James Fraschilla2

Oklahoma freshman James Fraschilla, son of ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla, rocks the air guitar (VIDEO)

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One of the better trends sweeping the college basketball nation this season has been the growing number of reactionary sideline celebrations.

The trend got its start back in February 2012 when Seton Hall walk-on Peter Dill unveiled “The Hammer of Dill” to the entire word, and the game has never been the same since.

With Dill having graduated from Seton Hall, walk-ons across the country have taken torch from Dill and are doing what they can to provide their team with a much-needed spark off the bench, without even having to take off their warm-ups.

Last night during Oklahoma’s 73-67 win over Texas, Sooners’ walk-on guard James Fraschilla, the son of ESPN Analyst Fran Fraschilla, pulled out his invisible 6-string and went to town. Not too soon after, his fellow benchmates got in to the action.

source:
(Via The Big Lead)

But this was not the first time we’ve seen a member of the bench mob pull out an air guitar this season.

Rem Bakamus is a walk-on guard for the Gonzaga Bulldogs. While the freshman has played in just five games this season, he makes sure to do his part to provide energy from the bench. Back in December against Illinois, in a game the Bulldogs lost 85-74, Bakamus did just that, providing one of the best air guitars the college basketball world has ever seen.

source:
(Via Cosbys Sweaters)

But what really makes this even better is that there is a bond between Fraschilla and members of the Gonzaga program. Back in December, Fraschilla put together his second trick shot video benefiting the Hayden’s Hope foundation, a charity which raises money for children’s organ transplants. During the video, members of the Gonzaga program, including Bakamus, make a cameo.


(Go to 1:10 for the appearance)

So while most of us probably think that Fraschilla’s air guitar performance on Monday night was reactionary, based on the evidence, one must assume that it was pre-meditated. And that makes this so much better.

Walk-ons don’t get to think about the number of shots they are going to take, or if they are going to try a self-alley-oop pass off the backboard. So can we blame them for planning a creative celebration on the sidelines?

Absolutely not.

And I really hope Bakamus and Fraschilla continue their game of one-upsmanship.

UPDATE: I’ve been informed via twitter that the scientific term for this specific type of air guitar is called “The #3tar”. It looks like we can finally abandon the 3-goggles in favor of a shiny new 3tar.

You can reach out and contact Troy Machir on Twitter at @TroyMachir

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.