Big 12 M5: 01.18.13 EditionPosted by KoryCarpenter on January 18th, 2013
- I said earlier in the week that this article by C.J. Moore of Basketball Prospectus may have changed my mind on Rick Barnes‘ coaching ability. I have never been a fan of Barnes and his seeming ability to do less with more than almost any coach in the country. Moore’s article was a nice rebuttal to opinions like mine. But a lot of Texas fans don’t see it that way, and articles like this one from Mike Finger of MySanAntonio.com highlight those reasons. As Finger points out, Barnes has had no trouble throwing his players under the bus this season, and he’s had no problems doing so since around 2008. And while I’ve never been against a coach calling a player out in public (if they can take the compliments in the press, they should be able to take the criticism, too), there’s always the danger of a team zoning a coach out. Barnes has already had to diffuse those notions this season. Maybe Finger is right. Maybe blasting underclassmen isn’t the best way to get your team to respond.
- If you are wondering if Oklahoma has a chance to make its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2009, Jordan Esco over at SBNation.com delves into that topic here. The Sooners have made appearances on most mock brackets as of late, and with the expanded NCAA Tournament field and their 12 wins at the midway part of the regular season, it looks like they will be in the dance barring a collapse in conference play. Esco has them going 9-6 from here on out to finish 12-6 overall in the Big 12. And with three more games against TCU and Texas Tech, West Virginia at home, and Texas at home before Myck Kabongo’s return, it looks like there are nine more wins on that schedule.
- I’m sure I’ve said this a few times already, but there are worse people to hire than Bruce Weber if you have an experienced team without a coach. The troubles seem to come when its time for him to start recruiting his own players, but we can discuss that when the time comes. For now, Kansas State is #16 in the country and playing defense as well as almost any team in America right now. They are on a seven-game winning streak and have held their last 10 opponents under 70 points, which includes the 67-61 win over #10 Florida on December 22 in Kansas City. They have a big game against Oklahoma on Saturday, as both teams are 3-0 in the Big 12.
- The Big 12 knows about the one-and-done rule as well as any conference, whether conference schools were getting torched by Kevin Durant in 2006-07, Ben McLemore this season, or Kansas losing to the most talented group of one-and-doners ever in last year’s national championship game. If it was up to Shaq, Durant and McLemore would be “three-and-dones” instead. O’Neal recently made the remarks at the NCAA convention in Grapevine, Texas, and had plenty of valid points arguing that players need to stay in school longer. It’s a topic many people feel strongly about, and both sides have their fare share of solid arguments. My take? One year of guys like Durant, Odom, Anthony Davis, McLemore and the rest is better than no years. And while these players staying in school for three years would be fun to watch, if a professional league wants to pay them, let them go earn the money.
- Jason King of ESPN.com updated his National Player of the Year ballot, and (rightfully so) Creighton’s Doug McDermott tops his list. McDermott is averaging 24 PPG and 7.2 RPG after being named a First-Team All-American last season. Jeff Withey is fourth on King’s ballot. I can’t help but think of a season ago as Anthony Davis was heralded as one of the best shot-blockers of all-time. A “game-changer” they called him. Davis averaged 14.2 PPG, 10.4 RPG, and 4.7 BPG for Kentucky. Withey is currently averaging 13.1 PPG, 8.2 RPG, and 4.7 BPG this season, just like Davis. I’d still give the award to McDermott this season, but it’s time Withey received more love for possessing the same shot-blocking ability that helped earn a guy the NPOY award last season.