Tennessee guard Robert Hubbs III arrived in Knoxville as one of the nation’s best shooting guards, but unfortunately for the Volunteers they didn’t get to see much of the freshman in action in 2013-14. Due to a shoulder injury Hubbs played in just 12 games, scoring 5.1 points in just over 18 minutes of action per game.
Given the personnel losses incurred this offseason Hubbs would be a key player for new head coach Donnie Tyndall if he decided to remain at Volunteer. And on Thursday night Hubbs announced via his Twitter account that he’ll be returning for his sophomore season, making what has already been a good week for the Tennessee program an even better one.
Hubbs’ announcement comes on the heels of four-star guard Detrick Mostella signing with the program, with Mostella joining guard Kevin Punter and forward Jabari McGhee in Tyndall’s first recruiting class at Tennessee. Add in Josh Richardson (10.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg) and the Volunteers have some quality pieces to build with in 2014-15.
Front court depth, even with the addition of McGhee, remains a concern at this point in time. But given the uncertainty that surrounded the program prior to Tyndall’s hiring, Tennessee’s in a better place now than they were in mid-April.
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: