Big 12 Morning Five: 02.03.12Posted by dnspewak on February 3rd, 2012
- Frank Martin may be the most entertaining coach in college basketball, but his recent comments may come back to bite him. Martin referred to a late no-call against Iowa State as “an absolute joke,” a phrase he often uses with reporters to describe a variety of situations. Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas said he’s “aware of the situation,” which means he’ll review everything and make a decision. That wasn’t the only thing Martin said, though. He continued: “We never shot a free throw. Every time we took a deep breath on the other side Iowa State shot a free throw.” For precedent, the article mentions that former Texas Tech coach Pat Knight once missed a game after his own criticism of referees. That may be in the works for Martin, depending on how lenient Neinas feels here.
- Until the Tulsa World pointed it out, we didn’t notice that Oklahoma forward Romero Osby has been wearing a boot since mid-January. Osby said he injured his Achilles, but he’s also said it has improved lately and that the boot is for “precautionary reasons.” It hasn’t seemed to slow Osby at all. Since adding that boot, he has scored in double figures in four of five games, including a double-double against Baylor. Osby has been an important addition for Lon Kruger after transferring from Mississippi State, so it’s important for him to stay healthy and keep producing.
- The Big 12 is a three-horse race right now between Kansas, Missouri and Baylor. All three will easily make the NCAA Tournament, and all three could potentially earn a top seed. As for the rest of the league? It’s up in the air at this point. Kansas State and Iowa State look like decent bets to make the NCAAs, and the Cyclones in particular are certainly trending up, although neither is a lock at this point. There’s also still a small chance Texas could find a way into the Dance, although Rick Barnes is in serious danger of missing the tourney for the first time during his stint in Austin.
- As for ISU’s situation, players and coaches are trying to not pay attention to the NCAA Tournament talk. The program hasn’t made the Dance since 2004-05, but the chatter is starting to heat up during Big 12 play. Coach Fred Hoiberg said the team has “been great” in staying focused, and Chris Allen said “I try to stay away from predictions.” Iowa State has its signature win over Kansas, but now it must close out the season strong to stay afloat. Whether players want to talk about it or not, the dream is very much alive at this point.
- The Border War game between Missouri and Kansas on Saturday may be the most anticipated contest in series history, especially considering it may be the last time the two teams meet in Columbia for the near future. Naturally, MU students are already camping out for College Gameday’s visit on Saturday morning. It’s terrific to see such great fan support, but it begs a serious question: Don’t these people have class? We envy anyone with the ability to skip two days of classes in favor of camping out in a tent outside Mizzou Arena.