Todd Mayo

Marquette guard Todd Mayo leaves program to pursue professional opportunities

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After averaging 11.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game as a junior last season, Marquette guard Todd Mayo has decided to leave the program to pursue professional opportunities. The news was first reported by Real GM, with Marquette confirming the news via press release shortly thereafter.

“We wish Todd nothing but the best and appreciate his contributions to the program, not only since I arrived at Marquette, but during his entire career,” Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski said in the release.

“I completely understand his desire to continue his career at the professional level and support his decision.”

As noted here, Mayo is already 23 years old so from that standpoint the decision to move on in an attempt to earn money is understandable. But regardless of the issues that some have brought up, including Mayo being suspended for last season’s Wisconsin game for a violation of team rules and his academic ineligibility during the 2012-13 season, this is an important loss for the Golden Eagles.

Mayo’s departure means that Marquette will be without its top four scorers from last season, with sophomore wing Deonte Burton (6.9 ppg) being their most productive returnee. It also affects Marquette’s perimeter depth, with Duane Wilson (who redshirted last season due to a preseason leg injury), graduate transfer Matt Carlino and sophomore Jajuan Johnson becoming even more important figures in Wojciechowski’s rotation.

Carlino averaged 13.7 points and 4.3 assists per game at BYU last season as he split time between starting and reserve roles on a team that reached the NCAA tournament. His ability to score will be an important factor for Marquette in 2014-15.

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: