Jerry Tarkanian

Legendary UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian celebrates 82nd birthday Wednesday

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Born Aug. 8, 1930, legendary coach Jerry Tarkanian celebrates his 82nd birthday Wednesday, now a decade removed from his last job at a Division I school.

Tarkanian, most recognizable for his time with UNLV’s famed “Runnin’ Rebel” teams of the late 1980s and early 1990s, went to four Final Fours and won a national championship during his time in Las Vegas.

He finished his coaching career with an overall record of 706-198 and, on either side of his famed career at UNLV, was able to lead two other programs to a string of 20-win seasons.

Before coming to Las Vegas, he coached Long Beach State to five straight 20-win campaigns and, after UNLV, returned to coaching to lead his alma mater, Fresno State, to six straight 20-win seasons before retiring in 2002.

Tarkanian was a prominent figure in the recent documentary “Unguarded,” which profiled one of his former players at Fresno State, guard Chris Herren.

After trouble with drugs at Boston College, the talented Herren transferred to Tarkanian’s Fresno State team, playing with the Bulldogs from 1996-99 and eventually being drafted into the NBA.

Throughout his career, Tarkanian sparred with the NCAA, having taken on penalties for recruiting violations at Long Beach State and ultimately being forced out at UNLV over ties to Richard Perry, a man with connections to sports gambling. In 1998, he won a $2.5 million settlement from the NCAA after he alleged the organization “manufactured evidence” against him and harassed him for much of his coaching career.

Last year, a number of Tarkanian’s former players surprised him for his 81st birthday party. Among those players in attendance were Larry Johnson and Reggie Theus.

One of Tarkanian’s former players at UNLV, Dave Rice, now leads the Runnin’ Rebels as their head coach with perhaps the most hype surrounding the program since Tarkanian’s days at the helm.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

POSTERIZED: Texas A&M-CC with an off-the-backboard dunk

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This is pretty nice from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, who has made a habit out of getting themselves on the highlight reel.

Here’s another angle of the dunk:

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: