Big 12 M5: 10.22.13 Edition
Posted by Kory Carpenter on October 22nd, 2013
- The CBSSports.com crew held a college basketball fantasy draft yesterday and not too surprisingly, Andrew Wiggins and Marcus Smart went No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Kansas center Joel Embiid was the next Big 12 player taken at #12 overall, followed by Baylor center Isaiah Austin at #18. Kansas freshman guard Wayne Selden (#20) made it five Big 12 players in the top 20, all of whom are underclassmen. Other notable selections included Kentucky freshman Julius Randle at #3 and Duke freshman Jabari Parker at #5. For those of you keeping track at home, that’s three of the five best players in the country (according to CBS) playing at the Champions Classic next month in Chicago.
- Chris Johnson at Sports Illustrated wrote a solid article on Oklahoma State coming into the season and how the Cowboys will challenge Kansas for the Big 12 championship. Oklahoma State returns its top three leading scorers in Marcus Smart, Le’Bryan Nash and Markel Brown. As Johnson notes, the Cowboys were the Big 12 favorites until mid-April. That is when Andrew Wiggins committed to the Jayhawks, putting Kansas back in the driver’s seat for its 10th straight Big 12 regular season title. With Smart leading the Cowboys’ offense as a sophomore, Oklahoma State has enough firepower to win the conference but everyone knows that knocking off Kansas won’t be an easy task.
- Yahoo!’s Jeff Eisenberg had more to say yesterday about Marcus Smart’s recent comments on Andrew Wiggins. “They are saying he is the best college player there is and he has not even played a game yet,” Smart said. “Of course that hypes me up.” It’s not like Smart said anything controversial there, or that he even said anything untrue about the precocious Kansas freshman. He truthfully hasn’t played a college game yet. As Eisenberg says, credit to Smart for actually answering questions and not spewing cliches. The great thing is that Wiggins and Bill Self will use those words as extra motivation when the teams meet at least twice this season, unfortunately still a few months away.
- In what is more of a dubious list, Iowa State‘s Melvin Ejim was listed among the 15 least appreciated players by CBSSports.com on Monday. The Iowa State senior big man will be one of the best forwards in the Big 12 this season, without question. But as CBS noted, he nearly averaged a double-double a season ago (11.2 PPG, 9.3 RPG) and he will need to duplicate those numbers if Iowa State has plans to again compete with the top of the Big 12 along with Kansas, Oklahoma State, and Baylor.
- According to Kevin Doyle at NBCSports.com, defense is what will carry the Texas Longhorns this season. Rick Barnes: “We haven’t been good the last couple years. We will play harder and play better defense. With the size we have, we’ll be able to protect the rim.” With so many losses in personnel from last year’s team, defense will be the only thing that could save Barnes’ job next spring. The Longhorns are young and the administration may finally be getting restless in Austin.
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