Jermaine Lawrence will be eligible to play for Manhattan during the 2014-2015 season, Jasper head coach Steve Masiello announced on Wednesday.
Lawrence was a five-star recruit in the Class of 2013, spending a season at Cincinnati after being recruited by the likes of Kansas, UCLA and Syracuse. He averaged 2.8 points and 2.9 boards in a season that was limited by a toe injury before opting to transfer back to his native New York.
Lawrence will join a front line that includes Ashton Pankey and Emmy Andujar. If he’s motivated, he should become one of the best big men in the conference and give the Jaspers a front line that can compete with just about anyone. The back court will be a question mark, as George Beamon and Michael Alvarado are gone, as is Rhamel Brown. Junior Shane Richards and sophomore Rich Williams should see an increase in minutes there.
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: