California point guard Tyrone Wallace suffered a broken right hand during a non-contract drill after his hand got caught in a teammate’s shirt, leaving the Golden Bears without their senior leader for the rest of the season.
California Coach Cuonzo Martin said Thursday that Sam Singer will start Friday with Martin out when the 23rd-ranked Bears face Hawaii in their NCAA tournament opener at Spokane, Wash. But it won’t be Singer’s responsibility to make up for Wallace and his 15.3 points a game. Martin said much of that scoring load will need to fall to Ivan Rabb and Jaylen Brown.
“I don’t know if demand is the right word, we need to be more assertive and get [Rabb] the ball. He needs to have a better presence of wanting the basketball,” Martin said. “Same way with Jaylen. He hasn’t shot the ball well, but we need him to be aggressive at all times because he puts so much pressure on the defense.”
Wallace broke a bone in his hand Wednesday and is expected to miss three to five weeks. Wallace broke a different bone in the same hand earlier this season, causing the senior to miss five games and Singer stepped in as the starter during that stretch. Wallace was coming off one of his best games of the season when he scored 26 points in a loss to Utah in the Pac-12 semifinals last week.
“I think we’re a deep team, relatively experienced team with the juniors we have, so I think we’ll be able to pick up what Tyrone left,” Cal’s Jordan Matthews said. “It’s unfortunate, we’ll miss him a lot, but we have to win this ball game.”
Martin also said Thursday he’s focused on the NCAA tournament and he did not want to address a school review of how he handled allegations that led to the dismissal of assistant coach Yann Hufnagel.
The university announced Wednesday that it was reviewing whether Martin properly handled sexual harassment allegations made by a female reporter against Hufnagel. Athletic Director Mike Williams said the review is “to dispel any doubts” about Martin’s role. Martin said he didn’t “want to deal with that right now” on the cusp of the Golden Bears’ opening game.
“That’s a university issue and the most important thing for me is our basketball team playing the NCAA tournament,” Martin said. “We’ll deal with that at the appropriate time.”
Wisconsin Milwaukee fires coach
The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee is parting ways with Coach Rob Jeter. Athletic Director Amanda Braun said a change in leadership was needed to consistently be a top program in the Horizon League.
Jeter has been the Panthers’ coach for 11 seasons, compiling a 185-170 overall record, including 20-13 this season. He has one year left on his contract.
Braun says the search process will begin for a new head coach who has “a proven record of continued success.” Green Bay knocked Milwaukee out of the Horizon League tournament in the second round last week.
South Carolina freshman basketball player Eric Cobb was charged with assault Thursday for shooting a BB pellet gun at an occupied car. He and teammate Jamall Gregory also were charged for property damage in connection with the shootings. Police said no one was injured. All the charges are misdemeanors. ... Illinois basketball player Kendrick Nunn has been jailed on suspicion of domestic battery in Champaign, Ill. Police spokeswoman LaEisha Meaderds said Nunn turned himself in late Thursday. Nunn was accused of striking a woman during a domestic dispute Wednesday afternoon at a home near campus. Meaderds said the woman’s injury was minor. Nunn is due in court Friday.