After being ruled ineligible by the NCAA to play at Maryland this year, Sam Cassell, Jr. has signed to play with Chipola Junior College, according to Brad Winton of jucorecruiting.com
Cassell, Jr. is one of a number of players caught up in an academic controversy involving classes he took while playing at Notre Dame (Mass.) Prep. Certain players were still cleared to play, but two, Cassell, Jr. and Xavier signee Myles Davis, were deemed partial qualifiers and ineligible for play for the 2012-13 season.
It’s a tough situation for Cassell, Jr., the son of the former NBA star with the same name (in the photo), and another blatant display of selective enforcement by the NCAA. That is, unless they can give a legitimate reason for allowing some of those Notre Dame Prep players named to survive the NCAA Clearinghouse, despite taking the same prep school classes they deemed unsatisfactory by the NCAA’s standards.
However, Cassell, Jr. doesn’t have to look very far for advice about where to go from here.
He knows a guy who was a Prop 48 recruit out of Maine Central Institute who originally signed with DePaul. That guy went on to spend two seasons at San Jacinto (Texas) Junior College before becoming an All-ACC selection at Florida State.
That’d be his dad, Sam Cassell, Sr.
If you have to go this route, I can’t imagine a better way to do it than with a father who’s done it before.
David Harten is the editor of The Backboard Chronicles. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.
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:
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.