Kyle Anderson Shabazz Muhammad

No set timeline for the NCAA investigation of Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson

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It’s one of the biggest questions hanging over college basketball as we rapidly approach the beginning of the season: when will the NCAA decide the fate of UCLA freshmen Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad?

Both have yet to be cleared by the NCAA and they’ve begun their 40-day windows that allow them to practice with the team.

But once those 40 days are up and no decision’s been made both will have to cease contact with the program until the NCAA makes a decision.

And if the story in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times is any indication of where the investigation is headed, it could be a while before that happens.

Anderson’s case was expected to be resolved in a quick manner, especially considering the fact that he was allowed to take part in the team’s offseason trip to China.

But the NCAA’s look into a relationship between Kyle Anderson Sr. and sports agent Thad Foucher, who is a part of the Wasserman Media Group, is what keeps the New Jersey native waiting for clearance.

Anderson’s probe still appears focused on the relationship between his father and NBA agent Thad Foucher, according to people with knowledge of the situation who are not authorized to speak publicly.

Kyle Anderson Sr. and Foucher met more than a decade ago as opposing coaches on the AAU circuit, Foucher with the New Orleans Jazz and Kyle Sr. with the New Jersey-based Playaz Basketball Club.

Muhammad, whose issues from an NCAA clearance standpoint have been well-documented by now, has been represented by attorney Robert Orr since last fall. Orr recently represented North Carolina football players who were accused of both academic fraud and receiving improper benefits.

“Our position has been and continues to be that Shabazz has done absolutely nothing in violation of any NCAA bylaw,” Orr said.

The attorney has raised questions about the NCAA’s right to scrutinize past events.

“Shabazz didn’t even turn 18 until November of 2011 and until he signed with UCLA in April of this year was not under NCAA jurisdiction,” Orr said.

How (or if) that will help Muhammad in getting cleared remains to be seen, but as the season gets closer UCLA fans will get more antsy with each passing day without word from the NCAA.

Can UCLA be a contender in the Pac-12 if their two best recruits have to sit out an extended period of time?

Fans are hopeful that this question won’t need to be considered come November 9 (UCLA opens a renovated Pauley Pavilion against Indiana State).

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

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:

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)
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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.