Checking in on the… Big 12Posted by rtmsf on December 16th, 2008
Patrick Marshall of Bluejay Basketball is the RTC correspondent for the Big 12 and Missouri Valley Conferences.
Current Records and my standings (Last Week)
- Oklahoma (10-0) (1)
- Texas (8-1) (3)
- Baylor (8-1) (2)
- Missouri (8-1) (5)
- Texas A&M (7-1) (7)
- Kansas (7-2) (4)
- Texas Tech (7-2) (6)
- Kansas St. (7-3) (9)
- Nebraska (6-2) (8)
- Iowa St. (6-3) (10)
- Oklahoma St. (6-3) (11)
- Colorado (4-3) (12)
This has been a slow week for the Big 12. Finals are upon us, so just a few games and updates this week.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Texas (2-0 this week)—Texas had the big win of the week, taking out Villanova in the Jimmy V. Classic in New York. One thing coach Rick Barnes has learned about playing in the New York area is not to play Duke there. The Longhorns have lost three times to the Blue Devils by an average of 28.3 points, twice in New York, once in East Rutherford. AJ Abrams continues to carry Texas as he scored 26 against ‘Nova and 30 against Texas St. Two more games this upcoming week with another challenge for this team as they take on Michigan St. in Houston.
TEAMS DOING WELL
Oklahoma (2-0 this week)—Blake Griffin was a human highlight reel this week against Maine. The Sooners have been rolling so far this season. Teams are starting to focus on Blake Griffin, like Utah did this week. They held him to no field goals and got him into foul trouble. They will be playing VCU next Saturday in Oklahoma City in the All-College Classic.
Baylor (1-0 this week)— Baylor started a string of several cupcake games to end the 2008 calendar year. They hosted SWAC favorite Prairie View A&M. However Baylor took a while to knock them off as they missed 13 of their first 16 shots. The Bears continue play with Texas-Arlington and Hartford this week. Look for some scoring by Baylor this week.
Missouri (1-0 this week)—Missouri stopped a pesky Murray St. team this weekend. Similar to other Big 12 teams this week, they came out flat and had to fight to win this game. A light week as they host Stetson next weekend.
Kansas St. (2-0 this week)—The Wildcats hosted their annual contest in Kansas City against Southern Miss with a win and then back at Bramledge for Gardner-Webb. The inside game is finally starting to produce for K-State. Kansas St. also hosts cupcake city for the rest of 2008. First up is Centenary.
Texas A&M (1-0 this week)—Texas A&M continues to raise eyebrows and again show the futility of the SEC by defeating Alabama in OT this weekend. They were a little nervous about this game, but pulled it out. Florida A&M and SMU come to town before a game against LSU in Houston.
Colorado (1-0 this week)—Who would have thought Colorado would have made it into this category, but as it was a rivalry game against Colorado St. and they came out with a win, it is deserved for this week. They have been able to get around some injuries that were feared to be worse. Maybe they will get a couple more wins when Prairie View A&M and Louisiana-Monroe visit Boulder this week.
Oklahoma St. (1-0 this week)—The Cowboys ended their 5 game road trip (including the Old Spice Classic in Orlando) with a win against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. I’m trying to remember when a Large Conference team actually played this many games in a row on the road. But the big news of the week for Okie St. is that starter Ibrahima Thomas was kicked off the team. It is now Center by Committee for Oklahoma St. Anyway, after almost a month away from the Gallagher-Iba Arena, Oklahoma St. will host Mercer before heading to Oklahoma City to join Oklahoma in the All-College Classic.
TEAMS THAT ARE STRUGGLING
Kansas (0-1 this week)—Kansas let UMass stick around and ended up beating the Jayhawks at the Sprint Center in Kansas City in a squeaker, 61-60. Maybe Kansas might not want to play at the Sprint Center anymore since they lost this one and the game a couple weeks ago in the CBE Classic final against Syracuse. Oh wait, if Jayhawks make the Big Dance this year, it may be likely they will be playing in the Sprint Center. If that happens, I don’t know if I would suggest to put your money on Kansas. There are high expectations for Sherron Collins to be a leader and some feel he hasn’t taken this team on his shoulders yet. The A-10 is still on the schedule as Temple comes to town next week
Nebraska (0-1 this week)—The Huskers lost to a second Pac-10 team in a week’s time and have exhausted their opportunities to have a decent non-conference showing. Nebraska had a chance to win on a last possession shot, but it just missed. This Oregon St. team should have been beaten. It was Oregon State’s first home win since December 19th of last year and the first against a non-conference home opponent since February of 2007. IPFW will bring a whole 3000 fans out to the Devaney Center next weekend.
Texas Tech (0-1 this week)—Texas Tech loses in their first true road test at Lamar. Lamar? This team is up and down. It is now time for them to focus on defense. It is about time. After giving up 116 points against that D2 team earlier in the year (and the Red Raiders scored 165), I had a feeling their defense was suspect. They continue on the road this next week at UTEP before hosting New Mexico.
Iowa St.(0-2 this week)—This team looked to be on the right track to become a rising team, but then reality hit and they lost to in-state rivals Iowa and Drake. The Cyclones let Drake back into the game and could not avoid losing. Greg McDermott is getting a little frustrated with the discipline of this team. A fun finals week and then Jacksonville St.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Texas A&M 86, Alabama 78 (OT)—A&M is riding on a pretty good high right now after defeating Arizona and now Alabama within a week. Alabama led 70-67 until the Aggies hit two 3-pointers in the final 17 seconds to send the game into overtime. Nathan Walkup hit a 3-pointer with 17 seconds left to make the score 72-70, but Mikhail Torrance hit a free throw to push the Alabama lead back to three. B.J. Holmes hit a 3-pointer with one second left in regulation, setting up a 13-5 overtime advantage for the Aggies. I questioned this team to start the season, but they are really starting to prove me wrong.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
AJ Abrams, Texas—Abrams again is player of the week after carrying Texas in their two wins this week. He has been the key cog in the success of this team and teams appear to forget to guard him.
WEEK AHEAD AND GAMES TO WATCH
A very light week with finals for several schools with not any real tough matchups. So really the only “Big Games” are this:
- 12/20, Texas vs. Michigan St. and Texas A&M vs. LSU in Houston (Texas game on CBS)—A neutral site doubleheader
- 12/20, Oklahoma vs. VCU in Oklahoma City (ESPN2)
- 12/20, Oklahoma St. vs. Rhode Island in Oklahoma City (ESPN Classic)