Buzz Williams

Former Marquette commits Ahmed Hill, Satchel Pierce follow Buzz Williams to Virginia Tech

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Buzz Williams is off to a tremendous start on the recruiting trail at Virginia Tech. After pulling a shocker and switching from Marquette to the ACC program earlier this spring, Williams landed two of his former commits at the Big East school as top-100 shooting guard Ahmed Hill and three-star center Satchel Pierce committed to the Hokies on Saturday morning during their official visits.

The news of the commitments was first reported by Scout.com‘s Evan Daniels.

The 6-foot-4 Hill is regarded as Rivals.com‘s No. 69 player in the 2014 national class and he was one of the best unsigned prospects remaining after recently decommitting from Marquette and being released from his NLI. The native of Augusta, Georgia played for the Southern Stampede in the Nike EYBL and comes from Aquinas High School.

Pierce, a 6-foot-10 center from Kiski School in Saltsburg, Pennsylvania, is a three-star prospect and gives the Hokies an immediate boost on the interior since they lost freshman center Trevor Thompson to transfer this offseason. Pierce played on the grassroots circuit with the Ohio Phenoms.

This type of thing shows that players are committing to play for a head coach just as much as a school as we saw Kingsley Okoroh switch his commitment from Tennessee to Cal when Cuonzo Martin went to the West Coast earlier this week.

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: