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According to a report from ESPN‘s Jeff Goodman, Western Illinois will hire former associate head coach Billy Wright to be the program’s new head men’s basketball coach.
Wright, currently an assistant coach at Ball State, will replace former Leatherneck head coach Jim Molinari, who resigned to take an assistant coaching position under Tim Miles at Nebraska.
Before his one season as an assistant at Ball State, Wright spent five years on Molinari’s staff as an assistant coach, including three as the associate head coach at Western Illinois. During Wright’s Western Illinois tenure, he helped the Leathernecks reach the postseason for the only two times in the program’s Division I history with two CBI appearances.
Wright was a prominent high school coach in Indianapolis before coaching at Western Illinois and Ball State. He spent 12 years coaching high school basketball at Pike and Ben Davis High Schools in Indianapolis. Wright was the head coach at Pike for two seasons from 2006-08 after serving five years as a varsity assistant at the school that produced Courtney Lee and Jeff and Marquis Teague.
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: