Brian Wardle

Report: Green Bay investigating behavior of head coach Brian Wardle

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One week after Rutgers head coach Mike Rice lost his job due to his verbal and physical abuse of players in practices, another Division I head coach is under investigation in regards to his treatment of a former player.

According to the Green Bay Press Gazette, Green Bay head coach Brian Wardle is being investigated for the alleged “verbal and emotional mistreatment” of a former player.

The accusations were made in a letter to the school from the parents of freshman center Ryan Bross, who has announced his intention to transfer to Concordia (Wis.) University at the end of the semester.

Four players have left the program since February, including guards Kam Cerroni and Sultan Muhammad. The investigation will focus solely on the allegations regarding Wardle’s treatment of Bross, but with the recent departures there will be questions as to whether or not this is a sign of a bigger issue within the program.

When asked whether the letter he received was an isolated incident or a sign of a larger problem, Harden said: “I think that’s what we’re going to determine with the investigation. I don’t want to make an assumption one way or the other. We don’t have widespread complaints or allegations. We have this allegation, the complaint that I got Tuesday night, which we do think we need to check out, and we’re going to do it really well.”

Led by guard Keifer Sykes (15.9 ppg, 4.3 apg) and center Alec Brown (14.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg) the Phoenix finished the 2012-13 season with an 18-16 record (10-6 Horizon League), losing to eventual champion Valparaiso in the semifinals of the Horizon League tournament.

Harden stated that the situation at Rutgers had no impact on the decision to investigate Wardle’s behavior. However it’s likely that what was seen in those practice videos will lead to more attention being paid to the behavior of coaches in the future.

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.