Big 12 M5: 11.02.12 Edition
Posted by dnspewak on November 2nd, 2012
- There’s nothing necessarily new on the Myck Kabongo front, but Texas coach Rick Barnes gave a solid and obligatory “no comment” to the media on Thursday. The NCAA is still investigating the possibility of improper conduct with an agent and his loss would obviously cripple the Longhorns. Barnes may have essentially said nothing about Kabongo’s situation and eligibility — “we won’t even discuss it,” he said — but we all know he’s feeling the pressure here. If Kabongo can’t play, freshman Javan Felix is next in line, but that’s a nightmare scenario. This team already must remake itself without last year’s star, J’Covan Brown, and remember, Barnes also has a roster filled with exactly zero scholarship upperclassmen. This team is built around Kabongo, and it is critical he suits up this season.
- We’re not always huge fans of slideshows, but this list of the top 10 players in the Big 12 is good for a little preseason discussion. It differs slightly from our rankings, which we released more or less as a joke in October. Our lists share eight of 10 players, though, disagreeing only on Ben McLemore and Steven Pledger, who both still finished in the top-15 of our rankings. It’s interesting that their list considers Pledger the top player on Oklahoma, though. Sure, he’s the leading scorer and a fine shooting guard, but Sam Grooms averaged 6.0 assists per game, for pete’s sake — he’s the leading returning assists man in the conference. What’s a guy gotta do to get some love around here?
- Goodness gracious. It’s another Marcus Smart article. This time, however, it’s absolutely worth your time. Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford praised Smart’s maturity for the 800th time this preseason, but this piece goes a little more in-depth into Smart’s life story. It discusses his family life, his personal tragedy, and his relationship with best friend and current OSU teammate Phil Forte. As solid a job as YahooSports‘ Jeff Eisenberg did with this story, it hasn’t blown up on a national stage quite yet — there are only five comments at the bottom of the page, and most of them disparage Travis Ford and threaten to fire him if he doesn’t win this season. Typical.
- Travis Ford has other problems to worry about than the fans, though. How about the fact that he’s dealing with even more injuries? Brian Williams is out for the year, and now Michael Cobbins recently left an exhibition game with a toe injury. Plus, J.P. Olukemi and Philip Jurick aren’t playing right now. It’s not time for a widespread panic yet, of course; as Ford puts it, “Eventually, they’re all going to get out there and play, except for Brian.” Still, at the very least, it’s an annoyance for a team that cannot afford any more injuries.
- Uh oh, Longhorn Network: You’ve got a competitor. TexasTech.TV is coming for you, according to an announcement by the school on Thursday. Seriously, though, this is actually a sweet deal for Red Raiders fans, especially those living out-of-state. The only problem is that it costs $9.95 a month, but that’s the way the world works these days.
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