Big 12 M5: 12.19.12 Edition
Posted by Nate Kotisso on December 19th, 2012
- Yesterday I talked about the success Oklahoma had in Saturday’s win over Texas A&M when the Sooners went on a important 8-0 second half run using a four-guard lineup. Well, they probably could have used some of that last night. The Sooners fell to Stephen F. Austin by a score of 56-55, making this OU’s first non-conference loss in Norman since 2007 (coincidentally enough to these same Lumberjacks). OU led 30-26 at halftime but SFA came out on a 19-4 run to start the second half and led by as many as 11 points. The Sooners then countered with an 18-6 spurt to take a brief 52-51 lead, but OU’s Buddy Hield had a chance to possibly force overtime with four seconds left but obviously he didn’t. I don’t think we’ll see a whole lot of OU-SFA games again in the future.
- The struggles of Rodney McGruder in Bruce Weber’s brand-new motion offense are well documented, which makes last night’s performance against Texas Southern all the more encouraging. K-State won the game but McGruder lit up the Tigers for 26 points on 12-of-17 shooting. If the Cats want to do anything in March, much less Big 12 play, the senior McGruder needs to be at the top of his game this season. One fun note from this game: Former Oklahoma State and current Texas Southern guard Ray Penn made the most of his return to a Big 12 arena, pouring in 24 points and dishing out five assists in the defeat.
- If you’re a fan of Big 12 basketball as a whole, there hasn’t been much to stick your chest out about this year. But I found something to be proud of: all the über-talented freshmen. CBSSports.com ranked the top five freshmen in college basketball and two of them hail from the Big 12. Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart has arguably become the most versatile freshman point guard in the country, or maybe just point guard, period, in America by putting together averages of 13 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals per contest. The newbie on this week’s list at number three is Ben McLemore from Kansas. The St. Louis native has had an impressive three game stretch against Oregon State, Colorado and Belmont by averaging 20.7 points per game which includes 9-of-15 shooting from behind the arc. Freshmen — this is our silver lining.
- “I don’t know about my teammates but I play at the level of the competition.” That quote is the last thing you want to hear if you’re a coach or fan but it comes from Oklahoma State’s LeBryan Nash. If I may play Devil’s Advocate, can you blame him? The Cowboys are 8-1, with quality wins, a Top 25 ranking, and talent everywhere. But if there’s a time to not slack off, it’s now. They have UT-Arlington and Tennessee Tech on the schedule before playing Gonzaga on New Year’s Eve prior to Big 12 play. Nash said that he wants to change his attitude of playing down to teams, though. The first step in dealing with a problem is acknowledging that there is one to begin with. Now prove it.
- Here’s a weekly favorite of mine — and it should be yours too. Gary Parrish’s Poll Attacks spotlights the horrible mistakes writers and coaches make on their Top 25 ballots. This week, there’s some confusion as to why a certain Big 12 team received two votes from coaches that didn’t even deserve one. If there’s just one vote, it probably looks like a mistake. But a second vote makes you think otherwise.