The Providence Friars were dealt a blow for the Big East portion of the schedule as the school announced on Monday that freshmen Brandon Austin and Rodney Bullock have been suspended for the remainder of the season due to a violation of the school’s Code of Conduct.
Austin and Bullock were suspended indefinitely from game action on November 6th and will now be held out longer after Providence took matters into further consideration.
Providence released a statement on the matter that said, “Freshmen Brandon Austin and Rodney Bullock will not compete in games for the College’s Men’s Basketball Team for the remainder of the 2013-2014 season. The two student-athletes will be able to practice with the team.”
Both Austin and Bullock now have the option to transfer to another school and be eligible after first semester next season, or stay at Providence and retain four years of eligibility.
The loss of the 6-foot-6 Austin and 6-foot-7 Bullock hurts the depth of Providence going into Big East play and head coach Ed Cooley already lost sophomore point guard Kris Dunn for the season as well.
Austin, a Philadelphia native, was regarded as a four-star prospect and the No. 45 prospect in the 2013 national class according to Rivals, while Bullock was a three-star prospect and No. 148 prospect in the same class.
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: