Big 12 Morning Five: 01.09.12 Edition
Posted by dnspewak on January 9th, 2012
- Royce White recorded a triple-double on Saturday, which earned him nationwide headlines and thrust him into the Big 12 spotlight. Interestingly, though, another milestone occurred during Iowa State‘s 74-50 victory at Texas A&M. Guard Chris Allen notched his 1,000th career point, and he now has 1,003 after a 10-point performance. The Thousand-Point Club is often the barometer for a solid collegiate career for a scorer, so congratulations to Allen. White’s triple-double was a little more rare, though, as he is just the fourth player in ISU history to ever record one.
- In a rebuilding year for Oklahoma, coach Lon Kruger is finding the positives in an 0-2 start to Big 12 play. It’s not easy to face Missouri and Kansas in back-to-back games to open the league season, but the Sooners recovered from a beatdown in Columbia to at least hang with Kansas at home for a bit. They led by a point at halftime thanks to stout defense and resiliency before the game came crashing down during a 29-6 Kansas run to open the second half. One of these days, Oklahoma fans won’t be lauding an 0-2 record and two blowout losses. But for now, the Sooners will have to live with small progress during the rebuilding process.
- Staying with the Oklahoma theme, the Sooners will face Oklahoma State in a rather subdued Bedlam series tonight. The game will air on ESPNU near the same time slot as the BCS Championship Game, and both teams look like Big 12 cellar-dwellars at this point. Still, it is Bedlam, and that’s at least worth changing the channel for during football pre-game coverage or early in the first quarter. We will have a full preview of this game later today, but it will be interesting to see what kind of crowd turns out at Gallagher-Iba. Traditionally one of the most intense arenas in college basketball, the OSU fan base has soured a bit lately and attendance hasn’t been stellar. That could change for Bedlam though.
- It is not hard to explain why Missouri lost to Kansas State on Saturday. The bigger, more physical Wildcats frustrated Ricardo Ratliffe, pressured them in the half-court, and fed off the energy of the home crowd. Here is a more analytical look at the loss for the Tigers, who dropped their first game of the season. One stat to note in particular is the turnovers. Without glancing at the box score, you might assume that Missouri lost that battle. After all, it did step on the inbounds line a few times and looked generally out of sorts on the offensive end. Turns out, that the two teams tied in that category, but here’s the kicker: Kansas State outscored Missouri 21-11 in points off turnovers. That was an overlooked aspect of this game for sure.
- Kansas State got the win it needed against Missouri after a blowout in Lawrence to Kansas on Wednesday, but it faces another tough task with Baylor this week. If you are keeping track, that means the Wildcats do in fact open their Big 12 season with the three clear-cut league contenders in consecutive match-ups. It would have been disastrous for Kansas State to lose all three, so at least it has one win under its belt. Now, go ahead and beat the Bears and maybe we are talking about Kansas State as a possible title contender. It is early, and the 18-game schedule means Kansas State must also prove it can win on the road. But a 2-1 start against Kansas, Missouri, and Baylor would have to put the Wildcats in that conversation.