Jim Boeheim

Pregame Shootaround 12.17.12: Boeheim’s 900th, Birch/Brown back

Leave a comment

Game of the Day: 8:00 p.m.: No. 21 UNLV at UTEP (CBS College Sports)

The big news of this game isn’t necessarily the game itself; it’s about the changeover in the UNLV roster. This marks the Rebels’ first game against a Division I opponent that will come with Mike Moser laid up with his dislocated elbow and with Khem Birch back in the lineup. When Moser suffered the injury, one of the things that we speculated about was whether this could end up being a blessing in disguise for UNLV. Anthony Bennett has proven that not only does he play a similar position to Moser, but he may actually be better at the role than Moser is. If Birch ends up living up to his potential, that would mean Moser would be forced to play the three. He’s not a natural three. He’s only going to be out a month, so it will be quite interesting to see where UNLV goes from here.

Who’s Getting Upset?: Northwestern (8:00 p.m., Big Ten)

The Wildcats announced over the weekend that Drew Crawford, their leading scorer, would miss the rest of the season after he elected to undergo surgery on his shoulder. Crawford was the team’s second-leading scorer, but saw his production drop from last season as he’s been battling the torn labrum. How will the Wildcats respond? Texas State has a couple of good front court players and should matchup well inside.

Mid-Major Matchup of the Day: 10:00 p.m.: Cal Poly at Santa Clara

Cal Poly has just two Division I wins this season, but one of those wins happens to be against UCLA. They’ve also been competitive in road games against TCU, St. Mary’s and Nevada. Santa Clara is sneaky good this year, as they have one of the most underrated 1-2-3 punches this season in Kevin Foster, Marc Trasolini and Evan Roquemore.

Five Things to Watch

1. UConn will be playing their first game (UMES at 7:00 p.m., ESPN3) since the massacre in Newtown on Friday. Newtown is an hour and change from Storrs.

2. Detroit takes on Syracuse at 7:00 p.m. (ESPNU), which should make for an exciting game as the Titans are one of the favorites in the Horizon League this year. If Syracuse does win, it will be Jim Boeheim’s 900th victory.

3. UNLV isn’t the only team getting a player eligible tonight. No. 12 Missouri will have Jabari Brown eligible for the first time this season as they take on South Carolina State tonight at 8:00 p.m. (ESPN3).

4. Georgia Tech has been better than some people expected this season, and they’ll be getting a perimeter boost tonight as Solomon Poole will be eligible to play for the first time tonight against Alabama State at 7:00 p.m. (ESPN3).

5. Torrey Craig of USC-Upstate is one of the best mid-major players in the country, averaging 19.5 points this season. He’ll get a chance to showcase his skills against one of the best frontlines in the country tonight as USCU will take on Baylor at 8:00 p.m.

Rest of the Top 25

7:00 p.m.: IPFW at No. 22 Notre Dame (ESPN3)

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

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)
Leave a comment

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)
Leave a comment

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.