Big 12 Morning Five: 02.15.12 Edition

Posted by dnspewak on February 15th, 2012

  1. It’s easy to forget that¬†Michael Dixon does not start for Missouri. The point guard may play second-fiddle to Phil Pressey at times, but he’s as important as any player on Frank Haith‘s team. Embracing his role as a reserve, Dixon still cracks the rotation with major minutes and has emerged as a go-to option down the stretch in close games. Known for his confidence and swagger, Dixon’s play has made an impression on Haith in his first season. “I love him,” Haith told the Columbia Missourian. And that pretty much sums things up, folks.
  2. In the aftermath of TCU’s upset win over UNLV last night, perhaps the future of Big 12 basketball isn’t so bleak after all. ESPN’s Andy Katz takes a look at next year’s league, which will lose Missouri and Texas A&M while gaining TCU and West Virginia. Katz makes an interesting observation with regards to the Mountaineers’ travel time, considering the school is located in an odd geographic area compared to the rest of the conference. Coach Bob Huggins said he’s not worried: “we’ll just charter in and out,” he told Katz.
  3. Kansas may not have played particularly well in a win over Kansas State on Monday night, but it did what it needed to do to secure a road victory in a difficult environment. One blog investigates some of the statistics behind the win, and as you can imagine, a lot of the credit needs to go to center Jeff Withey. Without a typical Thomas Robinson performance, Withey carried the team with his double-double and nine blocks. As a team, the Jayhawks did not rebound very well, but they got to the free throw line and held Kansas State’s offense in check with a gritty defensive effort.
  4. Want to talk about another gritty effort? Look no further than Texas A&M last night. The Aggies limited Texas Tech to 38 points in a victory in Lubbock by dominating the boards and stifling the young Red Raiders. The stats are ugly in this box score: Tech made zero free throws, allowed 15 offensive rebounds and shot 38.6% from the field. Only reserve Jaye Crockett broke double figures. A&M actually shot worse from the field and finished with more turnovers, but its rebounding got the job done.
  5. Unlike college football, redshirts in basketball are a little rarer. It does not take freshman as much time to acclimate to the Division I level from a physical standpoint, so you don’t see programs utilize the redshirt nearly as much. At Oklahoma State, though, two redshirt freshmen are making an impact in their first season. With injuries and transfers limiting Travis¬†Ford‘s roster, Michael Cobbins and Brian Williams have made the most of their opportunities. Much has been made of Cobbins’ muscle gain and improved play, but Williams has also been a very nice surprise as a swingman averaging about 25 minutes per game.
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