Big 12 M5: Cyber Monday Edition
Posted by Nate Kotisso on November 26th, 2012
- It was the weekend’s best game involving a Big 12 team. Why? Because it actually involved TWO Big 12 teams! Oklahoma and West Virginia met for the first time as conference mates at the Old Spice Classic on Sunday afternoon. Now this doesn’t count as a conference game but it appears the Mountaineers have yet to fully recover from the shellacking they received from Gonzaga two weeks ago. Oklahoma on the other hand stands at 4-1 with Lon Kruger running 10 to 11 guys on the floor with success. There’s still plenty of time for WVU to get its act together before league play although they’ll face a couple of tough December tests with rival Marshall and ex-coach John Beilein’s Michigan Wolverines.
- Speaking of the Old Spice Classic, the 2013 field was announced and it is definitely more balanced than the 2012 edition. Oklahoma State, who wiped the floor with this year’s Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament, will be the Big 12 participant with a number of other programs on the rise like Butler, LSU and Saint Joseph’s, as well as Memphis, Purdue, Siena, and Washington State. Can’t wait for Feast Week ’13.
- Interesting read from CBSSports.com’s Matt Norlander on the struggles of Rodney McGruder in Bruce Weber’s new offensive scheme at Kansas State. Sure the article was written in the wake of Michigan putting the beat down on K-State at the Preseason NIT on Friday night, but his numbers tell the story: shooting career lows from the field (39.7%), beyond the arc (16.7%) and a per-game scoring average currently lower than his sophomore campaign (11.0). McGruder cites him getting teammates involved and getting used to the “constant movement” in Weber’s offense as reasons for the slump, so hopefully, one of the conference’s best players on one of the conference’s best teams will again become the all-Big 12 player we know he can be.
- What is up with Baylor? The Bears fell hard at home to the College of Charleston Saturday night and critics doubting Scott Drew’s coaching skills are getting loud again. The Bears played at home, and their opponent was a first-year head coach with zero tournament experience — not that it matters a whole lot in late November. But this is a game you’re supposed to win, Baylor. They will have to lick their wounds quickly as they meet up with John Calipari and his young bunch of Wildcats on Saturday of this week.
- Some boring but important media news concerning the Oklahoma State athletic department. Fox Sports has locked up the Big 12 school for additional multimedia rights. This deal allows Fox to air one football game per year, plus men’s hoops coverage and other Olympic sports that aren’t included in the school’s TV deal with the conference. With the addition of Oklahoma State now secured, Fox has similar deals with fellow Big 12ers Baylor, Texas Tech, Texas Christian, and Kansas State while Oklahoma has launched its own package, similar to that of ESPN’s Longhorn Network.