Big 12 M5: April Fool’s Day Edition
Posted by Nate Kotisso on April 1st, 2013
- It appears the entire Kansas team took a harder shot below the belt than Michigan’s Mitch McGary on Friday night. The Jayhawks coughed up a 14-point second half lead to the Wolverines, capped off by a deeeeep three-pointer from point guard/superman Trey Burke with five seconds left in regulation. Now Michigan’s prepping for the Final Four in Atlanta while KU is looking ahead to a very different roster in 2013-14. Gone will be Travis Releford, Jeff Withey, Elijah Johnson, Kevin Young and Ben McLemore to the NBA (presumably) but Bill Self has a top-flight recruiting class coming in to plug those holes. Next year will sort of resemble the KU team he had in 2009: a major roster turnover after they won a national title. Another reason to not be down on Kansas: that ’09 team made the Sweet Sixteen.
- Fred Hoiberg isn’t going anywhere for awhile. The Mayor agreed to a 10-year, $20 million extension with Iowa State last Thursday just as his name was thrown around the rumor mill for the vacant Minnesota job or consideration for a future NBA job. All he’s done in three years in Ames is make the NCAA Tournament twice while winning two games in March. Typically, opportunities for coaches to “come home” occur later in their coaching careers (see: Roy Williams, Bob Huggins). With Hoiberg’s local ties and statements like “It’s [Iowa State] where I want to be” and “I hope to coach here until I retire,” it’s hard to believe he’ll go anywhere else. What a welcome change in college athletics.
- Remember conference realignment? For the longest time, Louisville was rumored to become a member of the Big 12, but it never materialized. It would have been a perfect fit. Their football team is coming off a win in the Sugar Bowl, men’s basketball is headed for a second consecutive Final Four, and women’s hoops has just pulled a colossal upset of Baylor to advance to the Elite Eight. Now they’re headed for the ACC in 2014, which for basketball purposes, is as close to heaven as anything else with Syracuse, Duke, and North Carolina all in the same league. If I had to put money on it, this bigger ACC will not last. We’ve seen mega-conferences before (WAC, Big East) and they don’t tend to last for very long. Hopefully, the Big 12 can get another shot at the Cards in the future.
- The Tubby Smith-Texas Tech rumors of a meeting are now fact. According to an Associated Press report from Saturday night, TTU is in talks with Smith to become its next head coach. Tubby and his wife left Lubbock and we have not discussed whether Smith received a firm offer from the school. I personally like Chris Walker to take the full-time job because of how he carries himself and treats his players, but all of that changes if Tubby is interested. He’s a winner everywhere he’s been and Minnesota probably made a huge mistake by letting him go.
- Did you even think we’d say the Baylor men’s season would last longer than the women’s? Well, it will. Brittney Griner, arguably the greatest women’s player at the college level, ended her decorated career Sunday night in a Sweet Sixteen defeat to Louisville, 82-81. She had one of her worst games of the year as the Cardinals were physical and unrelenting with her all game long, failing to score her first points until the second half. The Lady Cards earned it the hard way and will now face Tennessee for the right to go to the Final Four tomorrow night.