Big 12 Morning Five: 02.22.12 Edition
Posted by dnspewak on February 22nd, 2012
- Too bad Missouri couldn’t follow Bill Self‘s advice. Like any seasoned coach, he’s keeping his team in check before the final Border War game on Saturday by focusing on Texas A&M first. The Tigers, of course, fell victim to Kansas State on Tuesday night, taking a little luster off the matchup this weekend. Still, it will essentially determine the Big 12 regular-season championship, and if Kansas takes care of business against the Aggies it will be in the driver’s seat. Lose that game, though, and they are in the same boat as Missouri.
- Who’s responsible for Jeff Withey‘s hot streak lately? In a lot of ways, it’s Withey himself since he is finally playing to his potential. Bill Self can also take a lot of credit for building him from scratch and developing him over the course of a few seasons. But what about Danny Manning‘s role? Apparently, the former Jayhawk star and current assistant has served as a mentor and teacher to Withey this season. Not a bad guy to take advice from.
- Texas‘ NCAA Tournament hopes are dwindling by the second, especially after a home loss to Baylor on Monday. The Longhorns still have a chance to win at the Phog to pick up a signature win against Kansas, but that’s a tall task as we all know. This article takes an interesting angle on the matter, though. Is anyone all that upset about Rick Barnes‘ failure to make the NCAAs this season, barring a late surge? According to this particular writer, Barnes is “fighting the indifference that can swallow this sport in this state.” That’s always been a problem in Austin, but for the first time during his tenure, we’re seeing a Barnes team in danger of playing in the NIT.
- Royce White has made a name for himself with both his play and his mohawk this season, but behind the scenes he has dealt with a lot of adversity. In this digital age especially, we idolize players and make them into heroes on the basketball court, forgetting their human sides sometimes. White has fought an anxiety disorder for years and takes medication for the issue, something you would never be able to tell by watching his graceful play from the stands or on television. This Des Moines Register article also helps put his arrest at Minnesota in perspective, giving the other side of the story from White’s perspective.
- Oklahoma would be elated to make the NIT at this point, but forward Romero Osby has bigger plans. As he points out, Osby played for Mississippi State in 2009 when it won the SEC Tournament to earn an auto-bid to the NCAA Tournament, shaking off a somewhat lackluster regular season. That Bulldogs team was a little better than these Sooners, but the sentiment remains. If Oklahoma can figure out how to play like it did during stretches of November and December– albeit against weaker competition– maybe there’s something to Osby’s optimism.