Big 12 M5: 02.07.13 EditionPosted by KoryCarpenter on February 7th, 2013
- Yes, Kansas did in fact lose to TCU last night, 62-55. Yes, the Jayhawks were held to 13 points in the first half. Many suspected Kansas’ 18-2 record may have been a bit of a fraud, but 13 points in the first half against TCU? Actually losing to TCU, a team that was winless in the Big 12, a team that had lost earlier in the year to SMU and Houston and Texas Tech? It just doesn’t make sense. The Jayhawks shot 29.5% (18-61) and were 3-22 from three-point range. They are losers of back-to-back games for the first time since 2006, ending a streak of 264 games without consecutive losses. In a span of six days, Kansas has dropped from a potential No. 1 overall seed and heavy Big 12 favorites into a tie for first place in the conference and a possible #2 seed. Losses to 200+ RPI teams are a killer for NCAA Tournament Resumes.
- Elijah Johnson was an easy case to study for the Lawrence-Journal World‘s Jesse Newell on Wednesday morning. As Newell points outs, Johnson is KU’s least efficient player this year and is the least efficient point guard Bill Self has had at Kansas. And that was before his 3-for-12 shooting night with three turnovers and one assist against TCU. Johnson is a two-guard playing the point out of necessity, but that will be nothing but a small footnote in Kansas history if he and his offense continue their slide into March.
- What a game between Baylor and Oklahoma State in Stillwater last night. After a pair of Pierre Jackson free throws sent the game to overtime, Cowboy forward Michael Cobbins blocked an A.J. Walton shot attempt with around five seconds to play. Markel Brown somehow managed to make it 90 feet to the other basket in that time and beat the clock with two-tenths of a second to spare, giving Oklahoma State the win and putting them in a tie for second place in the conference with Iowa State, both at 6-3. On a night that Kansas was supposed to get its mojo back in a glorified scrimmage in Fort Worth and Oklahoma State would possibly suffer a letdown after the rarest of rare wins in Allen Fieldhouse, the Jayhawks suffered one of their worst losses in 20 years and the Cowboys solidified themselves as a top-25 team and Big 12 contender.
- When you rely as heavily on transfers as Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg has, you’re bound to get burned every once in a while. Former USC Trojan guard Maurice Jones, who left Southern Cal in September, planned to sit out this semester and the fall semester before beginning his Cyclone career next spring. He was denied that opportunity, the Ames Tribune and an Iowa State spokesperson reported Wednesday. The article states that Jones left USC due to academic issues but Jones is quoted as saying it wasn’t his grades. He isn’t clear about the exact reason, however. But there’s always a reason a player transfers to another school. Whether it was his decision, the coach’s, or academics, it’s not rare to find situations like Jones’. It’s actually quite surprising Hoiberg has had as much success with the transfer route he decided to take early on.
- It’s true that at Illinois, Bruce Weber actually held a mock funeral for his predecessor, Bill Self. Weber seemed tired of the constant chatter about the former coach and wanted to put an end to the Self era. It backfired, for the most part. Weber struggled after Self’s players left Champagne and he was fired after last season. But nearly a decade later and once again having success with another coach’s team, Weber isn’t running from the previous coach’s shadow. “I’ve given praise to Frank Martin because he created here a culture of toughness and defense and we’ve kind of carried it over, but he started it,” Weber told Ken Corbitt of the Topeka Capital-Journal leading up to Tuesday’s win over Texas Tech. The Wildcats are now tied for first place in the Big 12 with Kansas and face the Jayhawks on Monday night in Lawrence.