Big 12 M5: 12.11.12 Edition
Posted by dnspewak on December 11th, 2012
- The first step to recovery is admitting there’s a problem. The Big 12 has a problem: It’s not playing very well right now. It’s bad enough that the league only has two ranked teams — the worst showing in the polls since 2008-09 — but the Kansas City Star breaks down some even more appalling numbers from November and early December. Right now, the league is 2-8 against the Top 25 and has dropped below the Atlantic 10 and Mountain West in terms of conference RPI ratings. Perhaps things will change if/when Myck Kabongo returns for Texas, if Kansas State can earn a headline win against either Gonzaga or Florida later this month, or if Baylor remembers how to play basketball. Frankly, only Oklahoma State has really overachieved and surprised anybody at this point. Everybody else, besides Kansas of course, has flopped for the most part so far.
- Speaking of the Longhorns, it’s a disaster in Texas right now. For perhaps the first time in college basketball history, the UCLA/Texas game on Saturday actually made headlines for being a terrible, horrendously executed game on both ends. At this point, the Longhorns are lost, and even Sheldon McClellan admits there’s an issue. “Guys don’t think we can win,” he said after the 65-63 loss to the Bruins over the weekend. Understandably, a team without its star point guard and a roster consisting exclusively of freshmen and sophomores will have growing pains. It’s just that nobody thought they’d be this severe.
- Kevin Young is the forgotten man for Kansas, so let’s go ahead and not forget that he scored 16 points, missed just one field goal and had eight rebounds in the Jayhawks’ romping of Colorado this weekend. That’s drawing some high praise from Bill Self, who called him the “best we have.” Now, Steve Fisher and San Diego State are really jealous he didn’t go there.
- Congratulations to Rodney McGruder, your newest Big 12 Player of the Week. This won’t be the last time he wins this award, so get used to it. He went off for a double-double against George Washington, but the competition will stiffen when the Wildcats head to Seattle soon for a showdown with Gonzaga. Coach Bruce Weber’s old team, Illinois, just knocked off the Zags, and Kansas State could really use a big-time victory this weekend after falling short against Michigan in November.
- Finally, a little tidbit out of Oklahoma: Lon Kruger’s nephew, Jarrod Kruger, has left the program to focus on his schoolwork. Interestingly, Oklahoma is actually the third Big 12 school the walk-on has played for. He started at Kansas State and then transferred to Kansas before landing at his uncle’s school. Although there are no signs that he plans on suiting up elsewhere, perhaps he should go for Oklahoma State or one of the Texas schools next, just to fill in some of the remaining blanks.
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