After winning the national title this past season, the UConn Huskies will look to become the first program since Florida (2006 & 2007) to repeat as national champions. The task will be a difficult one, with teams such as Kentucky, Arizona, Duke and Wisconsin considered to be the early favorites to cut down the nets in Indianapolis.
There’s also the matter of accounting for the loss of point guard Shabazz Napier and forwards DeAndre Daniels and Niels Giffey, with Napier serving as the team’s guiding force and both Daniels and Giffey being important contributors during the team’s run through the NCAA tournament. However the Huskies will have weapons, led by guard Ryan Boatright, NC State transfer Rodney Purvis and McDonald’s All American Daniel Hamilton.
Hamilton averaged 20.2 points, 9.0 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game at St. John Bosco HS in Bellflower, Calif. this past season, playing alongside Arizona commit Tyler Dorsey. The 6-foot-7 Hamilton may have a slender build but he also has the skill set needed to have an immediate impact at UConn, and given the production lost from last season that will be need to be the case.
Above is the high school mixtape put together by Ballislife.com, and it won’t fail to excite UConn fans anxiously awaiting Hamilton’s arrival in Storrs.
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: