Big 12 M5: 11.12.12 EditionPosted by KoryCarpenter on November 12th, 2012
- This could be a big week for Bill Self and his 2013 recruiting class. The Jayhawks were recently named a finalist for 2013 recruit Joel Embiid, a four-star, 7’0″ center out of Gainesville, Florida. Last week, Embiid announced via Twitter that he was cutting his list to Kansas, Texas, and Florida. All three schools visited Embiid at The Rock School in Gainesville last week and he’s expected to make his announcement on Thursday. Kansas, who already has a loaded 2013 recruiting class (led by five-star guards Wayne Selden and Brannen Greene, as well as four-star guard Conner Frankamp), could solidify its case for the nation’s second-best class (behind Kentucky, of course) with a commitment from the big man. With the school’s track record of putting skilled bigs in the NBA as well as the talent on the perimeter he would be playing with, it’s hard to see Embiid not ending up in Lawrence next season.
- In case you missed it, the guys over at Busting Brackets previewed the Big 12 last week. They discussed everything from the number of Big 12 teams making the NCAA Tournament (five) to their conference Player of the Year (Baylor’s Pierre Jackson) to the Most Disappointing Team (West Virginia.) There were a few surprises, like having Oklahoma State in the NCAA Tournament but not West Virginia nor Iowa State. Largely unknown Oklahoma shooting guard Steven Pledger made their First Team All-Conference list, as well as West Virginia forward Deniz Kilicli. Perhaps most surprising, though, was seeing TCU and Texas Tech with a projected eight conference victories combined. I for one don’t know where they’ll be getting all of those wins unless they’re able to schedule each other more than twice this season.
- After the opening weekend of games, the CBSSports.com crew updated their Top 25 (and one) ranking, with three Big 12 teams making the cut. Kansas dropped from second to fourth after its less than impressive 19-point victory over Southeast Missouri State — the Jayhawk offense looked awful for large stretches of the game, not surprising considering the losses of Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson. Tuesday’s game in the Champions Classic against Michigan State might have to be shown in black and white. Baylor took a surprising fall from No. 7 to No. 17 after two convincing wins over Lehigh and Jackson State, while West Virginia debuts on the list at No. 25 in waiting to open the season tonight at Gonzaga. Why did Baylor fall again?
- Speaking of West Virginia, tonight’s game at Gonzaga kicks off ESPN’s annual 24-hour college basketball marathon, which starts around midnight ET in Spokane and takes us everywhere from a late game in Hawaii to a 7:00 AM start at Rider. There’s 11 total games playing back-to-back throughout the day, finishing with the Champions Classic Tuesday night in Atlanta, with Kansas and Michigan State squaring off in the Georgia Dome before Duke and Kentucky complete the Marathon late Tuesday night. If you can, try staying up for all 11 games. There’s something strangely entertaining about watching a late-night game in Hawaii immediately before a pre-dawn tipoff four time zones away in New Jersey.
- Sports Illustrated‘s Richard Deitsch has a good college basketball viewing guide here. He touches on a few Big 12-related topics, like the change in the Big Monday telecast as Fran Fraschilla takes over for Bob Knight alongside Brent Musberger. Knight wasn’t bad on the Big Monday games, but he’s old and a bit difficult to follow these days — Fraschilla’s an obvious upgrade. CBS will continue its nationally-aired Saturday afternoon games, with two games featuring Kansas (at Ohio State on December 22 and vs. Temple on January 6). The coolest bit of information Deitsch shared comes from ESPN, who will apparently have at least one game per day — outside of only five days — from now until March 10.