Big 12 M5: 12.17.12 Edition

Posted by Nate Kotisso on December 17th, 2012

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  1. Kansas whipped another non-conference opponent at home Saturday, beating Belmont 89-60. While the Jayhawks’ top three scorers in Ben McLemore (17 points), Travis Releford (17) and Jeff Withey (14) all got theirs, it was seldom-used guard Andrew White III who made the most of his playing time. White III hit a trio of three-pointers, six shots total, and scored 15 points in just 10 minutes of action. Just one game earlier versus Colorado, White scored eight points in eight minutes. So I guess the question is, will Bill Self carve out consistent minutes for the freshman guard? I’m all for seeing players put up crazy points-to-minutes played ratios. Do it, coach.
  2. As for that other school in the state, Kansas State fell to Gonzaga Saturday in the normally exciting Battle in Seattle. The Wildcats found themselves down one point at the half but it was only a matter of time before the Bulldogs were going to get rolling offensively. But second-half flameouts are becoming a trend against quality opponents like Michigan and the Zags. They were down 29-24 to the Wolverines before folding in the second half as well. After a home tilt against Texas Southern on Monday, the Cats will play another top five team in Florida on Saturday. I blame scheduling for all of this. We knew this Wildcats team is essentially the same as last year and will probably finish in the top four of the Big 12 but their non-conference schedule is either against top flight teams or scrubs. Why aren’t there more games against consistent mid-majors like Gonzaga or other power conference schools? No one can properly evaluate the Cats when all their losses are to ranked teams and their best win is probably against South Carolina Upstate.
  3. I’m giving up on West Virginia. I thought their win over Virginia Tech (who is responsible for Oklahoma State’s one loss) was a sign that the Mountaineers were possibly turning the corner… but no. WVU predictably lost to a deeper, athletic and more talented Michigan team coached by ex-’Eers coach John Beilein. They lost without Aaric Murray, who didn’t even make the trip to New York for committing a violation of some sort. What did Bob Huggins have to say about Murray not being with the team? “I’ve left guys home way, way, way better than Aaric Murray.” And his team’s performance on Saturday? “I’m sick of watching guys stand around. I’m sick of watching guys not compete. I’m sick of guys missing shot after shot after shot but never coming early, never staying late, don’t think about coming in on an off-day and then telling me they care? I haven’t had guys like that before. I want some guys that care.” It’s going to be that kind of year in Morgantown.
  4. Iowa State‘s breakthrough 2011-12 season was welcomed with open arms to the college basketball world but its return to prominence was perfect except for one thing: The Cyclones lived with the sting of an early season loss to in-state rival Drake (ok, it’s probably not that serious). But ISU did get their revenge on the Bulldogs Saturday with an 86-77 win. Melvin Ejim poured in 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead the way. Ejim continues to be a fantastic rebounder (9.3 per game) for his 6’6″ frame. The last thing the Cyclones want to be seen as is a one-hit wonder.
  5. Texas head coach Rick Barnes earned his 550th win as a college coach in Saturday’s 75-63 win over Texas State. While winning 550 games in any sport isn’t easy, Barnes’ teams have tended to be disappointments. Touted recruits have come to Austin and left quickly enough to not make a big impact on teams. As for Saturday’s game, the Longhorns’ 75 points were a season-high. They might need to score a little more than that if they want to give themselves a chance against North Carolina’s scorers (84 PPG) on Wednesday night.
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