Big 12 M5: 02.13.13 EditionPosted by dnspewak on February 13th, 2013
- Texas has been waiting for today all season long: Myck Kabongo will finally return from his NCAA suspension tonight against Iowa State. Problem is, he’s a little late. The Longhorns’ season died a long, long time ago, around the time Division II Chaminade smacked them around in Maui way back in mid-November. Nevertheless, Kabongo could help Rick Barnes’ team play spoiler during the final month of the regular season, and perhaps he offers a little hope for a late Big 12 Tournament run. A Longhorn fan can only hope. Barnes said Kabongo will indeed start against the Cyclones tonight, and he’ll need to make up for lost time right away.
- Buddy Hield isn’t a household name at Oklahoma yet. He’s a fun personality and promising freshman, but you’d be hard-pressed to find many Big 12 fans who know much about him. You need to know that he fractured his foot on Monday, though. More importantly, you need to know that it’s a big loss for the Sooners. Hield is considered one of the top on-ball defenders on the team. He also played very well at both guard spots throughout the season, so he’ll add more pressure to veteran Sam Grooms and youngsters Isaiah Cousins and Je’lon Hornbeak.
- Speaking of guards, Naadir Tharpe was brilliant against Kansas State on Big Monday. His final stat line: eight assists, seven points and one turnover. And he even split time with Elijah Johnson at the point. This performance begs the question– is it time for Tharpe to start? It’s hard to cut Johnson’s role on the team, but maybe it’s a necessity for Bill Self so that his team maximizes its potential. Johnson certainly hasn’t been playing well lately, but he’s proven during his career that he’s more than capable of rebounding from a slump. That’s why we’re betting on Bill Self to ride out the veteran here until he absolutely has to make a change.
- Bill Self knows best. That’s why he has Kansas in a position to win the league again even though his team suffered through an atrocious three-game losing streak and looked more lost than any KU team in recent history. Rob Dauster tells us how that the losing streak is now a faded memory, and that it all stemmed from a lack of confidence. The Jayhawks already have a leg up on Kansas State now that they’ve swept the season series, so the big game to watch for is on February 20. That’s when Kansas travels to Stillwater to play Oklahoma State in their rematch game. Something tells us the Cowboys will need to come to play that night, because KU’s not going to just hand over the Big 12 regular season title on a silver platter.
- West Virginia is still not a great basketball team, but it’s not among the worst teams in the league anymore either. That’s a minor victory for Bob Huggins, who has seemed perplexed at his team’s rather poor performance all season long. The Mountaineers have now won three straight games against the three Texas schools at the bottom of the conference (TCU, Texas and Texas Tech), which means they’re an even 5-5 in Big 12 play. They’ll now try to win their fourth straight against Baylor. The Bears have problems of their own, but that would be a solid win for Huggins during somewhat of a lost season. You’ve got to beef up that CBI resume somehow.