Jayhawks forward Young rejects a shot by A&M Aggies guard Harris during the second half of Jayhawks' win in the quarterfinals of the NCAA men's Big 12 basketball tournament in Kansas City

Kansas forward Kevin Young out up to two weeks with a broken bone in his hand

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Kansas returns three starters from last year’s national runner-up team, but one of the returnees expected to compete for one of the other two spots will likely miss the beginning of the regular season.

Senior forward Kevin Young is expected to miss up to two weeks due to a broken bone in his hand, a timeframe that would include the Jayhawks’ regular season opener against Southeast Missouri State on November 9.

Young, in his first season at Kansas after transferring from Loyola Marymount, averaged 3.4 points and 3.0 rebounds per game in 38 contests (11.3 mpg) in 2011-12.

“He should be back shooting and non-contact within 10 days and hopefully back on the court within two weeks,” Self said in a statement.

Young was positioned to compete for a starting spot alongside center Jeff Withey in the Jayhawks’ frontcourt. And Self has previously said that Young’s energy had set him apart from KU’s other interior options. Now the injury leaves KU with one less veteran option to pair with Withey during the season’s opening weeks.

“I think it’s a setback for Kevin and us because he’s worked so hard and has been playing so well,” Self said.

This development makes the Jayhawks even younger in the paint, as Young, Withey  and Justin Wesley are their lone front court seniors.

Of Kansas’ nine newcomers four are forwards: Perry Ellis, Landen Lucas, Zach Peters and Jamari Traylor, with Traylor at least having the experience of being a part of the program last season (but not being able to play).

Kansas should be able to deal with Young’s absence if he can’t play in the opener against Southeast Missouri State.

Hopefully for the Jayhawks the recovery will be completed within two weeks, because after the opener they take on Michigan State at the Champions Classic in Atlanta.

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.