Big 12 M5: 02.06.13 EditionPosted by KoryCarpenter on February 6th, 2013
- Talented players waiting their turn at Kansas is not a new thing. Four of this year’s five starters did exactly that before getting a chance to prove themselves, and freshman guard Andrew White is beginning a similar cycle this season. During Saturday’s loss to Oklahoma State, White was called upon late in the game for his sharp-shooting ability, and he delivered with six points in the final minute. But as Austin Meek of the Topeka Capital-Journal points out, there isn’t a spot in the rotation for him. Senior Travis Releford and freshman Ben McLemore provide enough defense and scoring on the wing, thus Bill Self needs a point guard off the bench, not a three-point specialist. Next year, however, with the entire starting five gone (assuming McLemore leaves early) and a number of freshman on the roster, White looks to have a starting spot sealed up.
- Donald Pepoon of the Kansas State student paper, The Collegian, talks about the lackluster student attendance at recent Kansas State home games, which he calls “embarrassing.” The Wildcats are #13 in the latest AP poll, but as the picture in Pepoon’s article clearly points out, students don’t seem to care. Not only is Kansas State highly ranked, but they are now 7-2 in the Big 12, hold sole possession of second place in the conference, and have a chance to share first place next Monday with a win at Kansas. What else is there to do in Manhattan for a few hours on a random weeknight? The team is good and the fans have shown they can fill up Bramlage Coliseum for big games. Go support your team.
- Iowa State rolled through Oklahoma Monday night much like they have beaten a lot of teams this season — with three-point shooting. The Cyclones were 40% from three-point range (11-of-27) against the Sooners and won comfortably, 83-64. Bryce Miller of IndyStar.com thinks the Cyclones are now poised for a run in March, and while one game does not a season make, Iowa State’s ability to get hot from three-point land makes them a dangerous team in the NCAA Tournament should they make it. Miller wonders where the team that struggled against Yale earlier in the season and lost to Texas Tech recently was on Monday against Oklahoma, talking up the Cyclones as if they’ve put their struggles behind them. The problem is, teams that rely so heavily on the three can find themselves down quickly in the NCAA Tournament. The team that lost to Texas Tech isn’t gone, it was just hiding for a night. Whether it returns in March remains to be seen.
- CBSSports.com’s Jerry Palm recently updated his bracketology and the six Big 12 teams — Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State — remain in the dance. Kansas is still a #1 seed despite its loss on Saturday, while Oklahoma State has jumped three spots into a #6 seed in the Midwest Region. Kansas State remains a #5 seed, and the other three teams — Oklahoma (#9), Baylor (#11), and Iowa State (#11) — are all on the bubble according to Palm. Iowa State gets the unlucky draw of playing in one of the four play-in games against North Carolina.
- In what originally looked to be a big game but eventually turned into an afterthought, West Virginia defeated Texas on Monday night, 60-58, in Morgantown. Mountaineers senior forward Deniz Kilicli had 14 points and four rebounds, going 6-of-8 from the field in the win and pleasing his head coach Bob Huggins. “I think the last two games were the best two all-around games that Deniz has played,” Huggins told Geoff Coyle of WVillustrated.com. It’s too little to late for the senior and West Virginia’s season, but any positive momentum Huggins can take into next year has to be a plus.