Mike Moser, Chris Babb

A nagging groin injury puts UNLV forward Mike Moser’s ‘homecoming’ in doubt

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UNLV forward Mike Moser is one of the most versatile players in the country, but unfortunately for the junior from Portland he’s had to deal with a nagging groin injury since preseason camp.

In the second half of the Rebels’ 77-63 win over Hawaii on Saturday night Moser re-aggravated the injury, and it could very well rule him out of Tuesday’s tilt at Portland according to Taylor Bern of the Las Vegas Sun.

The game is supposed to be a homecoming of sorts for Moser, who is averaging 12.3 points and 9.2 rebounds per contest. His move to the three has required an adjustment of sorts, and Moser’s field goal percentage (39.1%) is some six points below the clip at which he shot in 2011-12 (45.0%).

With the groin injury bothering him and bigger games ahead of UNLV in the non-conference portion of their schedule (most notably their December 29 game at North Carolina) as well as in Mountain West play, this could be a good time to give Moser some rest if you’re head coach Dave Rice.

But the opportunity to play in front of friends and family make this a game that Moser won’t want to miss.

Moser has been working on the injury the entire season, leaving the practice court and heading straight for an ice bath. This may linger with Moser for the season, but it would be surprising if it forced him to miss an entire game, particularly next week, when UNLV is headed on its first road trip Tuesday for Moser’s homecoming game against Portland at 8 p.m. on ESPNU. Rice would probably have to fight Moser to keep him on the bench for that game considering Moser expects about 130 family and friends to attend.

Rice has multiple weapons at his disposal but there’s no glossing over the importance of Moser. With a game at California next Sunday on the horizon, will he make the move to rest his versatile forward?

UNLV’s bench is coming off of its most productive performance of the season, scoring 34 points with Savon Goodman (13 points, seven rebounds) and Quintrell Thomas (nine points, five rebounds) leading the way.

If Moser were unable to play the reserves (which also includes Justin Hawkins and Carlos Lopez-Sosa) would be able to state their case for more minutes not just now but when Khem Birch becomes eligible at the end of the semester.

With UNLV’s biggest battles yet to come, any extra rest they can get Moser would be a positive. It’s just a shame that a nagging injury may rob Moser of the opportunity to play a game in his hometown.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

POSTERIZED: Kentucky’s Derek Willis drops a hammer on Florida

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It’s worth noting here that Derek Willis is not left-handed, yet he dunks this with his left hand.

UNC clinches share of ACC title in one of the top coaching jobs of Williams’ career

CHAPEL HILL, NC - JANUARY 16:  Head coach Roy Williams of the North Carolina Tar Heels celebrates after his 800th career victory with a 85-68 win over the Syracuse Orange at the Dean Smith Center on January 16, 2017 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
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No. 8 North Carolina knocked off Pitt on the road on Saturday afternoon, picking up an 85-67 win that clinched at least a share of the ACC regular season title for the Tar Heels this season.

It’s the second straight season and the eighth time in the 14 years that Roy Williams has been the head coach of the Tar Heels that they can make such a claim. For comparison’s sake, Mike Krzyzewski and Duke have won just three ACC regular season titles in those 14 years and they haven’t won one since 2010.

So this is a pretty good run that Roy Williams is on, and that’s before you consider the two national titles — plus a third national title game — that he’s won during that stretch.

And this year may be as impressive as any job that he’s done during his career.

This UNC team is different than past UNC teams in the sense that it’s the first time that one of his great teams doesn’t have a front line anchored by a future first round pick that is a killer on the block and a stallion running the floor in transition. There’s no Brice Johnson or Tyler Zeller or Tyler Hansbrough or Sean May. Joel Berry II is a really good college guard, but he’s not Kendall Marshall or Ray Felton or Ty Lawson, and his inconsistency is one of UNC’s bigger question marks heading into the tournament. Justin Jackson has turned into a killer this season, which is not something we would have said about Justin Jackson in any other year.

Put another way, this team is not a team that you can look at and know will be a title contender.

But they are.

They hold a two-game lead over an ACC that might get 10 teams into the NCAA tournament with two games left. If they win at Virginia next week, they will be playing for pride and for seeding when they take on Duke in the season finale.

I’d go as far as to say that the Tar Heels are as good, or better, than anyone in college basketball this season. They’ll probably end up as the No. 1 seed in the south and could very well make another run to the Final Four this season.

Considering just how good Williams has been throughout his career, and particularly during his tenure in Chapel Hill, you can understand what it means to say that this may very well be the best coaching job of his career.

Grayson Allen out for Duke against Miami

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06:  Grayson Allen #3 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts against the Florida Gators in the first half during the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden on December 6, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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Duke will be without star junior guard Grayson Allen on Saturday.

According to a report from Greg Gumbel of CBS Sports, Allen will miss the Blue Devils’ road game at Miami with an ankle injury.

The 6-foot-5 Allen is averaging 15.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game this season as he’s battled a few different injuries as well as getting suspended for another tripping incident. Duke is used to playing without Allen and the Blue Devils should still have enough to stay in this one against Miami but it is going to be a tough game to win on the road.

Duke is coming off of a road loss to Syracuse earlier this week as the No. 10 Blue Devils are trying to finish out a tough regular-season schedule these next three games.

VIDEO: Parents fly from Denmark to surprise Drake’s Jacob Enevold on Senior Day

DES MOINES, IA - DECEMBER 19: Center Jacob Enevold #11 of the Drake Bulldogs grabs a rebound in the first half away from forward Dom Uhl #25 of the Iowa Hawkeyes on December 19, 2015 during the Hy-Vee Big Four Classic at Wells Fargo Arena, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)
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Drake senior center Jacob Enevold received a special surprise on Saturday afternoon as his parents flew all the way from Denmark to surprise him for Senior Day.

The 7-foot-1 Enevold appeared perfectly content to take part in the Senior Day celebrations when his parents appeared on the floor and he ran to greet them.

De’Aaron Fox out for Kentucky against Florida

LOUISVILLE, KY - DECEMBER 21:  De'Aaron Fox #0 of the Kentucky Wildcats shoots the ball during the game against the Louisville Cardinals at KFC YUM! Center on December 21, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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Starting freshman guard De’Aaron Fox will be out for Kentucky on Saturday as the Wildcats host Florida in an important SEC showdown.

The 6-foot-3 Fox has a knee contusion, and without him, the Wildcats will start senior Mychael Mulder. Fox is averaging 15.5 points, 5.3 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game as he’s been one of the country’s best two-way freshmen this season.

Kentucky and Florida both enter Saturday’s game at 13-2 in SEC play but the Gators took the first matchup by 22 points between these two teams in Gainesville on Feb. 4.