Dave Rice

UNLV’s Byrce Dejean-Jones out 4-6 weeks with broken hand

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With the college basketball season less than two weeks again, UNLV received some bad news on Friday afternoon, as it was announced that Bryce Dejean-Jones will be out 4-6 weeks with a broken hand.

“We have all seen how hard Bryce has worked to get ready for the season,” said head coach Dave Rice in a press release. “I know he will work equally hard to be ready to play when he is cleared from this injury. This is adversity for Bryce and for our team and we will all support him as he goes through this.”

According to the report, the 6-foot-5 Dejean-Jones, broke the third and fourth metacarpal bones in his left hand during a team workout on Thursday.

Dejean-Jones was slated to be a starter this season for the Runnin’ Rebels after sitting out the entire 2011-2012 season, following a transfer from USC.

As a freshman with the Trojans, Dejean-Jones averaged 7.6 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.

In mid-June, UNLV landed a late commitment from forward Savon Goodman. That pickup could be big, as the 6-foot-6 forward may be leaned upon, while Dejean-Jones is sidelined. According to Taylor Bern of the Las Vegas Sun, Goodman has looked good so far and could be a suitable replacement until Dejean-Jones recovers.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.