Big 12 M5: 01.25.13 Edition
Posted by dnspewak on January 25th, 2013
- Texas Tech defeated unranked Iowa State at home this week. For most programs, that’s a blip on the radar. For interim coach Chris Walker and the Red Raiders, it is a major feat to beat anybody, considering last year’s team finished 1-17 in Big 12 play. Add in the fact that the Cyclones are actually a formidable opponent and advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season, and you might as well hang a banner in Lubbock. Or not. Point is, as the article points out, this might have been the most important win for Texas Tech in two seasons. Two seasons! A win over Iowa State! Still, it’s encouraging to see how well freshman point guard Josh Gray played down the stretch, and this is a team with a lot of young, talented parts. Give it a couple of years, and maybe wins over Iowa State at home will become the norm, not a surprise.
- Finally, Oklahoma State is getting some good news with regard to an injured player. Brian Williams should return by next week, which will give the Cowboys a much-needed defensive boost. The versatile wing, who broke his wrist this fall and has not played a game yet, can guard a lot of different positions at 6’5” and changes the dynamics of Ford’s roster. It’s a huge relief for this program, which has dealt with the injury bug on more than one occasion and could use a boost as they enter the heart of Big 12 play.
- We knew this would happen. We know TCU would not come out swinging in its inaugural Big 12 season. We knew the Horned Frogs would lose a lot. Now that it’s actually happening, though, those low expectations don’t make the results less ugly. TCU lost by 21 points to West Virginia on Wednesday, and it may be difficult for Trent Johnson’s team to even win another game this year. Thanks to some notable recruiting efforts by Johnson, help is on the way, but the Horned Frogs already lost at home to Texas Tech and certainly shouldn’t be favored in any game for the rest of the season. A winless Big 12 season is not out of the question.
- As for that West Virginia team that beat TCU on Wednesday– the picture is almost as bleak for Bob Huggins in his first Big 12 season. His team has been nothing short of atrocious, which makes that beatdown even more embarrassing for the Horned Frogs. TCU is undermanned due to injuries, but offensively this team is a mess and cannot keep pace with anybody. Not even the hapless Mountaineers.
- Bill Self met with the media this week to discuss a variety of topics, and as usual, the Kansas coach was highly entertaining and informative. The most interesting part of the press conference might have been his comparison between Ben McLemore and Brandon Rush, the former Kansas star from his national title team. He called Rush the better defender, but McLemore the better scorer. That’s probably fair. He also praised both of them for being unselfish stars, which is the sort of personality Self breeds as a coach. If you recall that 2008 title team, many criticized the Jayhawks for lacking a go-to scorer. They were too unselfish people said. And then they won it all. Self knows how to coach, and he knows how to get his stars to play team ball. McLemore is a terrific example of that.