Big 12 Morning Five: 11.08.11 EditionPosted by dnspewak on November 8th, 2011
- The pre-season Naismith Award list was released Monday by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club’s Board of Selectors, and it includes five Big 12 players: Perry Jones (Baylor), Quincy Miller (Baylor), Khris Middleton (Texas A&M), Marcus Denmon (Missouri), and Thomas Robinson (Kansas). All five are more than deserving to make the list, and they’ll all contend for Player of the Year honors in the Big 12, at the very least. The committee left off a couple of notable names, though. If Miller can get a vote, then why can’t Oklahoma State’s LeBryan Nash? In the end, of course, it’s all semantics. The list will be narrowed to the top 30 players in February.
- It looks as though the Big 12 will continue to confuse most Americans by remaining at 10 teams for the 2012-13 season. You’d think it would make a little more sense for a league called the Big 12 to have, you know, 12 teams, but OU president David Boren said Monday that no expansion will occur next season. However, here’s a curveball: After the 2012-13 season, Boren said the league may have an opportunity to return to 12 teams. The math would finally align, and the world would once again be normal. But does that mean that realignment apocalypse isn’t over yet? We may have to run through this same drill in two years.
- All anyone ever wants to talk about at Missouri is how much the move to the SEC will benefit the school financially. However, there could be some related money troubles on the horizon. According to the Associated Press, MU may need to pay $26 million in exit fees to leave the Big 12. Plus, upon joining the SEC, Missouri may be expected to upgrade its facilities and scholarships to stay competitive. Gov. Jay Nixon wouldn’t comment on the issue, but the state’s budget chairman said he hasn’t heard back from MU officials as to how they plan to pay for the move.
- Speaking of Missouri’s move… Kansas isn’t too happy about the potential death of the Border War. Just take a glance at some of the comments from the Kansas camp. Bill Self has said that KU has “absolutely no obligation whatsoever to play Missouri in basketball. None.” And football coach Turner Gill echoed that statement, saying he does not see the annual game on the gridiron in Kansas City continuing past this season. After a century of battles — both literally and figuratively, as it does of course date back to skirmishes during the Civil War — it’s hard to accept that Kansas may end the Border War just like that. Self also said “the majority of Kansas fans don’t give a flip about playing Missouri,” but we’re not so convinced that’s true, either. From both perspectives, the end of the rivalry would be a tragedy. Let’s hope clearer heads eventually prevail — college basketball is better when the Border War game continues.
- Sticking with Kansas here, ESPN.com’s Eamonn Brennan had a nice write-up about the importance of Jayhawk guard Tyshawn Taylor. It’s no secret he’s struggled with consistency during his time in Lawrence, but now it’s time for him to step up as the leader of this squad along with Thomas Robinson. Self has said that Taylor has “matured so much,” and that would be terrific news for a KU team looking to win its eighth straight Big 12 title. Without a fine performance from Taylor this season, Kansas cannot win. It’s as simple as that.