Mark Turgeon

Maryland’s at-large chances take a hit with a loss at BC

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Oh, Maryland.

Barely 72 hours after thrusting themselves into the midst of the bubble conversation with a win over then-No. 2 Duke at the Comcast Center on Saturday, the Terps made the trip up to Boston College to take on the Eagles in Conte Forum.

And, well, things didn’t quite go as planned.

The Terps blew a 33-26 halftime lead, getting outscored 43-25 in the final 20 minutes as they lost 69-58 to BC, one of the ACC’s bottom-feeders. Alex Len had just four points on 1-5 shooting. Seth Allen finished with four points on 2-8 shooting, with two turnovers and no assists. Dez Wells was 4-12 from the floor. Nick Faust was 1-5 from the field.

In fact, if you take away the 26 points that Logan Aronhalt scored, the Terps were 12-43 from the floor and 3-15 from three, managing all of 32 points. That’s not good, but it’s par for the course for one of the nation’s most consistently inconsistent teams. That’s just who Maryland is this season.

Tuesday wasn’t a letdown game. It wasn’t simply Maryland being unable to win on the road. It was more than just one isolated, poor performance.

The Terps are young. Their most talented player, Len, has a tendency to disappear. They don’t have a true point guard, which makes it that much easier for Len to fade into the background while Maryland’s guards fire away from the perimeter.

Perhaps more importantly, Maryland now looks like they’re back to being an NIT team. This loss doesn’t nullify the win over Duke, but it makes it seem all that much more fluky and takes a bit of luster off of the profile of a team that looked like they had a chance to make a run. Thanks to one of the most horrific non-conference schedules we’ve ever seen, this loss will make it tough for the Terps to avoid needed the automatic bid from the ACC to reach the Big Dance.

It’s certainly still possible to get an at-large bid, but are you going to put your faith in a team that hasn’t been able to string together three straight wins since they were playing the likes of IUPUI and Delaware State?

You can find Rob 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)
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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.