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The Morning Mix

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It’s game day folks. We’ve been sitting and waiting all week for some real basketball (Sorry N.I.T.) and it’s finally here. But before the games tip-off we got some pressing news and notes we need to discuss.

Let’s hit the links.

 
 
Read of the Day:
More questionable NCAA behavior has been unearth regarding the Nevin Shaprio case. It’s rather quite remarkable how poorly the NCAA has handled the entire investigation. (Miami Herald)

Deadspin dives into the issue of race with Marshall Henderson. I’ve been waiting for an article like this to written. Enjoy. (Deadspin)
 
 
Observations & Insight:
– A trip to Washington, D.C. has special meaning for Miami head coach Jim Larranaga, who coached at nearby George Mason and took the Colonials to the Final Four in the same exact building as tonight’s regional semifinal. (Sporting News)

– Thad Matta and Sean Miller are close friends. They’ve been on the same coaching staff together. But on Thursday night, they will compete against each other when Matta’s Buckeyes take on Miller’s Wildcats. (New York Times)

– A relentless defensive effort is one of the hallmarks of a Ric Pitino-coached team. There is one statistic that coach Pitino uses to measure defensive effort, and he has carried it with him from each of his many coaching stops. (Yahoo Sports)
 
 
Hoops Housekeeping:
– Shaka Smart turned down the UCLA job and will reportedly sign a contract extension with VCU. (The Dagger)

– Ken Bone has been retained as Washington State’s head coach for at least one more season. (All Coug’d Up)

– Texas sophomore Sheldon McClellan has announced his intentions to transfer out of Austin. (ESPN)

– It looks like sophomore guard Chase Fischer is transferring out of Wake Forest. He would become the ninth player to transfer of be dismissed from the program since Jeff Bzdelik took over in 2010. (Blogger So Dear)

– Dwayne Morgan, a top-50 recruit in the class of 2014, committed to UNLV yesterday. (Baltimore Sun)

– Keith Frazier, a McDonald’s All-American guard out of Dallas, alerted Texas Tech officials about his desire to play for the Red Raiders. He i set to make his announcement today at 4 p.m. EST. (RedRaiders.com)

– Robert Morris is willing to do anything to keep current head coach Andy Toole. The Colonials made headlines last week when they beat Kentucky in the first round of the N.I.T. (Times Online)
 
 
Odds & Ends
– Getting to know a mascot: Wichita State’s WuShock. (New York Times)

– I swear this happens every time Wichita State makes the tournament: Current WWE wrestler “The Big Show” played for center for the Shockers back in the early ninties. (Fox Sports)

– Watch Syracuse’s Russ DeRemer eat four bananas in one minute. (Washington Post)

– Butler’s Blue II is officially retiring as school mascot at the end of the school year. But before Blue III takes over, the elder bulldog fills us in on what he’s learned. (Blue II Blog)
 
 
Picture of the Day:
This is by far the best use for Peeps I’ve ever seen. (h/t @PeepsBracket)

source:

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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.