Big 12 Morning Five: 12.09.11 EditionPosted by dnspewak on December 9th, 2011
- The realignment talk had subsided for awhile, but it’s back– in a big way. The Big East is expanding, and that has major implications for the rest of college sports. With regards to the Big 12, the Big East’s expansion could force West Virginia to leave after the 2011-12 season. By all accounts, it does appear that the Mountaineers will join the league next season anyway, but these added teams in the Big East may just make it that much easier of a decision.
- Missouri and Kansas will face each other in Columbia for the final time (until the series is revived, at least) on February 4 at Mizzou Arena. And while that’s a ways down the road, Missouri’s pick-up for those tickets began at 7 AM this morning. There’s only a limited amount of tickets available– even for students who purchased tickets in the summer, since basketball games aren’t guaranteed– so students began lining up at 5 PM last night in tents. The forecast calls for highs in the upper-20s in Columbia this morning, so hopefully everybody has got layers on.
- Back to the basketball court: Kansas faces Ohio State in a marquee match-up this Saturday, and Bill Self‘s team needs to start clicking on the offensive end. That’s an understatement: Self even said “our offense sucks… We are the worst passing team I have ever seen.” Interesting stuff from a coach known for offensive efficiency. The improvement may depend on the play of Tyshawn Taylor, the point guard who turned the ball over 11 times in a close loss to Duke in the Maui Invitational. However because Taylor will most likely eventually come around and Thomas Robinson is a fabulous anchor in the post we suspect that Self’s tune will probably change by February.
- Missouri may be undefeated right now, but it’s not the only team in the area that is having success. Saint Louis, of course, entered the top-25 earlier this year by winning the 76 Classic in California, and Illinois is also undefeated. Although the Illini haven’t looked quite as good as Missouri has, it still appears the annual Braggin’ Rights game at Scottrade Center will be a dandy. If only Missouri and Illinois would play Saint Louis… but that’s a story for another day.
- Although Missouri looks like a new favorite to win the Big 12 after its hot start, Baylor was a preseason favorite based purely on its talent level. Scott Drew‘s frontcourt depth is ridiculous, as it is stacked with potential NBA Draft picks to the point that Drew has potential NBA contributors riding the bench. But his team had all sorts of talent last year and still crashed and burned. So what’s different this year? For one, the point guard play should improve with Pierre Jackson as Lacedarius Dunn‘s gunner mentality was a bit of a burden on this team last year. Baylor has looked fine during the first month of the season, and it owns a few solid wins over San Diego State and Northwestern. Still, the challenge begins when Big 12 play kicks off in January.