Big 12 Alley-Oops and Airballs: Week TwoPosted by cwilliams on November 24th, 2011
- Missouri Tigers: The Tigers are clicking on all cylinders after two easy victories over Notre Dame and 18th-ranked Cal, en route to the CBE Classic Championship. The team is playing as a cohesive unit, and while Marcus Denmon has settled in nicely in his role as the star of the team, Missouri has seven players who can go off at any time. Yes, this team will still have frontcourt issues, but as this juncture, Mizzou appears to be the Big 12 favorite.
- The Border War: This weekend, Missouri and Kansas will face off in football for the 120th time. This is an especially meaningful game, because, due to Missouri’s departure to the SEC, the rivalry might be at its end. Unfortunately, neither team is extraordinary this season. The Tigers are 6-5, and KU is 2-9. Fear not, Border War fans, because so far this season, Kansas and Missouri appear to be the best teams in Big 12 basketball. Missouri is off to a surprising 5-0 start, while Kansas, even at 3-2, has the look of a team that will once again be very good. Think the KU-Missouri hate will be high this weekend? Wait until February 4, when the talented teams go head-to-head in Columbia surrounded by the ESPN College Gameday crew.
- New Coaches: Sure, it’s early, but the Big 12’s new coaches, Frank Haith of Missouri, Billy Kennedy of Texas A&M, Billy Gillispie of Texas Tech, and Lon Kruger of Oklahoma are a combined 13-1 so far. Not too shabby. All coaches seem to have their players buying into their system, and do not seem overwhelmed by their new positions.
- Oklahoma on the Glass, Texas Tech and the Net: The Sooners might not have the most talented team, but they are absolutely dominating on the glass. Oklahoma is averaging a whopping 51.0 rebounds per game, good for 1st in the NCAA. In Lubbock, the Red Raiders are shooting lights out, with an impressive 55.8% from the field.
- Second-Half Longhorns: Texas is not playing .500 basketball… but they’re .500. J’Covan Brown seems to be an early candidate for Big 12 player of the year, and the freshmen are adjusting to big-time basketball. So, why are the Longhorns 2-2? They have not been able to hold on to their leads, falling to NC State by three, and Oregon State in overtime despite holding an advantage at the half in both games.
- Oklahoma and the Net, Texas Tech on the Glass: While the Sooners have been more than impressive rebounding the rock, they are struggling making their shots, which I hear is a rather integral aspect of basketball. As a team, they are shooting 41.5% from the field, which ranks 224th in the NCAA. Texas Tech, while shooting the ball spectacularly, is ranked an abysmal 273rd in the nation in team rebounds per game, with 32.7. If the Sooners and Red Raiders could merge strengths, they would be quite the team.
- Me: This is the first article I’ve written this week, and even now, I’m struggling to find a third candidate for the “airball” category. Then I realized, it’s because I am the third airball. Sorry for letting you down, loyal microsite readers, I’ll get some delicious reading material out there tomorrow, just in time for your turkey-induced coma. Happy Thanksgiving to all.