do everything,” Beilein told MLive.com last Friday.
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: