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The Secondary Break: Wednesday’s Links

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Not easy for Grinnell gunner to score 100-plus, until his coach makes it so (CBS Sports)
It’s safe to say that the offensive exploits of one Jack Taylor have been quite controversial. While he does have two games of 100-plus points to his credit, there are the issues that many have not only with Grinnell’s system but also the caliber of teams these records are being set against.

Rutgers’ Jerome Seagears a driving force (Bergen Record)
Given the tumultuous offseason that the Rutgers basketball program (and athletic department in general) experienced, it’s obvious that stable leadership will be critical as the team looks to adjust to life under Eddie Jordan. One of the players expected to lead the way is junior guard Jerome Seagears, who originally made the decision to transfer to Auburn.

Buffaloes get bloody to prepare for breakout season (Sports Illustrated)
Adjusting to a new environment can be difficult for college basketball players, especially when that environment includes playing more than a mile above sea level. Thanks to some research done by doctors at Anschutz Medical in Denver, regarding blood analysis and athletic performance, the Colorado athletic department was able to observe the impact that altitude has on its players. And in the case of two unnamed basketball players, that research proved to be vitally important.

Xavier, Mack may have perfect marriage (Fox Sports)
The Xavier Musketeers are playing their first season in the Big East, and in Chris Mack the program has a head coach more than capable of leading them in the new league. Mack’s built his program on relationships and a love for basketball. Simply put, if a recruit doesn’t love the game it’s highly unlikely that he’ll be a Musketeer.

ACC not close to backing up Swofford’s “strongest” boast (Sporting News)
With Maryland and North Carolina falling on Sunday, more than a few people began to question whether or not the ACC would be as good as expected. But despite a less than optimal week it’s still November, meaning that the conference has plenty of time to pick up quality non-conference victories.

Xavier, Cincinnati to find home for hoops rivalry (Associated Press)
With the second of two neutral-site meetings on the horizon, the powers that be at Cincinnati and Xavier are in the process of figuring out where future contests will be played. While Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin liked the atmosphere that last year’s neutral-site contest provided, Xavier’s Chris Mack would like to see the game move back to the respective campuses at some point.

Donahue has been educated by fans about BC/UConn rivalry (New London Day)
On Thursday evening Boston College and UConn will meet for the first time since 2005, which happened to be the Eagles’ final season as a member of the ACC. With that being the case there’s been more talk about the shared history, and BC fans have helped head coach Steve Donahue understand what the game means.

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.