Joe Callero

Cal Poly announces addition of shooting guard Trevor John

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After struggling for much of the 2013-14 season Cal Poly got hot at just the right time, winning three games in as many days to earn the Big West’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. One of the issues for Joe Callero’s Mustangs: shooting, as they ranked last in the conference in field goal percentage (40.8%) and sixth (33.3%) in three-point percentage.

Improving their shooting is one way in which Cal Poly can make sure it’s a factor in 2014-15, and on Friday the school made official the addition of shooting guard Trevor John. John averaged 15.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game at Monte Vista HS in Danville, Calif. last season, and Callero praised his ability to shoot the basketball in the release.

“We’re fortunate to have such a quality addition to our program,” said Callero of John, who joins a program coming off its first Big West Conference Tournament title and an NCAA Tournament second round appearance. “Trevor has the shooting ability of (former All-Big West selection) Dylan Royer and a great work ethic. He comes from a basketball family and understands the game and the commitment level needed to be successful.”

As for the comparison to Royer, he finished his career in 2013 shooting 44.4% from three, transforming from a player who attempted just seven three-pointers as a freshman to one of the Big West’s best shooters as a senior. If John, whose father Jay has plenty of coaching experience at the Division I level (he was head coach at Oregon State from 2002-08, and assistant coaching stops include Arizona and California), can travel a path similar to that of Royer that would bode well for the Mustangs.

John is one of three additions for Cal Poly, with junior college transfer Kyle Toth and incoming freshman Aleks Abrams being the others. The Mustangs will have to account for the loss of two of their top three scorers from last season (Chris Eversley and Kyle Odister), with forward David Nwaba (11.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg) being their most productive returnee.

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: