jim-boeheim

Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim offers his thoughts on realignment

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Just when many thought that realignment was on a hiatus of sorts the Big Ten struck, grabbing Maryland and Rutgers to move to 14 members. There hasn’t been a shortage of opinions on the matter, and Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim offered his thoughts on the matter following the Orange’s 73-53 win over Princeton on Wednesday night.

“Rivalries don’t matter to anyone anymore,” Boeheim said according to the Associated Press. “If you ask someone at West Virginia if they like going to Texas Tech or Texas and all those places, ask their fans whether they really like that. Maybe they do. I don’t know. I don’t get it. It’s just the way it’s going. There’s nothing you can do about it.

“Like I said, if these guys [conference commissioners] were running the United States in colonial times, Brazil and Argentina would be states because they have something we need. It’s a great country.”

One rivalry that could very well fall by the wayside as a result of realignment is the series between Syracuse and Georgetown, one of the rivalries that helped turn a league created by the late Dave Gavitt to give the better programs of the Northeast a home into a juggernaut.

Whether it was Pearl Washington and Patrick Ewing getting into it during the 1985 Big East Tournament semifinals or any other moment fans of the two teams cherish, Georgetown/Syracuse was one of those game you marked on the calendar if you grew up watching the Big East.

There’s a chance that could be gone thanks to realignment but that’s no different from the fact that Kansas and Missouri won’t play each other this season, and neither will Texas and Texas A&M. Cash rules everything around college athletics these days, and until the industry is no longer a money maker that will likely remain the case.

“Maybe they should just have a draft, each conference should just draft teams … except then they’d have to make a decision and they wouldn’t be able to figure it out,” said Boeheim. “Eventually, they’ll get this thing figured out. They’ll get all the teams moved and then in a year or two someone will say `We need to take somebody,’ … But I’ll be long gone by then.”

With the ACC now at an odd number of all-sports members many expect John Swofford and the presidents he represents to make a move in the near future. And the Big East will need to make a move of its own to counter the departure of Rutgers (and any other school that may depart). Will those moves be the end of all this movement? Probably not.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report 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.