Big 12 M5: 10.24.12 Edition
Posted by KoryCarpenter on October 24th, 2012
- It seems the Houston Rockets and former Iowa State forward Royce White have figured out the rookie’s fear of flying. White, who has struggled with anxiety issues most of his life, missed parts of Houston’s training camp while trying to figure out the travel issue. White will be allowed to travel by bus to as many road games as he can this season. He’ll obviously have to fly in certain situations, like long trips up either coast or for back-to-back road games that occur throughout the season, but allowing him to drive when possible should keep him in a good frame of mind and protect the Rockets’ nearly $3 million investment. FoxSportsSouthwest‘s Tully Corcoran had a great column on the situation earlier this month. It’s in the Rockets’ best interest to accommodate White for the two years they have to pay him. After that, we’ll find out if all the extra effort is worth it to the team.
- The CBSSports.com basketball staff unveiled their top 50 big men on Tuesday, and not surprisingly, Indiana’s Cody Zeller topped the list. The Big 12 didn’t fare as well as on Monday’s point guard rankings, landing just four players on this list. Kansas center Jeff Withey came in at No. 8 and Matt Norlander predicted “another huge season from a big white guy in Lawrence.” Newcomer Aaric Murray of West Virginia was next in line at No. 18, followed by freshmen Isaiah Austin of Baylor (#21) and Cameron Ridley of Texas (#43). It’s hard to argue against Zeller at No. 1, seeing he’s the best player on the preseason No. 1 team in the country, but I would have put Creighton’s Doug McDermott (#2) in that spot. Semantics, I know. Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel (#3) received the Anthony Davis treatment and was overrated at No. 3 ahead of proven college players like Mike Moser, Tony Mitchell, and C.J. Leslie, but that’s what the UK hype machine does to otherwise reasonable people.
- Last season, Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger allowed fans into the Lloyd Noble Center to watch practices from the stands. Now there’s no excuse for the diehard Sooner basketball fan not to catch a glimpse of practice, as he has decided to live stream every preseason practice online for fans to watch. It looks to be the first time a Division I team has tried this, and while watching every minute of every practice would bore even the most loyal fan to tears, it’s cool that Kruger is looking into other avenues to excite his football school’s fan base. He doesn’t have anything to lose.
- Jeff Goodman has an in-depth list of the “secret scrimmages” that are happening all across the country in the next week. According to Andy Katz of ESPN, teams can play two exhibitions with non-Division I teams or scrimmage fellow Division I opponents. Looking at Goodman’s list, a lot of teams prefer to scrimmage a similar opponent rather than pay a Little Sisters of the Poor to come in and lose by 50 points in front of a few dozen fans. Somewhere in the NCAA wording of the rule, though, it states that scrimmages can’t be open to the public or media and they can’t be advertised. Whatever the case, this Saturday TCU is playing at Texas A&M, Texas is hosting Davidson, Texas Tech is playing at Texas Southern, and Xavier is playing at West Virginia. Sunday, Iowa State is hosting Nebraska. Allegedly.
- The odds are stacked against Texas Tech interim head coach Chris Walker, but he’s handling his situation — at least so far — as well as anyone. He was surprisingly upbeat at last week’s Big 12 Media Day and had some of the best quotes of the day. My personal favorite: “I tell the guys all the time that 85% of the people don’t care what’s going on, and the other 15% are glad you’re going through it.” The Red Raiders are looking up at every team in the Big 12 except TCU this season, and how Walker handles the struggles might determine if the interim tag is removed and he returns next season. Either way, Tech fans could have had done much worse than having Walker on board to guide this team this year.
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