Big 12 M5: 11.28.12 Edition

Posted by Nate Kotisso on November 28th, 2012

  1. Some degree of normalcy has returned to Austin. For a night anyway. As most Texas games have gone this season, last night’s win over Sam Houston State was uh-guh-ly. They defeated the Bearkats by 28 but it was far from a typical blowout. The Horns shot 40% from the floor, though I guess it looks better than SHSU’s 21% shooting. They came into last night’s game averaging a Big 12-high 19 turnovers a game and, wouldn’t you know it, UT turned it over 19 times. A win is a win but in this case, is it? The Longhorns have struggled to put the ball in the basket lately and haven’t held on to the basketball. Simply put, for the thousandth time, they need Myck Kabongo back.
  2. Bill Self was none too pleased with his Jayhawks’ performance on Monday night against San Jose State. When asked about his team’s play during the Spartans’ 16-0 second-half run, Self said, “I’ve seen bad offense before — third-and-fourth grade YMCA basketball with no good ball reversal and bad ball-handling. Our offense surpassed that tonight the last 12 minutes of the game.” Considering how they looked against Michigan State, in stretches against SJSU and Chattanooga, and Oklahoma State’s quick ascent to the top, you start to wonder if KU can really win this league again. But wondering is all I will do because I don’t want to be the guy dismissing the Jayhawks so soon when history has told us not to. Better safe than sorry.
  3. Marcus Smart sure is making a name for himself early. CBSSports.com released its freshman of the year and player of the year power rankings for this week and Smart is one of two freshmen (the other is Kentucky’s Archie Goodwin) to be on both lists. Smart is a player Clark Kellogg would call a “stat-sheet stuffer.” With an ouput of 13.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, 5.8 dimes, 2.4 steals, and 1.4 blocks per game? I’d say he’s deserving.
  4. One of the big surprises in the league: West Virginia has started the season 1-3. But are they 1-3 because they’re not very good or are they a product of their own scheduling? I tend to give Bob Huggins-coached teams the benefit of the doubt when he has over 700 wins to speak for his talent. At least he’s not afraid of scheduling tough opponents, though, unlike some coaches. Playing at Gonzaga is pretty close to a death sentence. Davidson and Oklahoma on a neutral floor could have been Ws. My brain is telling me that the Mountaineers will come back around when conference play starts up in a little more than a month, because the last and only time he had a team finish under .500 was in 1984-85 with Akron, his first year as a head coach.
  5. If ya haven’t heard, Texas Tech is a perfect 4-0 on the young season. A big part of the Red Raiders’ quick start, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal says, is junior Dejan Kravic. The article mentions one play the 6’11” Kravic had against Jackson State. He stood at the top of the key, ball in hand, then made a move with a crossover dribble before hittin a bank shot under duress from a Tiger defender. If the idea of a big guy pulling off a crossover dribble isn’t intriguing enough, then what in the world is? Head coach Chris Walker says being physical on the floor “is not in his nature” and believes “he is only going to get better.” We’ll see how he fares against a long and athletic interior from Arizona on Saturday.
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