Checking in on the… Big 12Posted by rtmsf on December 23rd, 2008
Patrick Marshall of Bluejay Basketball is the RTC correspondent for the Missouri Valley and Big 12 Conferences.
Current Records and my standings (Last Week):
- Oklahoma (11-0) (1)
- Baylor (9-1) (3)
- Texas A&M (10-1) (5)
- Texas (8-2) (2)
- Missouri (9-1) (4)
- Kansas (8-2) (6)
- Texas Tech (8-3) (7)
- Kansas St. (8-3) (8)
- Oklahoma St. (8-3) (11)
- Nebraska (7-2) (9)
- Iowa St. (7-3) (10)
- Colorado (5-3) (12)
Most teams only played one game this week. The holidays are a little slow for the Big 12 teams. However what is starting to show is that this conference is wide open and it will be a battle once conference play starts. Oklahoma looks a little above the rest, but not much.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Texas A&M (3-0 this week)—Texas A&M is starting to make me a believer, winning 3 more games this week to move to 10-1. With some solid wins now over Arizona, Alabama, and an undefeated LSU team, this team is building itself quite a resume. Things are definitely going their way as they almost got themselves in a position to lose the LSU game, but a controversial call late in the game led to an LSU technical and A&M sealed the win. They should get a win over Sam Houston St. this week.
TEAMS DOING WELL THIS WEEK
Oklahoma (1-0 this week)—Oklahoma dispensed of a pesky VCU team in Oklahoma City Saturday night. Tony Crocker had a breakout game for the Sooners, leading the team with 26 points and 5 rebounds including 5-6 from three. It had to be a little awkward for head coach Jeff Capel to already be playing against his former team. However, former VCU Athletic Director Richard Sander knew Capel would be a hot coach some day, so he had it built into Capel’s contract at VCU that if Capel left for another school, that team had to agree to play a home-and-home series with Virginia Commonwealth. More schools should do that. It would definitely help the smaller schools with scheduling.
Baylor (1-0 this week)—Baylor had to come from behind to knock off Texas-Arlington this week. Curtis Jerrells carried the Bears on his shoulders with 29 points including 16-17 from the free throw line, dished 7 assists and had 7 rebounds. He went to the line himself more than the whole Texas-Arlington team (11-13 FT). Baylor shot 32 free throws. Baylor hosts Hartford this week.
Missouri (1-0 this week)—The Tigers had an easy time with Stetson (after they woke up after halftime) as they prepare for the Busch Braggin’ Rights game against Illinois Tuesday night. Stetson was held to only 27% shooting which won’t keep you in many games.
Kansas St. (1-0 this week)— The Big 12 continues to punch around Centenary (they play Baylor, K-State, Texas Tech and Missouri this season) in the Wildcats’ only game of the week. Darren Kent had a breakout game in this one going for 24/10. Kansas St. gets to go home for the holidays as their next game is not until December 30th. Kansas St. has had 7 different players be the leading scorer in their 11 games played this season and 5 players with more than 20 points.
Colorado (1-0 this week)— 40% of Colorado’s wins have come against the SWAC this season including Prairie View A&M this week. They host Louisiana-Monroe before heading to Hawaii to compete in the Rainbow Classic (Coppin St., Buffalo, Pepperdine, Colorado St., George Washington, Hawaii, Vermont make up the field). They still have that tournament? I haven’t seen big names in that tourney for years now. Jeff Bzdelik doesn’t want the team to look too forward to Hawaii, but really this is what this team will really have to enjoy all season.
Oklahoma St. (2-0 this week)— The Cowboys rebounded this week to knock off an upset minded Mercer and held off Jimmy Baron and Rhode Island in Oklahoma City. In the Mercer win, Okie St. had 6 players in double figures. Travis Ford just can’t gush enough about James Anderson.
Kansas (1-0 this week)—After getting embarrassed against an A-10 team last week, Kansas rebounded to knock off another hot A-10 team in Temple. Dionte Christmas had another great game for Temple, but Kansas had enough in the tank to pull away from Temple. Kansas is still without the services of last year’s JUCO player of the year, Mario Little, for another few weeks after breaking a bone in his hand. He may end up redshirting. Bill Self is really hoping to find players he can trust as he is not the happiest with his freshman right now. In the UMass game last week, the freshman were sitting the bench for most of the second half. Kansas heads to Tucson this week to tangle with Arizona.
Iowa St. (1-0 this week)—Iowa St. does just enough to beat Jacksonville St. this week. Coach Greg McDermott apologized publically for calling Craig Brackins out for not being tough. Whether it was deserved or not, it must have been a wake-up call. Brackins had a huge game this week getting 28 points and 17 rebounds in the win. The sophomore is becoming a constant force for the Cyclones. South Dakota St. and Houston are next on the agenda.
Nebraska (1-0 this week)—Nebraska was actually losing at halftime against IPFW by 5 points, but then outscored IPFW 46-14 in the second half to get a big win. Giving up 34 points in a half is too much according to Doc Sadler.
TEAMS THAT ARE STRUGGLING THIS WEEK
Texas (0-1 this week)—Texas lost against Michigan St. in what was a great game to watch. It was back and forth all game but in the end, the Longhorns lost another neutral site game even though it was in Texas and considered a home game. Michigan St. held AJ Abrams to 3-10 shooting and did not hit a three pointer which he had done in 16 straight games. Texas may want to re-think their strategy of playing neutral court games as they have lost 11 of their last 16 neutral site games against top-25 teams. AJ Abrams and Damion James were among the top 50 players to watch for the Naismith Award this season.
Texas Tech (1-1 this week)— Tech went down to El Paso and got pounded and then came back home and just had enough to beat New Mexico. What makes the win against New Mexico interesting is that Bob and Pat Knight asked New Mexico coach to talk to Texas Tech player Alan Voskuil. That guy ended up having the hot hand in that game. This will end up being the beginning of the unraveling of this Red Raider team heading into conference season. Centenary and a trip to Stanford will be a sign on how this team will handle the rest of the season.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Oklahoma St. 86, Rhode Island 82—Oklahoma St. gets a little love this week as James Anderson and Byron Eaton basically took over this game. Anderson had a career high 33 points and Eaton scored all 22 of his points in the second half. After not scoring in last year’s All-College Classic, he made up for that quite well.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
James Anderson, Oklahoma St.—The sophomore had a huge week in the two wins by Oklahoma St. He averaged 27 points and almost 8 rebounds in the two games. He is was also 11-15 from three. For the season he is shooting 49% from three and becoming a constant force for the Cowboys.
WEEK AHEAD AND GAMES TO WATCH
- 12/23—Kansas @ Arizona (FSN)
- 12/23—Missouri vs. Illinois in St. Louis (ESPN2)
- 12/23—Texas @ Wisconsin (ESPN2)
- 12/28—Texas Tech @ Stanford (FSN)