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How Langston Galloway reinvented his game

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Despite Langston Galloway’s scoring average (nearly 14 points per game) and perimeter scoring (39 percent from three) a year ago, the guard from Saint Joseph’s had an underwhelming junior season. His efficiency rating — 110.9 — was the lowest it had been during his three seasons on Hawk Hill, and with a large percentage of returning minutes remaining in 2014, there was an expectation of a bounce back senior season for Galloway.

So far, the guard hasn’t disappointed. He only scored seven points in SJU’s rout of Dayton tonight, but overall this season, Galloway has shouldered a larger role in the Hawks’ offense — his efficiency rating rivals that of his sophomore (and breakout) season — and his three-point shooting has reached a career-best percentage (44 percent). It was unclear what sort of season Galloway would have without Carl ‘Tay’ Jones, a guard who was proficient at breaking down and drawing help defenders before assisting Galloway on the perimeter, but the guard has completely retooled his game for his final year.

According to Synergy Sports Technology, Galloway has become a better spot-up shooter, scoring 1.4 points per spot up (as compared to 1.00 in 2013), and his perimeter accuracy has helped strengthen his overall game, specifically in pick and roll action. More than 20 percent of Galloway’s possession finish with a P&R possession, an significant uptick from his junior year (12 percent), and his decision making once he clears the pick is much improved, scoring more than one point when he dribbles into a jump shot. For much of his St. Joe’s career, Galloway was simply a shooter — a really good shooter, but somewhat of a one-dimensional player — but the guard transitioned this offseason into a scorer, the type of player who can score off the catch and the bounce. Galloway’s revised game is why the Hawks are one of the Atlantic 10’s best teams, and a squad that has enough resume padding to dance in the coming weeks.

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: