Big 12 M5: 12.20.12 Edition

Posted by Nate Kotisso on December 20th, 2012

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  1. Here’s some news we’ve been waiting to hear all season long. According to a Yahoo! Sports report, the NCAA will suspend Texas guard Myck Kabongo for the remainder of the season. As the article notes, most cases involving players and impermissible benefits result in a three to 10-game suspension followed by a repayment of the benefits. However, the NCAA believes Kabongo provided false information in his interview and has decided to end his sophomore season before it even began. Javan Felix has done a solid job in Kabongo’s place this season by averaging 8.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game, which is good for second in the Big 12. Can’t make excuses for Texas anymore.
  2. Just as the Kabongo news was breaking, Texas was putting the finishing touches on a wire-to-wire blowout of North Carolina, 85-67, at the Frank Erwin Center in downtown Austin. I happened to be in attendance at the game last night and to be honest, I was expecting the Horns to cool off from their hot start and Carolina to eventually take control of the basketball game. I prepared myself for this to happen but it never did. Both teams were sloppy with the basketball all game long and it felt like I was watching two AAU teams who were wrongfully wearing burnt orange and Carolina blue. Here’s an encouraging tidbit from last night’s game: The Longhorns bettered their season scoring high by 10 points, knocking off the 75-point mark set last game vs Texas State. Maybe, finally, this team is turning the corner offensively. Our eyeballs thank you.
  3. TCU announced that guard Jarvis Ray will be out for the next six to eight weeks after suffering a leg injury in Tuesday’s game versus Southern. After a jump shot, Ray came down awkwardly on a defender’s foot and is now the third Horned Frog to miss significant time due to injury; junior Amric Fields and freshman Aaron Durley are the other two. TCU was picked to finish dead last in the Big 12 anyway so it’s not as if we’re losing a possible tournament team. Trent Johnson’s group knows that this is a do your best kind of season. At least you can’t fall any further than rock bottom. 
  4. A day after posting an article about Le’Bryan Nash playing down to his competition, Oklahoma State beat up on UT-Arlington 69-44 in Stillwater. The statistical line of the game goes once again to Marcus Smart, who scored 10 points (on four shot attempts), grabbed four rebounds, dished out five assists, and had four steals. And what about Nash? 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting. In reality the entire Cowboy team probably didn’t care about this game that much. At halftime, coach Travis Ford said that Oklahaoma State really has “a lot of respect for UT-San Antonio.” Speak for yourself, coach.
  5. After Saturday’s loss to Michigan, West Virginia coach Bob Huggins complained about his team in front of the media. It appears now that his Mountaineer players understand his frustration and are trying to do something about it. The super early return on his investment is looking pretty good so far with West Virginia defeating Oakland 76-71 last night. They hit better than 50% of their shots as a team and made eight threes. Aaric Murray returned from a one-game suspension to drop 12 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, and blocked five shots. Maybe this is the week that Texas and WVU have chosen to do complete 180s. Good idea.
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