Big 12 M5: Opening Day Edition

Posted by Nate Kotisso on November 9th, 2012

  1. On the eve of the college basketball season, the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 list was released. As you know, Kentucky and UCLA pulled off sparkling recruiting classes and yet none of them are on this list. Want to hear something even more shocking? The Big 12 has only five players on the Top 50 list. That’s only one more than the Pac-12 (four total) and the league finds themselves ranked below the Big Ten, Big East, ACC, and SEC in that department. I guess we can take solace in the fact that this list is comprised by the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
  2. Some new developments in the Myck Kabongo saga: The Texas guard will not play in today’s season opener against Fresno State. The NCAA investigation into Kabongo’s relationship with Rich Paul, the agent for former Texas players Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph, continues, so the university isn’t taking any chances with a player who could be deemed ineligible by the NCAA. There is also some injury news for the Horns as big man Jaylen Bond will be out Friday with an ankle injury he suffered during practice Tuesday. The Longhorns will be short-handed but still should be able to win their home opener with relative ease.
  3. Oklahoma returned to their old stomping grounds for an exhibition game this week. Oklahoma basketball used to hoop it up at McCasland Field House from 1928 to 1975 and on Wednesday night, the 84-year-old structure witnessed the Sooners hammer Central Oklahoma, 94-66. This won’t be the last time Oklahoma will play at McCasland this season as they plan to play a non-conference game there against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on New Year’s Eve. Lon Kruger has even expressed interest in hosting other games in the future there. College basketball games in more obscure settings? Sign me up.
  4. Bill Self is making his last-second decisions on whom to redshirt this season. While it’s not set in stone. Self told The Kansas City Star that Zach Peters and Landen Lucas were strong candidates to be redshirted. Peters has been plagued with a rotator cuff injury over the past month and while his status is better, Self has no idea when the Dallas-area forward will play this season. According to Self, Lucas seems more likely to be redshirted after talking with his family about it, but still leaves the door open about him playing “two weeks from now.” It’s a classic coaching strategy: closing the door on something by not really closing it all the way. It keeps opposing coaches off-balance.
  5. The 2014 Final Four will be played under the big top that is JerryWorld. On Thursday, the Big 12 Conference, the Dallas Cowboys, the NCAA and the North Texas Local Organizing Committee unveiled the Tournament’s logo. Final Four Saturday will take place on April 5, 2014 with the National Championship game happening on Monday, April 7. The Metroplex hasn’t hosted a Final Four since 1986 when “Never Nervous” Pervis Ellison led the Louisville Cardinals to their second national title of the 1980s with a win over the Duke Blue Devils. So from 2004 to 2016, the state of Texas will have hosted five Final Fours with events in San Antonio (2), Houston (2), and now North Texas (1).
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