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St. Joe’s lands second local 2015 recruit in as many days

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Only three days into August, and Phil Martelli has added two players to his Class of 2015.

On Sunday, Saint Joseph’s Prep shooting guard Chris Clover became the second Philadelphia product in as many days to commit to St. Joe’s. LaMarr Kimble, a three-star point guard from Neumann-Goretti High, pledged to the Hawks. Matt Gifford of HawkHillHardwood.com first reported the news.

“I think it’s a good fit for him,” Kamal Yard, the director of Philly Pride, told Josh Verlin of CityofBasketballLove.com. “I think Saint Joseph’s has recruited him pretty hard as well as all of the other Big 5 schools. I think he just felt a connection to St. Joe’s more than the other schools.”

The 6-foot-4 Clover spent the summer playing on the Under Armour Association circuit. He led Philly Pride into the Under Armour Finals during the second week of the July live period. He averaged 15.0 points in five games, shooting at at 59 percent clip from the field and 47 percent from behind the arc. Despite dropping the first two contests to The City from New York and the New England Playaz, Clover had his biggest scoring numbers with 19 and 25, respectively.

Saint Joseph’s won the Atlantic 10 Tournament title this past March, and despite losing three of its top three scorers, the Hawks have young talent in incoming freshman guard Shavar Newkirk and A10 Co-Rookie of the Year DeAndre Bembry.

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)
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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: