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Hachimura leads No. 15 Gonzaga over Incarnate Word 103-68

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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Gonzaga senior Johnathan Williams is aware that this is his final college basketball season, and he wants to make the most of it.

So even No. 15 Gonzaga’s 103-68 blowout of Incarnate Word on Wednesday night was special.

“I’m going to cherish every game,” said Williams, who scored nine points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished three assists in just 17 minutes. “This is my last year.”

Rui Hachimura scored 18 points, Zach Norvell Jr. added 17, Josh Perkins scored 16 and Jacob Larsen 14 for Gonzaga (6-1), which lost to North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament title game last season.

“Jacob and Rui played extremely well,” Williams said of two players who came off the bench to help power the Zags to victory.

“We did what we had to do,” coach Mark Few said. “We played with good energy. We got after them on the defensive side from the jump.”

Few noted that getting extra minutes for Hachimura, a sophomore, and Larsen, a freshman, was always a positive. Both players are expected to contribute more as the season goes on.

Jalin Hart scored 17 points for Incarnate Word (3-3), which is in its second season of Division I basketball. Simi Socks added 12 points.

“They’re a great team with a great coaching staff,” said Ken Burmeister, coach of Incarnate Word. “It’s a tough situation coming in against a top program and a great coach.

“We weren’t able to play with them on the glass,” Burmeister said of his team’s 41-27 deficit in rebounding.

Perkins made all six of his shots, including four 3-pointers. The Zags finished with 12 3s.

Gonzaga shot 54 percent while holding the Cardinals to 44 percent. The Bulldogs scored 48 points in the paint, to 26 for the smaller Cardinals.

Gonzaga, looking forward to a Friday home game against No. 25 Creighton, made quick work of this one.

With the score tied 2-2, Gonzaga went on a 17-0 run as the Cardinals were held scoreless for more than 5 minutes.

A 10-4 run a few minutes later gave Gonzaga a 35-14 lead. The Zags shot 70 percent over the first 12 minutes of the game, with six 3-pointers.

The Zags cooled off, missing nine of 10 shots, but still led 49-26 at halftime.

Silas Melson had six points as Gonzaga opened the second half with an 18-6 run to build a 67-32 lead. The Bulldogs substituted freely but the Cardinals did not threaten after that.

This was the first meeting between the programs.

The Bulldogs have held 63 consecutive opponents to under 50 percent shooting, dating to 2015.

MAY I ASSIST YOU?

Gonzaga dished out 22 assists on 37 baskets, while Incarnate Word had 12 assists. The Cardinals were also hounded into 19 turnovers.

BENCH BOSSES

Gonzaga’s bench outscored the Incarnate Word bench 59-21.

EYEING CREIGHTON

Few said Creighton should be well rested when the teams meet on Friday. Gonzaga, on the other hand, has played four games in the past week. “They are an elite-level offense,” Few said of Creighton. “They’re an older team. They’ve got a lot of guys with three, four years of experience.”

BIG PICTURE

Incarnate Word: The Cardinals, from San Antonio, beat three Division III teams to open the season, but have yet to beat a Division I program this year.

Gonzaga: The Bulldogs are coming off a good showing at the PK80 Invitational tournament, where they beat Ohio State and Texas, but fell to No. 6 Florida in double overtime.

UP NEXT

Incarnate Word plays Sacramento State on Saturday.

Gonzaga hosts No. 25 Creighton on Friday.

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For more AP college basketball coverage: http://collegebasketball.ap.organd http://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Former LSU coach Johnny Jones hired by Texas Southern

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Johnny Jones is in charge of a college basketball program once again.

The former North Texas and LSU head coach will be the next head coach at Texas Southern, replacing Mike Davis, who left to take over at Detroit.

“I’m really excited about it,” Jones told Fox 26 in Houston. “This is a terrific opportunity with a great university in a great city.”

Jones went 90-72 in five seasons in Baton Rouge, but finished his final year, the 2016-17 season, with just a 10-21 record. He’s best-known for failing to get to the NCAA tournament with a team that featured Ben Simmons.

Coach K: ‘I have no plans to retire’

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Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, the greatest college basketball coach this side of John Wooden, said on Monday that he has given on thought to the idea of when he will call it quits.

“I have no plans to retire,” Krzyzewski said on the College Hoops Today Podcast. “I feel better than I have in a long time. I feel healthier than I have in a long time. There’s no end in sight.”

The question of whether or not Coach K will be around all that much longer has been something that has lingered over the sport given the numerous health issues that he has dealt with in recent years. He’s undergone surgery six times in the last two years and, at 71 years old, is at an age where most everyone is hoping to retire while working one of the most strenuous and time-consuming jobs imaginable.

Put another way, no one would blame Krzyzewski if he wanted to hang it up.

But instead, he is arguably at the top of his game. He’s churned out elite recruiting classes in each of the last four seasons, he’s won two National Titles in the last eight seasons and he has three of the nation’s top five prospects enrolling for the 2018-19 season.

He’s not slowing down.

So why would he thinking about leaving the game?

VIDEO: Mixtape for Duke commit R.J. Barrett, potential 2019 No. 1 pick

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Last week, after the NBA draft officially concluded, we posted a mock draft for the lottery in 2019.

At the top of that list was R.J. Barrett, a Duke-commit and Canadian-native that has NBA scouts wowed and intrigued. This mixtape should give you a good feel for why.

Trae Jefferson to transfer out of Texas Southern

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Texas Southern guard and NCAA tournament darling Trae Jefferson announced on Saturday that he’s leaving the school.

The 5-foot-7 Jefferson was sensational at times during his sophomore season with the Tigers as he put up 23.1 points, 4.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game, helping lead Texas Southern to a victory in the 2018 NCAA Tournament’s First Four in Dayton over North Carolina Central. One of the most entertaining talents in college basketball, Jefferson is leaving Texas Southern in-part because former head coach Mike Davis took the job at Detroit this offseason.

While Detroit is going to be the favorite to land Jefferson, because of his connection to Davis, it’ll be interesting to see what his transfer market looks like. Jefferson also made it clear on his Twitter page that he would like to be closer to his hometown of Milwaukee so that he can be closer to his ailing grandfather.

Given NCAA transfer rules, Jefferson would likely have to sit out next season before getting two more years of eligibility. But he could be applying for a waiver if he’s trying to be closer to home to deal with his family situation.

Nevada’s Josh Hall transfers to Missouri State

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Nevada lost a talented player from last season’s team as rising junior Josh Hall opted to transfer to Missouri State on Friday night.

The 6-foot-7 Hall is a former top-150 recruit who played a key part in the Wolf Pack’s postseason run as he elevated his play to average 13 points and 4.7 rebounds per game during the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Hall also made the game-winning bucket to lift Nevada past No. 2 seed Cincinnati in the second round.

Although Hall picked up his play late in the year, he was coming off the bench most of his sophomore campaign as he averaged 6.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per game last season.

Since Nevada took in some talented transfers, while players like Jordan Caroline and the Martin twins opted not to turn pro, it left head coach Eric Musselman with too many scholarship players for the 2018-19 season. It looks like some of those issues are now going away as Hall is leaving for Missouri State and graduate transfer guard Ehab Amin opted to decommit from the school.

Nevada is expected to be a preseason top-10 team next season with all of the talent they have returning to the roster, along with the addition of some new pieces like McDonald’s All-American big man Jordan Brown.

Hall will likely have to sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rules as he still has two years of eligibility remaining.