NCAA Tournament Primer: Gonzaga Bulldogs

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Get to know all of the NCAA Tournament’s automatic bids here.

Conference: West Coast Conference

Coach: Mark Few

Record: 28-6 (15-3 West Coast Conference)

Rankings and Ratings:

– Kenpom: 19
– RPI: 24
– AP/USA Today: Not ranked

Seeding?: In Dave Ommen’s most recent bracket, the Zags were a No. 9 seed.

Names you need to know: Kevin Pangos (14.2 ppg, 3.3 apg, 41.3% 3PT), Sam Dower (14.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg), Gary Bell Jr. (11.1 ppg, 41.7% 3PT)

Stats you need to know: Gonzaga has developed a reputation for being a team that scores a ton of points without a care for the defensive end of the floor. That’s hasn’t been entirely true throughout Mark Few’s tenure, and it certainly isn’t true this season. Gonzaga is 19th nationally in defensive efficiency after being ranked closer to 150th towards the end of non-conference play. They were a full tenth of a point better per possession defensively than any other team in the conference. If you’re not familiar with advanced stats, that’s a massive number.

Tendencies: The Zags will once again enter the tournament with a reputation for being a team that is built around shooting threes, and while that’s not necessarily inaccurate — they do spread the floor with guys that bury open looks — this is once again an offense structured around their front court. Sam Dower is the team’s leading scorer playing alongside Przemek Karnowski, a 7-foot-1 left-handed Polish mountain.

Big wins, bad losses: Winning the automatic bid was huge for the Zags because their best win (BYU) doesn’t quite make up for their worst losses (San Diego, Portland).

How’d they get here?: Gonzaga rolled through the WCC tournament, blowing out both Saint Mary’s and BYU in the process.

Outlook: This Gonzaga team is not as good as last year’s team, and their biggest issue might be the fact that they weren’t quite bad enough throughout the year to avoid the 8-9 game. They can beat a No. 8 seed. I’m not sure that they are good enough to knock off one of the top four teams in the country. The good news? Their tournament ended early, which means that Kevin Pangos now has more than a week to rest up and get his toe as healthy as possible.

How do I know you?: Adam’s tears?

VIDEO: UConn’s Kwintin Williams would win the NBA dunk contest

Screengrab via Instagram
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Think that’s too strong?

Look at this dunk:

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A post shared by Kwintin Williams (@jumpmanebig) on

He also did this over the summer:

Williams is a 6-foot-7, 215 pound JuCo transfer that should provide UConn with some minutes in the frontcourt this season.

LSU officially announces addition of Kavell Bigby-Williams

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LSU has announced the addition of Oregon transfer Kavell Bigby-Williams, a 6-foot-11 junior that was the National Junior College Player of the Year as a sophomore.

Bigby-Williams, who is a native of London, averaged 3.0 points and 2.8 boards last season as the Ducks reached the Final Four, but he played the majority of the season while under investigation for an alleged sexual assault that occurred while he was at Gillette College in Wyoming.

The local County Attorney declined to charge Bigby-Williams with a crime, and Gillette College police consider the case closed.

“The university conducted a responsible and comprehensive review before approving the transfer,” a release posted on LSU’s Athletics site read, “including close coordination with Title IX officials, multiple discussions with Gillette and Oregon officials and a thorough examination of available public records.”

LSU head coach Will Wade was quoted in that release as well: “This is an issue we all take seriously and we made absolutely sure we did our due diligence before considering moving forward. Kavell understands that and has made clear to me that he’s going to repay our confidence by representing LSU with his very best on and off the court.”

Report: Four-star Mamaou Doucoure has reclassified, enrolled at Rutgers

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Rutgers has made a potentially significant addition to their 2017 recruiting class, as four-star big man Mamadou Doucoure appears to have reclassified.

According to the Asbury Park Press, Doucoure has already enrolled in classes at Rutgers, citing a search of the university’s online database. The 6-foot-9 Doucoure was initially a member of the Class of 2017 before reclassifying to 2018, although there have been rumors that he has been trying to enroll this year.

It’s not yet clear if Doucoure will be eligible to play this season — he has not even been added to Rutgers’ roster online — but if he’s eligible, he should be able to provide rotation minutes for the Scarlet Knights.

Even if he’s not cleared to play this season, his addition matters. He’ll be able to workout with and develop in a Big Ten locker room before getting cleared to play alongside a massive 2018 recruiting class that already includes four-stars Mac McClung and Montez Mathis along with three-star prospect Ron Harper Jr.

Options drying up for top ten prospect Mitchell Robinson

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It’s looking less and less likely that we’ll see Mitchell Robinson on a college campus this season.

Robinson, if you’ve forgotten, committed to and signed with Western Kentucky, enrolling at the school and practicing with the team over the summer. But he left Bowling Green after two weeks and has received a release to transfer out of the program.

And that’s where the difficultly here lies.

He’s a transfer, which means that, as a top ten prospect and a likely one-and-done player, he will be redshirting the only year that he is on campus unless the NCAA would provide him with a waiver, which is unlikely. After Robinson left WKU, three schools have emerged as potential landing spots: LSU, Kansas and New Orleans. LSU ended their recruitment two weeks ago. Over the weekend, Kansas head coach essentially confirmed that Robinson will not be a Jayhawks.

“I would think that we probably won’t sign anybody,” Self told the Kansas City Star.

That leaves New Orleans, his hometown school, or overseas, which is a rumor that has followed Robinson since the spring. The other option? Sitting out and training for a year, which FanRag Sports reported on Sunday is a possibility.

However you slice it, Robinson’s one-and-done year has turned into a mess. He’s still likely to end up as a first round pick — seven-footers that can do the things he does defensively don’t grow on trees — but I can’t imagine that teams are going to be clamoring to use a lottery pick on a player that just spent a year sitting out.

VIDEO: Texas freshman Jericho Sims catches nasty alley-oop

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Texas is in Australia for their team’s summer trip, and Jericho Sims gave Longhorn fans a glimpse of why they may not miss Jarrett Allen’s athleticism all that much this season.