Big 12 M5: 11.16.12 Edition

Posted by dnspewak on November 16th, 2012

  1. As if TCU weren’t already in trouble in its first season in the Big 12, coach Trent Johnson learned he’ll likely lose forward Amric Fields for the remainder of the season due to a knee injury. Freshman center Aaron Durley is already out for the season, and Fields figured to play a more important role on the Horned Frogs after a earning Mountain West Sixth Man of the Year honors as a sophomore. Outside of point guard Kyan Anderson and perhaps Garlon Green, the team’s leading returning scorer, it’s hard to fathom a more significant loss for Johnson.
  2. This is not a men’s basketball story, but it’s worth your time. Last November, Oklahoma State women’s basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant Miranda Serna died in a plane crash en route to a recruiting visit in Arkansas. They were traveling to watch Roshunda Johnson — who signed with the Cowboys this week. That’s chilling. At the same time, it’s inspirational and an incredible story. Here’s what Johnson told the paper: “At first, I started off blaming myself,” Johnson told The Oklahoman. “It was just like, ‘Aw, man. They were on their way to come see me, and then that accident happened.’ I felt kind of bad. It was kind of hard for me… (But I had to remember) ‘At the end of the day, they were still watching you.'”
  3. It’s always fun to judge a first-year head coach in November. Kansas State fans haven’t seen Bruce Weber‘s team play any notable competition, but they’re already trying to size up their new guy. As you’ll read in that article, though, it’s difficult to make any sort of real judgment yet. It’s interesting to read that former coach Frank Martin had a reputation for failing to motivate his teams in guarantee games and cupcake non-conference matchups. This writer praises Weber for getting his kids to annihilate Alabama-Huntsville (and, just for kicks, he mentions Martin’s overtime nail-biter against Milwaukee over the weekend). He’ll have a lot more to write about after KSU’s trip to Madison Square Garden, of course.
  4. Amath M’Baye has a fascinating life. It’s much more interesting than mine and probably yours as well. He’s traveled across the world, finally landing in Norman as Oklahoma’s newest star transfer. As The Oklahoman details in this feature, M’Baye’s mother will be there every step of the way. On the court, he just might represent the missing piece for the Sooners, who tanked in Big 12 play a year ago after a solid start in Lon Kruger’s first season. Now in his second season, Kruger needs M’Baye — and his mom, we suppose — to really take on a leadership role.
  5. One final note: Kansas signed two additional recruits on Thursday. Bill Self inked Joel Embiid, a seven-foot center, as well as wing Brannen Greene. They’re both big-time prospects (I mean, they signed with Self, so they’ve got to be, right?), but Greene appears to be a little more polished at this point. He’s a top-25 recruit out of Georgia. Embiid hails from Cameroon, where he’s only played a year of organized basketball. True seven-footers don’t come along all too often, though, so there’s no telling how good this kid could be in a few years.
dnspewak (343 Posts)

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