California v UNLV

Report: UNLV transfer Katin Reinhardt is headed to USC

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In a move that surprised exactly no one, former UNLV guard Katin Reinhardt has decided to transfer to USC. Reinhardt originally committed to the Trojans when he was in high school. The news was first reported by Hoopsworld earlier this week.

Reinhardt is a talented player, ranking among the top 50 recruits coming out of high school. He left UNLV last week in large part because he wanted to play the point, and UNLV wouldn’t guarantee him ball-handling responsibilities.

“Katin would have had an opportunity to compete for minutes at the point, but I’ve never guaranteed anyone that they will start or play a certain number of minutes,” UNLV head coach Dave Rice told the Las Vegas Review-Journal when Reinhardt’s transfer was announced.

The people in Reinhardt’s camp believe that his best chance to make it to the NBA is at the point guard spot, and that could very well be true. He’s 6-foot-5, but he’s not the kind of overwhelming athlete that you typically find at off-guard in the NBA. He can handle the ball and he has playmaking ability, the question is whether or not he is willing to be a point guard or simply a shoot-first scorer that has the ball in his hands.

If Reinhardt, who will become eligible in 2014-2015, is going to find success in Andy Enfield’s system as a point guard, he better be willing to pass the ball. As everyone saw with Florida-Gulf Coast’s run to the Sweet 16 last season, the engine that made Dunk City run was point guard Brett Comer and his ability to find his teammates in transition.

If Reinhardt accepts that role — if he models his game after someone like Jason Kidd — than he could end up being a great weapon for Enfield. But if he wants to be the next Jimmer, this may not end up being a match made in heaven.

Regardless, it appears that Reinhardt will be getting the opportunity that he wants — to be the point guard of a high-major program.

Good for him.

Now let’s see if he can prove that he deserves.

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.