Big 12 M5: 10.15.13 EditionPosted by Brian Goodman on October 15th, 2013
- The Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy became the latest national writer to go in-depth with Andrew Wiggins, though he also got some interesting quotes from Bill Self and Wiggins’ teammate, Perry Ellis. All three continued to downplay the non-stop hype surrounding the freshman phenom, citing his still-nascent sense of aggression, his transition from an interior player to more of an all-around threat, and the relatively low likelihood of him stuffing a stat sheet the way Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant and Michael Beasley did before him. Our guess is that their efforts won’t stop opposing coaches from making him a focus of their game plans, nor will it keep the national media from putting him under a microscope, but in just a few weeks, Wiggins will finally have the chance to let his game speak for itself.
- Kansas State will likely take a step back this season after two key players graduated, and a third, Angel Rodriguez, opted to transfer. Those departures will put pressure not only on seniors Shane Southwell and Will Spradling, but also on newcomers Marcus Foster and Wesley Iwandu. KSU’s student paper, The Collegian, caught a glimpse of the new-look Wildcats during a scrimmage Monday afternoon and came away impressed by Foster and Iwandu. We have to apply the official RTC disclaimer regarding putting excessive stock into practices, but if the Wildcats’ five-man freshmen class develops faster than anticipated, it will greatly help KSU’s chances of staying competitive with the top four teams in the conference.
- It’s common knowledge that the head coaching situation at Texas is one of the shakiest in the Big 12 (and maybe in the country), but the lack of stability is about a lot more than simply Rick Barnes‘ recent trend of disappointing seasons and whiffs on the recruiting trail. The entire administration will be in a state of flux following the retirement of athletic director DeLoss Dodds, and university leaders understand the onus is on them to take a calculated approach in finding the next AD. We understand that football always drives the bus when it comes to big decisions in college athletics, but we’re looking forward to the day when the Longhorns return to a state of perennial contention on the hardwood. Texas simply has too many resources to struggle for as long as it has, so hopefully it isn’t too long before the Frank Erwin Center is buzzing again, regardless of who is at the controls.
- Yesterday, we talked about the transition of Iowa State from a transfer-laden team to one of home-grown talent, but one of its most important players this season will once again be a newcomer: DeAndre Kane, formerly of Marshall. The fifth-year point guard filled up the scoring column for three seasons with the Thundering Herd, though not always efficiently. After a rift emerged between he and head coach Tom Herrion, the two sides parted ways over the summer and Kane ended up in Ames. Whether Kane benefits from the change of scenery or reverts to his frustrating style of play could play a huge role in deciding the Cyclones’ fate in the Big 12 race in 2013-14.
- Bob Hertzel of The Exponent Telegram (WV) spoke with West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins about a few storylines surrounding the Mountaineers this preseason, including their schedule, personnel and shooting environments as they get ready for their second trip through the Big 12. The most interesting nugget from the piece is Huggins appearing to doubt himself in lining up a tough schedule for his team, which is thin on experience as well as depth, especially down low. Non-conference tilts against Gonzaga, Missouri, Purdue and either Saint Louis or Wisconsin pepper the Mountaineers’ slate, so the margin of error will be razor thin as West Virginia looks to return to the Big Dance after a surprising one-year layoff.