Big 12 Morning Five: 11.23.11 EditionPosted by dnspewak on November 23rd, 2011
- The most stunning November development in the Big 12 so far is the play of Missouri, which simply demolished Notre Dame and California in the CBE Classic this week. ESPN’s Jason King had an instant analysis of last night’s 92-53 thumping of the 18th-ranked Bears, who figured to pose a real challenge to the Tigers with their size and discipline. Cal coach Mike Montgomery could only shake his head as MU embarrassed his players for 40 straight minutes. Even without much bulk in the frontcourt, Missouri’s speed looks overwhelming, and it is passing the ball as well as it ever has. Looks like coach Frank Haith is doing something right so far.
- MU’s archrival Kansas has also enjoyed a productive two days in the Maui Invitational. KU knocked off Georgetown and UCLA to qualify for the title game against Duke tonight, partly thanks to the play of Elijah Johnson, who had a career high 23 points in the win. Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson get a lot of the credit as the go-to players on this Jayhawks squad, but Johnson looks like a potential breakout candidate after his excellent performance. As Chad Ford mentions in the article above, maybe Johnson even has an NBA future as well.
- Now, let’s bring Missouri and Kansas together for a moment: this article in the Columbia Missourian applies to football, but it speaks to the overall state of the Border War rivalry right now. Even KU football players want to keep playing against MU, which begs the question: Why can’t they? We still have to think this will all get sorted out at some point. Right? It’s the Border War, after all. Somebody’s got to figure something out to keep it alive after Missouri joins the SEC.
- Moving away from the MU/KU topic, let’s now turn to Texas Tech, which is actually off to an undefeated start under new coach Billy Gillispie. One blog has a detailed analysis of the Red Raiders’ early-season play, although it’s very early to make comprehensive judgments. That’s especially true for a team as young as Gillispie’s. We’ll find out a little more about TTU in the Old Spice Classic during Thanksgiving weekend.
- Finally, in sad news, authorities are still trying to determine how the plane carrying two members of the Oklahoma State women’s basketball coaching staff crashed last week. It appears weather wasn’t an issue, so the cause of the crash is a complete mystery at this point. Officials are expected to release a preliminary report soon, so hopefully we’ll get our answers in the coming days. The main thing here is to figure out the cause so it never happens again. OSU has been through this sort of thing twice in the last decade now, and that’s two times too many for any school to have to handle.