Fred Hoiberg

Excessive phone calls becoming a headache for Iowa State

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Two former men’s basketball staff members are at the heart of an investigation into the men’s basketball program that could cause a headache for new head coach Fred Hoiberg.

What happened was that Hoiberg walked into an AAU tournament to watch his son play and saw former graduate assistant Keith “Lefty” Moore in the stands. Moore wasn’t allowed to be at the game, as he was essentially recruiting, and when Hoiberg reported the violation, Moore was fired.

But it also opened up an investigation into Iowa State’s recruiting practices, and that created more of a problem.

From the Ames Tribune:

The ISU investigation found Moore to have made 160 impermissible text messages and 12 impermissible phone calls to five prospects he had coached at All Iowa Attack.

Moore isn’t the only one that could be in trouble, however. The staff, in total, made 158 impermissible phone calls, although 118 of them were simply the result of improper logging of phone contacts:

Twenty-one of the remaining “culpable calls” were made by [Daniyal] Robinson after he had already “made permissible call(s) to a prospect during the legislated time period,” the report said.

Members of the current staff were found to have committed nine “true” violations — calls that occurred at an improper time, after another coach had called, or after a previous call had been made during a legislated time period.

Hoiberg had three such calls, associate head coach T.J. Otzelberger five, and former associate director of basketball operations and current assistant Matt Abdelmassih one.

[Greg] McDermott, now the head coach at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., was found to have made four “true” violation calls.

Here’s the irony: none of these violations are still violations. While there are folks fighting the rule changes, as of right now, there is no limit to the number of phone calls that a coaching staff can make to recruits.

Robinson is currently an assistant coach at Notre Dame and McDermott is now the head coach at Creighton. The Cyclones have already self-imposed some sanctions, and they are hoping that the NCAA will leave it at that.

We’ll have to wait and see what the next step is.

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.