Five-star 2015 point guard Jalen Brunson announces eight finalists


While Malik Newman is generally regarded as the top prospect in the 2015 class, another guard receiving high praise from scouts is Jalen Brunson. The 6-foot-2 Illinois native, whose father is former NBA guard Rick Brunson, is considered to be one of the best point guards in the 2015 class and has been a highly sought-after player as a result.

Saturday afternoon Jalen tweeted out the final eight schools on his list in no particular order, with those schools being UConn, Michigan State, Illinois, Purdue, Kansas, Villanova, Michigan and Temple (his father’s alma mater).

Brunson earned AP Class 4A All-State honors as a junior at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Ill., posting averages of 26.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 2.9 steals per game. Brunson, the lone junior to be selected, finished in a tie for the most points received with center Jahlil Okafor.

Okafor, who was a McDonald’s All-American this year, will be attending Duke in the fall. Also on that first team All-State squad were power forward Cliff Alexander (headed to Kansas), point guard Tyler Ulis (Kentucky) and power forward Sean O’Mara (Xavier).

Among Brunson’s noteworthy moments as a junior was his 56-point performance in a 75-68 loss to Okafor’s Whitney Young squad in the semifinals of the Illinois state tournament, with the crowd giving him a standing ovation as he left the floor. The output set a state tournament single-game scoring record.

Video credit: Ball is Life

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: