Big 12 Weekly Five: 04.26.12 EditionPosted by dnspewak on April 26th, 2012
- Not long after telling the world he would return to Baylor for his sophomore season, forward Quincy Miller has now officially announced he’s changed his mind. Miller plans to enter the NBA Draft, foregoing three years of eligibility in Waco and leaving Scott Drew without his top four frontcourt players from a year ago. Perry Jones III has already announced his intention to skip his final two years, and both Quincy Acy and Anthony Jones graduated. Luckily, Drew will replace his lost bigs with another banner recruiting class, headlined by Ricardo Gathers and seven-footer Isaiah Austin. Having Miller in the fold would have helped, sure, but this at least means more court time for the freshmen.
- Frank Martin told the Associated Press recently that his departure from Kansas State had nothing to do with a rift between he and the athletic department, claiming he “didn’t run away from Kansas State” to take a job at South Carolina. Martin can deny this “rift” all he wants, but it still does not rationalize his decision to leave Manhattan for one of the worst programs traditionally in SEC basketball. Maybe he wanted a new challenge in building up a program. Maybe he liked the weather or the state of South Carolina better, and it actually has nothing to do with the people back in Manhattan. At this point, though, it’s all speculation because Martin has stayed very vague in his reasoning. In the end, who cares? The man did what he had to do for his career, and there’s no point in questioning his life decisions now — he’s a Gamecock for the immediate future.
- To replace Martin, Kansas State hired former Illinois coach Bruce Weber. It was an interesting hire after the Illini fired Weber, but it’s more interesting when you consider this: He now joins former Illinois coaches Bill Self (2000-03) and Lon Kruger (1996-2000) in the Big 12. That means the last three coaches from Illinois will all coach against each other next season in Big 12 play. Who’d have thought a Big Ten school would wield so much influence over this league?
- When TCU hired Trent Johnson, most praised the decision despite the coach’s rather modest tenure at LSU. Johnson proved he can win at a high level at both Nevada and Stanford, though, and he looks like the right man for the job in the Horned Frogs’ first season in the Big 12. Just down the road, however, a rival school has one-upped TCU. SMU hired the legendary Hall of Famer Larry Brown, a winner at both the NCAA and NBA level. This may have an impact on TCU’s program, but remember, Brown probably won’t last very long at SMU because of his age (72 years old). Johnson isn’t the same sort of immediate splash hit as Brown, but he’s probably a better long-term option.
- We’re not sure whether to laugh, cry, scream, or simply roll our eyes after reading this: Apparently Bob Huggins may have been drunk during a coaching clinic last week. And this isn’t just pure speculation or some random blogger making the accusation, either. Deadspin reported that eight different people told its source Huggins was under the influence, and that his speech was audibly slurred, included f-bombs, and all other sorts of alcohol-induced behavior. Several tweeters were on the scene making observations, but this one has to be our favorite.