Two Kentucky walk-ons rewarded with scholarships

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John Calipari just pulled off another amazing recruiting coup, getting the Harrison twins to commit to Kentucky as part of yet another blue-chip, one and done recruiting class. It’s easy to think that there’s no room for the merely great amongst the constellation of elite players, let alone the fairly average. But, buried in the weekend’s football-heavy news cycle was the information that bench warmers Brian Long and Sam Malone have been awarded scholarships by John Calipari for the upcoming 2012-13 season.

Coach Cal reached into his infinitely spacious Bag of Holding to reward the two practice players, including academic star Long, who plumped up the program’s APR with a sizzling 3.9 grade point average last season.

“It shows you’ve got to work hard and you’ve got to continue to keep working hard,” Long told the Lexington Herald-Leader. “And you’ve got to be successful on the floor and off the floor and in school. There’s a lot of factors, but it all pays off if you work hard.”

Long, a 5’9″ guard, actually comes from a college hoops family. According to his Kentucky profile, his father, also named Brian, played for Creighton, and his brothers Keith (UNLV) and Travis (Memphis) donned DI uniforms as well.
Sam Malone battled injuries last season, and saw even less time than Long. The two combined for 8 total points last season.
(photos from UKAthletics.com)

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: