Checking in on the… Big 12Posted by rtmsf on January 26th, 2009
Patrick Marshall of Bluejay Basketball is the RTC correspondent for the Big 12 and Missouri Valley Conferences.
Current Records and my standings (Conference Standings) (Last Week)
- Oklahoma (19-1)(5-0) (1)
- Texas (14-4) (3-1) (2)
- Kansas (15-4)(4-0) (4)
- Missouri (17-3) (4-1) (6)
- Baylor (15-4) (3-2) (3)
- Oklahoma St. (13-5) (2-2) (8)
- Texas A&M (15-5) (1-4) (5)
- Texas Tech (11-8) (1-3)(11)
- Nebraska (12-6) (2-3) (7)
- Iowa St. (12-7) (1-3) (9)
- Kansas St. (12-7) (1-4)(10)
- Colorado (8-10) (0-4) (12)
As expected, the top of the Big 12 was going to be dominant in conference play this season with a Missouri team really starting to look good. Baylor and Texas A&M have struggled as of late and they need to get things turned around quickly.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Oklahoma 72, Nebraska 61—This game had all the drama and the wakeup call needed for Oklahoma. Nebraska came out with a stifling defense to start the game and double and triple-teamed Blake Griffin and basically took him out of the game. The Huskers were up 6 at halftime and in the 2nd half, they were not able to play Griffin as well as they did in the first half. Griffin went 7-8 in the 2nd half from the field and Nebraska was not able to score for about 5 minutes down the stretch. By the time they were able to start scoring again, it was too late.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Blake Griffin, Oklahoma—Though I considered DeMarre Carroll (Missouri), Sherron Collins (Kansas) and Craig Brackens (Iowa St.), I have to go with Griffin as he continues to dominate the games he is in and averaged 23 points and almost 18 rebounds a game this week. He didn’t even play that much the 2nd half against Baylor. He is well on his way to Player of the Year.
TEAMS PLAYING WELL
Oklahoma (2-0 this week)—Oklahoma got everything they could handle from Nebraska and pulled out the win. Then they took out their frustrations on Baylor and received a scare with Blake Griffin as he injured his ankle right before halftime. Oklahoma has now won 29 straight against Baylor.
Missouri (2-0 this week)—Missouri is on fire and a scoring explosion winning 4 straight after opening the conference season with a loss at Nebraska. They scored 107 against Colorado and almost 100 points against Oklahoma St. and Texas Tech. The leadership is there and the full court press is suffocating.
Kansas (2-0 this week)—Kansas is on track in conference play, winning two more this week to remain undefeated in the conference. Sherron Collins joined the 1000 point club, and Nebraska and Colorado are on the slate this week.
Texas (1-0 this week)—Texas had an easy week playing only once. This team is still a little questionable as to how they are going to hold up, but Damion James and a full court press will be vital for continued success.
TEAMS UP AND DOWN
Baylor (1-1 this week)— Baylor has been one of those teams that you wonder which way they are going to go. After winning big against Kansas St., they went to Norman and midway through the first half, just decided not to play anymore and then got destroyed by Oklahoma. It didn’t help that Oklahoma shot 66% in the first half. Baylor guard Curtis Jerrells collected six assists to become the second player in school history to record 1,000 points, 400 assists and 100 steals in his career.
Oklahoma St. (1-1 this week)—The Cowboys came within a whisker of going 0-2 this week, winning in overtime against Nebraska. This will be tough week for Oklahoma St., as they play Oklahoma on Big Monday and Texas A&M this weekend. Their defense needs to be better in order for them to win games.
Kansas St. (1-1 this week)—Kansas St. won as expected (though it took overtime) against Colorado, but don’t be surprised if the Wildcats get that win only and start the conference season 1-6. Missouri and Texas are on the horizon and the bad non-conference schedule for K-State is catching up to them.
Texas Tech (1-1 this week)— Texas Tech is not a good team right now. They are inconsistent and will need to beat more than teams like Colorado to have a chance. Performances against A&M and Nebraska are probably their only chances to win the rest of the conference season. Lessons in program building continue.
Nebraska (0-2 this week)—This has to be a frustrating week for Doc Sadler. First, Nebraska gave Oklahoma all they could handle and led most of the way against the Sooners. But then a five minute scoring drought did the Huskers in and they lost in the final minutes. Then on Saturday, they led Oklahoma St. most of the game, but at the end they again let Oklahoma St. send the game into overtime. Once again it was tough for the Huskers to score in the final minutes of the game and they let another one slip away. The rest of the schedule will be a test for the Huskers.
Texas A&M (0-2 this week)—A&M is struggling after a nice non-conference season. Unfortunately for them, they play in the Big 12 South, so the schedule is not going to be favorable to them. They have to get things together now or they will totally miss the post season. Texas Tech and Oklahoma St. are winnable games. Missed free throws and offensive rebounds are what kept A&M from winning against Texas.
Iowa St. (0-1 this week)—Iowa St. has offense problems that will haunt them for the rest of the season. However, Craig Brackens seems to be OK with offense as he scored 42 against Kansas.
Colorado (0-2 this week) – Colorado has lost 7 of 8, but have an opportunity against Iowa St. to win one more game. They will have a few surprising wins down the stretch, but we probably won’t hear again about the Buffaloes. Desperation is obvious.
WEEK AHEAD AND GAMES TO WATCH
- 1/26, Big Monday–Oklahoma @ Oklahoma St. (ESPN)—These two teams always provide an entertaining game and a nice one to kick off the week.
- 1/27, Texas @ Baylor—Two Texas schools, but Baylor has a lot to prove here.
- 1/28, Kansas @ Nebraska—With Kansas winning by an average score of 82-53 in the last 7 regular season meetings, this one should be entertaining, or will they give Kansas a scare?
- 1/31, Baylor @ Missouri—Both teams going different directions. Missouri is on fire right now and entertaining to watch. Baylor’s scoring has been down in conference play and their defense is a weakness.