Junior college guard Rasham Suarez to honor commitment to Southern Miss

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With the college coaching market being what it is today, with coaches making moves during the spring, recruits can find themselves faced with the question of where they’ll play their college basketball. While some may argue that when a National Letter of Intent is signed the player is committing to the school, the fact of the matter is that in many cases the player’s relationship with the coaching staff is the biggest reason why they’ve committed.

This was a dilemma point guard Rasham Suarez, who played at the College of Central Florida, was faced with when Donnie Tyndall made the move from Southern Miss to Tennessee. Would Suarez honor his commitment, thus deciding to play for new head coach Doc Sadler? Or would be look to move elsewhere with Tyndall no longer in Hattiesburg.

Saturday it was reported by Patrick McGee of the Biloxi (Miss.) Sun Herald that Suarez will be a Golden Eagle, and the decision is an important one for Sadler as he looks to build on the success experienced by Tyndall (and Larry Eustachy before him).

With guards Neil Watson and Jerrold Brooks out of eligibility Southern Miss will have to account for the loss of 20.4 points and 6.6 assists per game on the perimeter, with forwards Michael Craig and Daveon Boardingham out of eligibility as well. But with those perimeter losses, most especially the starting point guard in Watson, the addition of Suarez is an important one for Southern Miss.

Suarez averaged 14.9 points and 5.0 assists per game as a sophomore, and he finished the season with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.8. According to the Sun Herald Butler, Middle Tennessee and North Texas were considered by Suarez after he reopened his recruitment.

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.