martelli

Rutgers assistant coach Jimmy Martelli resigns

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Rutgers head coach Mike Rice wasn’t the only member of the coaching staff to leave the program on Wednesday.

According to multiple reports assistant coach Jimmy Martelli resigned, leaving interim head coach David Cox and assistant Van Macon as the only members of the coaching staff at present time.

While clips of his behavior in practices weren’t aired by the ESPN program Outside the Lines, Martelli was videotaped shoving an unidentified player during a practice on two occasions.

Athletic director Tim Pernetti, who has come under fire for his handling of the situation, stated earlier this week that Martelli’s behavior was addressed according to the Newark Star-Ledger.

“Jimmy was spoken to about the matter,” Pernetti said earlier this week. “We dealt with that. Certainly the tape focused on Mike, but it brought some other things to light that we dealt with at the same time that we dealt with Mike.”

Martelli, son of Saint Joseph’s head coach Phil Martelli, was a member of Rice’s staff at Robert Morris for three seasons before making the move to Rutgers when Rice was hired in 2010.

According to Outside the Lines Martelli was known as “Baby Rice” within the program due to his similarities to the head coach.

Tyree Graham, a player who was on the Rutgers team for two years, told “Outside the Lines” on Thursday that he, too, heard Martelli called “Baby Rice.” “He used to belittle players by the way he talked,” Graham said, adding that Martelli called players “b—–s,” and “pu–ies.”

Graham also said Martelli and Rice were “best friends. But Rice would yell at Martelli in practice as well.”

Martelli issued the following statement to MyCentralJersey.com on Thursday:

“I am sickened that as an assistant coach I contributed in any way to an unacceptable culture. Wednesday I resigned from Rutgers and I hope that coaches on all levels will learn something important from these events. For my actions, I am deeply sorry and I apologize to the players from the bottom of my heart.”

A number of names have been tossed around in regards to who Rutgers will pursue to take over the basketball program, including Rhode Island head coach Dan Hurley and Ohio State assistant Chris Jent.

Photo credit: Rutgers Athletics

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

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.