Big 12 M5: 10.18.12 Edition

Posted by Nate Kotisso on October 18th, 2012

  1. Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford took media day to reveal that starting guard/forward Brian Williams has a wrist injury and is out “indefinitely.” Williams started 20 games for the Cowboys last season, averaging 9.6 points and 3.3 boards per contest. It’s not welcome news to a team that finished last year without Le’Bryan Nash (now ready to go), Phillip Jurick (progressing but not all the way back) and JP Olukemi, who practices but still experiences some swelling. I think they’re a top five Big 12 team overall but with the departure of Cezar Guerrero and the injury bug continuing to bite, this Cowboys team may not get off to the fast start it desires.
  2. Staying with the Cowboys, an interesting subplot has developed with JP Olukemi and his eligibility for the season. As of this moment, Olukemi would be eligible to play for the fall semester ONLY. The story started five years ago when his high school, Stoneridge Preparatory in California, shut down halfway through the school year. According to The Oklahoman, the school’s basketball coaches suggested Olukemi go to a junior college in Indiana but little did he know that his athletic eligibility began and is therefore scheduled to run out at the end of this calendar year. Encouraged by the NCAA awarding Marshall University’s Marcus Tinnon an extra year in a similar situation, OSU is lobbying for the same for Olukemi. I almost feel for Travis Ford. This is his first chance in Stillwater to build a team of his own and it all could come crashing down around him.
  3. The Oklahoma Sooners basketball team voted for its team captains recently and Lon Kruger announced the results of the voting at Big 12 Media Day. The captains are: seniors Andrew Fitzgerald, Romero Osby and junior Amath M’Baye. I’m surprised to hear the Wyoming transfer M’Baye was named a captain but maybe I’ve been understating his importance to the team. Between these three, Steven Pledger and Sam Grooms, I see the Sooners as this year’s edition of Iowa State. Lon Kruger’s proven to be a master of moving programs in the right direction .
  4. Big 12 Media Day gave a chance for Rick Barnes to face questions about Myck Kabongo’s amateur status. Barnes claims he knows nothing about Kabongo’s trip to Cleveland but is cooperating fully with the NCAA investigation into the matter. The potential of losing Kabongo for any part of their season (because their non-conference slate is no cakewalk) would severely hurt their chances for a possible top three finish in the league or a high seed in the NCAAs. With all of the news coming from the Texas and Oklahoma State camps lately, this could be as unpredictable a year as any in the league’s history.
  5. William Hill Race & Sports Books released their odds for teams who could win the 2013 national championship from 1 to 300-1. Some school with Dwight Schrute as their coach and two in-state rivals were pinned as the most likely to win it all in April but no one cares about them ’round here. According to the list, Kansas, Baylor, Texas, Kansas State, West Virginia and Iowa State all hold a 100-1 chance or better of winning a title. Since these aren’t pieces of scientific data (like KenPom), it’s easy to question any type of validity in these. I mean, come on, they have Baylor AND Notre Dame with the same probability of cutting down the nets in Atlanta. Doesn’t that just scream ridiculous?
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