Boston College Eagles guard Matt Humphrey works to shoot against North Carolina State Wolfpack defenders during their ACC college basketball tournament game in Atlanta

Matt Humphrey transferring to West Virginia

Leave a comment

One trend that we are starting to see with the number of transfer waivers that are being granted is that it is no longer a rarity when a player logs minutes with three different programs in their career.

The latest in that long line is Matt Humphrey.

The 6-foot-5 wing began his career at Oregon, where he averaged 5.4 points as a sophomore before transferring out of the program when Dana Altman took over. After sitting out the 2010-2011 season due to the NCAA’s transfer rules, Humphrey became Boston College’s second-leading scorer last season, averaging 10.3 ppg.

On Tuesday, it was officially announced that Humphrey would be leaving BC after a single season and enrolling at another Big East refugee in West Virginia.

“Matt will give us much needed experience on the front line,” WVU head coach Bob Huggins said in a statement. “In having played in the Pac-12 and ACC, his familiarity with multiple offensive and defensive schemes will help us at both ends of the floor. His size and length will definitely make us a better defensive team on the perimeter and should help us create matchup problems for opposing defenses. He will give us another 3-point threat, which will enable us to stretch defenses and open up the posts for our inside guys.”

Humphrey should be a welcome addition to the Mountaineers. With both Kevin Jones and Truck Bryant graduating, Huggy Bear was looking at having a roster that included Deniz Kilicli, Dominique Rutledge, and a slew of freshmen and sophomores. And as productive as Kilicli can be, he’s also proven to drive Huggins as crazy as any player on his team.

In other words, adding a big wing that has been around for a few years is a good thing.

The question that needs to be asked, however, is just how good Humphrey is and just how valuable his experience is. Humphrey’s best season as a collegian came in 2009-2010, when he was a member of the Oregon team that went 16-16 overall and finished tied for eighth in the Pac-10. As a freshman, he was a member of an 8-23 Oregon team. As a junior, he played on a 9-22 BC team. He’s not exactly been a part of winning traditions.

Humphrey also is a bit of a gunner. As BC Interruption explains:

And while that’s true, his 10.3 points per game were second only to Ryan Anderson’s 11.2 points per game, he wasn’t exactly efficient. Humphrey shot just 35% from the field and 31.3% from behind the arc. He also led the team in shot attempts.

It’s pretty clear that this BC basketball team is in it’s infant stages of a rebuilding process and for all the talent that Humphrey possesses, he simply wasn’t right for this team. A bunch of freshman and sophomores don’t need a veteran guard simply chucking shots and making questionable basketball decisions. Naturally, we wish Matt the best with the rest of his basketball career but I don’t want people to get the wrong idea about this transfer. This isn’t players leaving the program because of Coach Donahue’s ability or the direction of the organization. This was simply a player that didn’t fit with the needs of our team and would be better suited in a different environment.

West Virginia needs bodies. Humphrey provides that. But he’s not going to be WVU’s savior.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

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)
Leave a comment

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)
Leave a comment

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.