Big 12 M5: 10.10.12 EditionPosted by dnspewak on October 10th, 2012
- With Royce White out of the picture, Iowa State will need to adjust to its personnel and find different ways to facilitate offense. Instead of having White as a point-forward type of player, Fred Hoiberg will use Korie Lucious at the point and keep the ball in the hands of a traditional point guard. Losing White will change the entire dynamic of the team, but there’s one thing that might not change. The Cyclones can still fill it up from beyond the arc, even with the graduation of Scott Christopherson and Chris Allen. If you’re looking for one shooter to keep an eye on, it’s probably Tyrus McGee. The junior college transfer didn’t always play major minutes a year ago, but when he did, he always seemed to find a way to get his shots from beyond the arc. By the end of the year, he shot around a 40 percent clip from three as a reserve. His senior year could be even better, along with the rest of the Cyclones’ shooters.
- Bill Self’s newest commitment made a bold statement after choosing Kansas as his college destination on Tuesday. How bold? Well, Frank Mason says he wants to be the next Sherron Collins. “He was a great player and I’d like to do the same type things,” he told the Lawrence Journal-World. That’s quite the statement, but Collins certainly isn’t a bad guy to model yourself after. The one difference is Mason, a 5’11” point guard who originally committed to Towson but did not qualify academically a year ago, is actually a little under-the-radar. He’s ranked in the top-150 by Rivals.com, but he did not receive a KU offer until after he blew up in AAU ball in July.
- Andrew Fitzgerald played at four different high schools in four seasons. The forward then committed to play for Jeff Capel at Oklahoma — we all know how that worked out — and it turns out, he’s now entering his senior year of college without a single winning season to brag about. Talk about a chaotic decade for a basketball player. That’s why Fitzgerald has his sights set on a big finale season with the Sooners. Fitzgerald is a key part of Lon Kruger’s experienced nucleus, the kind of forward who can play a lot of different ways on the offensive end of the floor. Unfortunately, the big man disappeared at times in the scoring department during Big 12 play last season. Oklahoma’s poor conference finish wasn’t Fitzgerald’s fault, but it’s partly his job to develop his game and lead this team to an NCAA Tournament berth. After all, it’s his last chance.
- Oklahoma State fans are a demanding bunch. They’re not always mentioned in the national spotlight, but Gallagher-Iba Arena can be a ferocious place to play basketball. There’s no doubt these people love their hoops, which is why a columnist needed to defend coach Travis Ford in the face of criticism from Cowboys fans. As we pointed out earlier in the week, Ford’s program has slipped after qualifying for the NCAA Tournament immediately upon his arrival. Fortunately, recruiting players like Le’Bryan Nash and Marcus Smart should help Ford stick around for a while in Stillwater. Of course, there’s a burden of expectations that comes with recruiting top-notch prospects, and that’s what Ford faces in 2012-13.
- We heard a few interesting comments from Bill Self and Bruce Weber at a reception Tuesday for the Coaches vs. Cancer Season Tip-Off. First of all, Self says he thinks Kansas will be “OK,” a year after a team he expressed serious concerns about in the preseason damn near won the national championship. In our books, “OK” for Kansas means, well, another Big 12 Championship and deep NCAA Tournament run. Weber, on the other hand, talked about acclimating to Manhattan, as well as the importance of the Kansas/Kansas State series now that Missouri has moved to the SEC. Weber, who faced Missouri annually at Illinois, said the absence of the Tigers in the Big 12 means the Sunflower Showdown will become an even grander rivalry (as if it weren’t heated enough already). We can’t wait.