Big 12 M5: 12.18.12 Edition

Posted by Nate Kotisso on December 18th, 2012

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  1. The Big 12 announced the weekly winners for Big 12 player and rookie of the week. POTW honors went to Iowa State’s Melvin Ejim. Though he only played one game last week, Ejim filled up the stat sheet against Drake with 21 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and four steals in 31 minutes. It was Ejim’s 11th career double-double and he has already registered four of them on the young season. This week’s ROTW is now a repeat winner. Baylor freshman Isaiah Austin won the award with his dominant performance in the Bears’ 85-68 win over Lamar on December 12. All the seven-footer did was put up season highs in points (23) and rebounds (17) against a helpless Cardinals’ front line. I have a feeling Austin will win another ROTW honor before season’s end.
  2. Back on March 2, Chris Lowery was fired as head coach at Southern Illinois, and just seven days later, his former boss Bruce Weber was fired at Illinois. So when Weber landed feet first in Manhattan, Kansas, during the offseason, Lowery was on the short list of possible assistants to call. Even though the season is young, I’ll go ahead and call this a home run hire. In his first three seasons at SIU, Weber had just one NIT appearance but once Lowery came on staff in 2001, the Salukis made the NCAA Tournament twice including a run to the Sweet Sixteen. He even joined Weber at Illinois for a year to help guide another Sweet Sixteen team. Now if only he and Weber could sign a lifetime deal at K-State…
  3. Burnt Orange Nation gives us a recap of the first month of basketball for Big 12 teams. I can’t remember a season when the Big 12 has had so many teams show signs of incompetence. West Virginia was supposed to succeed the role of Missouri with a solid history and recent success, yet they find themselves at 4-5. Texas‘ crop of talented young guys can’t put the ball in the hoop; Baylor has been a vulnerable team at home; and then a collection of teams (Oklahoma, Iowa State and Kansas State) have solid records but haven’t been able to get wins against significant opponents yet. Hopefully, next month’s recap will be more flattering for the Big 12.
  4. We know Oklahoma’s Lon Kruger is into trying new things, seeing how he changes jobs every five years (I kid) but Saturday’s win over Texas A&M saw Kruger add what The Norman Transcript calls a “new wrinkle” to another possible lineup. The Sooners went with a four-guard set with 6’6″ forward Cameron Clark at the center position for a large part of the second half. Clark went on to score 12 of his 17 points in that half and, while his team searches for an identity, Kruger left the door open for the Sooners to experiment with that lineup in the future.
  5. To borrow a line from Houston Rockets radio voice Craig Ackerman, Baylor very nearly pooped their big boy pants again last night to USC Upstate but rebounded in the second half to beat the Spartans 73-57. Cory Jefferson ruled the paint going 6-of-8 from the field for 17 points to lead all scorers. Fresh off his second ROTW award, Isaiah Austin recorded his second consecutive double-double (12 points, 10 boards) while the best all-around game went to A.J. Walton who threw in 10 points, four rebounds, eight dimes and five steals. It’s another tally in the win column for Scott Drew, but the uneasy feeling about the Bears playing at the Ferrell Center isn’t going away just yet.
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