Big 12 Morning Five: 11.30.11 EditionPosted by dnspewak on November 30th, 2011
- Perry Jones is back and he returned in style from a suspension last night, scoring 29 points in a rout of Prairie View A&M. Jones’ suspension for improper benefits dates back to last season (it included the Baylor‘s lone game in the Big 12 Tournament), but with the suspension behind him, Jones appears ready to live up to his billing as the league’s pre-season Player of the Year. Playing a cupcake schedule, the Bears did just fine without Jones during a 5-0 start, but the competition stiffens this weekend with a road contest at Northwestern. Baylor needs a sharp performance out of Jones to win that one.
- Jones may have returned, but Baylor’s other star forward, Quincy Miller, did not play against Prairie View A&M due to a sprained ankle although the team reports that he will be ready for the Northwestern game. Hopefully, the Bears won’t have to deal with too much rust from Miller or Jones, or else they could be in for a long night against what appears to be a solid Northwestern team.
- Northern Iowa and Iowa State play each other every year these days, but newcomer Chris Allen has a different relationship with the Panthers. The former Michigan State guard called Northern Iowa “that purple team,” in reference to the 2010 NCAA Tournament squad that lost to the Spartans in the Sweet 16. Allen will play an important role for the Cyclones as they attempt to defend their home court. In their one previous game against Missouri Valley competition, they fell on the road to Drake. There are only a few leftovers remaining from the 2010 team that defeated Kansas in the second round, but Allen said he knows “that they can beat anyone on any given night. I saw it happen.” Coach Fred Hoiberg has to like that attitude.
- With so many newcomers it is not surprising that Texas Tech is struggling to take care of the ball. The statistics are staggering, though as the Red Raiders are close to dead last in Division I basketball in turnovers per game. The exact average is 18.7, and that’s “good” for 320th in college basketball. It is not just one guy either. Point guard Ty Nurse averages two turnovers per game (against only one assist per game). The rest of the team varies from about 1.5 to 3.0 turnovers per game. That has to improve for Billy Gillispie, but that goes without saying.
- Nobody will question LeBryan Nash’s talent, but people are starting to question his attitude. Coach Travis Ford says not to worry about Nash’s negative body language, however. He defended his young star, telling reporters that Nash’s natural demeanor often gives fans a misperception of his actual work ethic and attitude. According to Ford, Nash hasn’t had any sort of chemistry issues, and he is fitting in with the team just fine. By all accounts, it sounds like Nash’s game will eventually come around.