Big 12 Alley-Oops and Airballs: Week SevenPosted by cwilliams on December 29th, 2011
Big 12 Alley-Oops and Airballs is a weekly article examining what’s hot and what’s not in Big 12 basketball.
I like to think of the holidays as the eye of the storm that is the college basketball season. We have blown past the pre-season tournaments and early marquee match-ups. During the holidays, we have fewer games and fewer prestigious opponents. But now that the holiday season is coming to an end, we are thrown back into the storm. Gear up folks, conference play is almost here.
- Pierre Jackson: On December 23, Pierre Jackson returned to his hometown of Las Vegas as Baylor battled West Virginia. Jackson made the most of his homecoming, dropping 23 on the Mountaineers and leading his team to an exciting overtime victory. That alone is enough to earn you an “alley-oop”. But Jackson wasn’t done. Last night, against Mississippi State, Jackson scored the game-winning bucket with 28 seconds left, securing Baylor’s 13-0 record, the best start in school history. While the preseason projections focused mostly on Perry Jones and Quincy Acy, Jackson is making his name known on a talented Baylor squad.
- Oklahoma Sooners: Lon Kruger faced a daunting task this preseason, having the job of turning a depleted and underachieving Sooner squad into winners. Kruger has not blinked, however, and neither have the Sooners, as they are off to an impressive 9-1 record. The Sooners have beat Washington State, Arkansas, and Houston. Their lone loss came against a talented Saint Louis team. The key? Rebounding. The Sooners rank 4th in the nation in rebounds per game, with 42.2 per game, while gathering 44.3% of possible offensive rebounds (#3 in the nation) and holding opponents to only 29.7% of offensive rebounds. The Sooners will be tested in their game against Cincinnati tonight, and when they open conference play at Missouri.
- Perfection: Four teams remain undefeated in the world of college basketball world. Two of them are in the Big 12, Baylor and Missouri. According to my calculations, that’s half of the teams. Not too shabby, Big 12.
- Texas A&M: The holiday season has not been kind to the Aggies. The Aggies fell hard against Florida losing by 20. Five days later, the Aggies hosted Rice, and were shocked by the Owls in a 65-58 loss, snapping A&M’s 67-game home nonconference win streak.
- Le’Bryan Nash’s Homecoming: When Oklahoma State traveled to Dallas last night, Nash’s hometown, to take on Southern Methodist, expectations were high for Nash’s return home. Nash, however, was quiet all night, going 2-10, dropping only 4 points, and playing sparingly when the game got close. Yes, this is a bit unfair, as sometimes homecomings can be ruined by higher expectations. It didn’t help that SMU was triple-teaming Nash at one point, either.