Big 12 M5: 11.01.12 Edition

Posted by dnspewak on November 1st, 2012

  1. Before his season-ending injury, Oklahoma State had figured Brian Williams would play the power forward position as a hybrid, guard-like wing in the frontcourt (as if that phrase makes any sense — you catch our drift). His loss certainly isn’t a good thing, but it’s opening up an opportunity for a more traditional lineup. Freshman Kamari Murphy looks like Williams’ replacement among the starters, which will add a true power forward thanks to his 6’8” frame and rebounding ability. As the article points out, Murphy is hardly the most celebrated newcomer for coach Travis Ford. However, as important as Marcus Smart’s point guard abilities may be to this team’s potential, Murphy’s play in the paint could be just as critical. Ford has plenty of big, physical guards, but he needs some big, physical forwards, too. Murphy fits that description.
  2. Hopefully, you’ve dedicated your life to reading the Big 12 Microsite on a daily basis here at Rush the Court, which means you would not need to waste your time with previews like this. Still, even though we go waaaay more in depth with our season preview series, this little site called Yahoo! Sports has done a good job of breaking down the Big 12 in a nutshell. It’s hard to disagree with most of their preseason picks, but it’s interesting to read about Travis Ford on the hot seat. He has a lot to be excited about, but unless injuries ravage his team again, he’ll have no excuses not to win with this group. Ah, the life of a major college basketball coach.
  3. Yahoo! Sports continued with its Big 12 preview by ranking the league’s top non-conference games. All this did was make us giddy for November 9 and the beginning of college basketball. Kansas/Michigan State tops the list, but we’re not so sure the Jayhawks’ rematch with Ohio State on December 22 isn’t a more notable game. The stars from that Final Four game have mostly moved on, but nobody in Columbus has forgotten the Buckeyes’ late-game collapse. Another fun fact: Texas Tech hosts Arizona (#15 on the list) on December 1 as a part of a non-conference schedule that does not include one road game. With the mess he inherited, Chris Walker probably wouldn’t have it any other way.
  4. It’s hard to project exactly how a coach will divide minutes among his rotation, but this guy tried to figure it out for Bill Self and Kansas. We know Jeff Withey, Ben McLemore, Elijah Johnson and Travis Releford will play big minutes, but it’s hard to determine how the rest of the rotation will materialize. You’ve got to think Perry Ellis will overtake Kevin Young even after the latter returns from injury, but one thing is clear: Self has a lot more capable bodies this year as opposed to last year. Just look at all those freshmen at the bottom of the list. Self has options. Must be nice for a change — not that it mattered a year ago on KU’s run to the title game.
  5. We’re sort of shocked when we read really solid team previews out there on the Interwebs, especially from sites we haven’t heard a whole lot about (wonder if outsiders say the same thing about us? Probably). But here’s a good look at what to expect from Texas this season. It’s not earth-shattering, of course. The Longhorns are young, they’re hoping Myck Kabongo can play, and they’ve got a lot of talented new parts. We’ll tell you all that in our Texas preview next week, but study up here so you can prepare for us to wow you. Or something like that.
dnspewak (343 Posts)

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