Gonzaga forward Killian Tillie is probable to return to the Bulldogs’ lineup as soon as Monday night.
Head coach Mark Few told Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports that Tillie would play against Pepperdine in the WCC tournament Monday night as long as there were no issues that came up before the game.
“If he feels good after shootaround [he’ll play]” Few said to Rothstein: “That is the plan.”
Tillie has been limited to only nine games this season as he’s been dealing with a partially torn ligament in his foot. One of the nation’s better frontcourt players last season, Tillie is only putting up 6.0 points and 4.2 rebounds per game on the season. As a sophomore last year, Tillie put up 12.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game while shooting 58 percent from the floor and 47 percent from three-point range.
Transfer forward Brandon Clarke has emerged as a more-than-suitable replacement for Tillie as he’s emerged as an All-American this season. But Tillie’s addition to the Gonzaga rotation would be huge for depth as freshman Filip Petrusev hasn’t played consistent minutes over the last few months.
The Bulldogs are trying to lock up a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament as the WCC semifinals continue on Monday.
A college basketball coach who brews his own beer? That isn’t something you hear all that often, but in the case of Portland head coach Terry Porter he’s been using those skills to help those in need.
For the second straight year Porter has partnered with Gilgamesh Brewing to make “The Terry Porter,” and on October 22 he’ll be signing bottles of the beer at the New Seasons Market University Park location in Portland. Proceeds will be donated to the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation, with other items available for signing at the event as well.
As noted above this is not the first time that Porter and Gilgamesh have done this, with their first fundraiser for the Doernbecher taking place in January 2016.
With the Pacific men’s basketball program not eligible to compete in this year’s WCC tournament after the school self-imposed a postseason ban as a result of an ongoing NCAA investigation, the conference had to make a quick revision to its bracket for the event.
Friday the WCC released the updated bracket, with the first round scheduled for Friday, March 4 now consisting of just one game. The eight and nine-seeds will play that night, with the winner advancing to take on the top seed in Saturday’s quarterfinal round. All four quarterfinals will be played Saturday, March 5, with the semifinals scheduled for Monday, March 7 and the title game Tuesday, March 8.
All games will be played at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, which has hosted the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments every year since 2009.
The West Coast Conference tournament in March will be a nine-team affair, as the University of the Pacific announced Thursday that it was self-imposing a postseason ban for this season. This is one of the penalties the school handed down to its men’s basketball program in response to an ongoing NCAA investigation into academic misconduct.
The Tigers are currently playing without head coach Ron Verlin and assistant Dwight Young, as both were suspended by the school December 11. The school did not announce the length of the suspensions, so it remains to be seen when the coaches will return to their respective positions.
Pacific also announced that the program will lose a total of six scholarships over the next three years, and there will be limitations on recruiting as well.
“This is a difficult decision to make, but it seems clear that Level I violations have occurred, and thus immediate actions by the university are warranted,” Pacific Athletic Director Ted Leland said in the release. “Taking these actions at this stage demonstrates our steadfast commitment to integrity and fair play, and serves as a crucial step for moving the program forward.”
The WCC has yet to put together a bracket for the 2016 conference tournament. Last season seeds seven through ten played in the first round of the tournament, with the winners advancing into the quarterfinals to take on the top two seeds (1 vs. 8/9 winner; 2 vs. 7/10 winner). With that being the case, it would be easiest for there to be just one first round game (8-seed vs. 9-seed) with the winner taking on the top seed in the quarters.
The walk-on experience isn’t an easy one as those players do everything their teammates on scholarship do, with little more than a few minutes towards the end of blowouts serving as a reward. But every year many continue to work as hard as they can, pushing their teammates to succeed with the hope of at some point earning a scholarship themselves.
For Pepperdine senior forward Jake Johnson, that goal became a reality on Wednesday. Head coach Marty Wilson announced to the team that Johnson would be placed on scholarship, with Johnson’s teammates mobbing him shortly thereafter. Walk-ons may not see the court much in games, but the work they do in practices to help prepare for games is invaluable.
Above is video of Wilson informing the team at practice that Johnson would be on scholarship for the remainder of the season. Johnson’s played a total of 14 minutes in two games this season, averaging two points and one rebound per game.
h/t Bleacher Report
Less than 24 hours after BYU guard Nick Emery was ejected from the Cougars’ 83-75 loss to rival Utah for striking Brandon Taylor underneath the basket, the West Coast Conference issued a public reprimand.
With Emery’s ejection, which was for a flagrant 2 “fighting” foul, comes a mandatory one-game suspension meaning that he will miss the Cougars’ game against Weber State this weekend. The WCC did not announce any further punishment for Emery, which means that he will only miss the one game.
Emery apologized to Taylor, the Utah program and both fan bases for his actions in the press release.
“I apologize to Brandon Taylor for the incident that happened in the game last night,” Emery said. “He’s a great competitor and I got caught up in the intensity of the game and let my emotions get the best of me. I also want to apologize to Coach Krystkowiak, his team, the fans of both schools, and my teammates and coaches.
“I regret what happened and will definitely learn from this experience. I’ll continue to play with passion to help our team but will do better in representing myself, the team and BYU.”
With Emery out of the rotation BYU will have a spot in its starting lineup to fill, with sophomore guard Jake Toolson being the most likely option. Toolson scored six points Wednesday night, shooting 3-for-5 from the field in 24 minutes of action.