The Morning Mix

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Another busy news day. Here’s what you need to know: The entire Kentucky Wildcats basketball program is going pro, and if you have thought about transferring, Don’t. Why? Because your school won’t let you transfer anywhere except Trans-American Conference and Big-Eight schools.

All five starters from Kentucky’s National Championship team are turning pro. Along with senior Darius Miller, who was the team’s sixth man, there is a decent possibility that six Wildcats get taken in the first round of the NBA draft.  Just how much is UK losing. As we know now, the one-and-done works, and we shouldn’t blame Kentucky.  Regardless of your opinions about Coach Calipari, this team was really easy to like, and we probably won’t see another like it in a long time. As you would expect, the 2013 ‘Cats will have a completely different look

– Myron Medcalf  provides a must-read re-ranking of the Coach of the Year Awards

– Wisconsin-transfer Jarrod Uthoff isn’t allowed to transfer to any Big-Ten school, any ACC school, Marquette or Iowa State. Does anybody else have a problem with that?

– Speaking of transfer-blocking, South Carolina refuses to budge on the decision to block Demontre Harris’ transfer to North Carolina State

– Danny Manning’s job at Tulsa just got a lot more difficult: Jordan Clarkson, a high major talent, has decided to transfer. And sticking with our theme of the day, the school has allowed him to talk with just three other schools

– Gabe Moton has been granted his release from Boston College. If everything goes according to plan, he won’t be allowed to transfer to any school within the 13 original colonies

– Hey, remember when we thought the C-USA and the MWC were going to merge? Yeah, it’s turning in to a mess

– according to sources, Bob Huggins was drunk as a skunk during a speech he gave at a Nike clinic over the weekend. Is anybody else shocked by these claims? Didn’t think so

– SMU has officially hired 71 year-old Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown. But is it really as bad as people are making it out to be? Well, yeah. It’s about as big of a gamble as a school can make. Even if I were a gambler, I still wouldn’t touch this bet. Kentucky assistant “Hot” Rod Strickland will join Brown’s staff. Illinois State head coach Tim Jankovich will also join as the “coach in waiting” and Illinois assistant Jerrance Howard will come a board as well

– To have an Ivy League Tournament or not to have, that is the question

– Mike Huguenin expects big things from these sophomores

– Mike Krzyzewski would like to see the NBA take rule over the NCAA, so to speak

– It looks like the 2013 Big East Tournament could see some slight changes

– The NCAA is once against tackling academic reform in the wake of heated debate regarding the APR ranking. But could there be negative side effects caused by theses changes? Absolutely. JuCos, take note of this

– Indiana head coach Tom Crean offered a scholarship to an eighth grader. But it wasn’t just any eighth grader, it was Eron Gordon, the younger brother of former-Hoosier and current-Hornet Eric Gordon

– UT-Arlington and Florida Atlantic have given their head coaches contract extensions

– Florida head coach Billy Donovan will coach the United States U-18 team this summer at the 2012 FIBA Americas Championship in Brazil. VCU’s Shaka Smart will serve as an assistant coach

– Virginia Tech is on the verge of rekindling an interesting rivalry with West Virginia

UNLV’s Stephen Zimmerman out with a knee injury

UNLV forward Stephen Zimmerman Jr. shoots against San Diego State during an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
(L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
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The injury Stephen Zimmerman suffered on Saturday will keep the star UNLV freshman out for at least a week, a source told NBC Sports.

The injury is not thought to be serious, however. Zimmerman may be kept out for longer as a precaution, but that’s a result of the Runnin’ Rebels being in a situation where the rest of their regular season is relatively meaningless.

They’re not getting an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament regardless of how they finish out league play. With back-up center Ben Carter out with a torn ACL, it’s more important to make sure that Zimmerman, who is averaging 10.6 points and 9.1 boards this season, is totally healthy for the Mountain West tournament.

That tournament, mind you, will be played at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center.

So the Runnin’ Rebels, regardless of how poor they’ve played this season, will always have a chance to land an automatic bid.

Anyway, the more interesting aspect of this story is how Zimmerman injured the knee. It was a completely avoidable play that came after the whistle, but I’m not sure it was what you would call a “dirty play”. You tell me:

VIDEO: Buddy Hield is ‘all money’ on game-winning three vs. No. 24 Texas

Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) takes a shot over Oklahoma State forward Chris Oliver during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stillwater, Okla., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)
(AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)
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With a little more than three minutes left on Monday night, No. 24 Texas held a 57-51 lead on No. 3 Oklahoma in Norman as Jordan Woodard struggled again and Buddy Hield failed to find the rhythm that he had throughout the first three months of the season.

At that point in the game, Hield was 4-for-14 from the floor with 15 points and four turnovers. He had just missed a pair of wide-open threes

“I couldn’t make a shot,” Hield said after the game. But that changed down the stretch. First, Hield finally got a three to drop. On the next possession, he got all the way to the rim and scored. On the following two possessions, he was fouled on a drive to the rim and hit four free throws. And after missing a pull-up jumper, Hield did this:

“I told coach I wanted the ball,” Hield said, “I saw Lammert coming to bite, so I pulled up.”

“It’s all money.”

Hield is already the favorite to win National Player of the Year, and this performance is only going to help his cause further. Think about it like this: Buddy was not good on Monday night, at least according to his (admittedly lofty) standards. But he still finished with 27 points and shook off a cold shooting night just in time to take over down the stretch.

Now think about this: Hield’s head coach has enough confidence in him to hand him the keys in the final minutes despite the fact that he’s struggling and on a team that has two other players that Lon Kruger trusts on game-winning possessions. Think about it. When Oklahoma beat West Virginia at the buzzer, it was Jordan Woodard that the play was drawn up for. When they beat LSU, it was Isaiah Cousins that got the rock on the final possession while Hield was used as a decoy. .

Want to talk about coaching luxuries?

Kruger has three guards that can shoot, penetrate and score, and penetrate and kick, and one of them is the National Player of the Year that doesn’t mind being used as a decoy.