Wayne Tinkle

Montana announces addition of guard Daniel Nwosu

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With Kareem Jamar out of eligibility and Keron DeShields deciding to transfer, Montana entered the offseason in need of bodies on the perimeter. Sunday afternoon the school made official the addition of 6-foot-3 guard Daniel Nwosu, who played his freshman season at Casper College in Wyoming. Since he played just one season of basketball at Casper, Nwosu will have three seasons of eligibility remaining.

This past season Nwosu, a native of Ottawa, Ontario, averaged 13.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. He put together solid shooting percentages, making 45.2% of his shots from the field, 43.7% of his three-pointers and 84.0% of his free throws. Nwosu scored at least 20 points in six games, including a 24-point outing in a loss to Western Nebraska CC in late-January.

“Daniel is a very physical guard who plays extremely hard on the defensive end and can shoot it,” Montana head coach Wayne Tinkle said in the release. “We feel like his intensity on the defensive end and his ability to make shots is really going to help us. Plus he’s a great character guy, and we need that moving forward.”

Montana shot the ball well last season, ranking second in the Big Sky in field goal percentage and third in three-point percentage. Bu that occurred with Jamar, a three-time All-Big Sky selection, leading the way. Now that he’s gone others will be asked to step up, most notably rising senior guard Jordan Gregory (13.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg).

Nwosu will be asked to contribute as well, and he becomes the program’s fourth newcomer with guard Jermaine Edmonds Jr., power forward Fabijan Krslovic and center Bryden Boehning being the others. Montana will also have forward Martin Bruenig, who is eligible after sitting out the 2013-14 season following his transfer in from Washington.

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.