Big 12 M5: 11.01.13 Edition

Posted by Taylor Erickson on November 1st, 2013

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  1. Iowa State was dealt an unfortunate blow on Thursday when preseason all-Big 12 selection Melvin Ejim suffered a knee injury that will sideline the 6’6″ senior for the next four to six weeks.  Ejim will miss a handful of games, most notably the Cyclone’s showdown with Michigan on November 17 at Hilton Coliseum.  Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg told the Des Moines Register that Ejim’s injury occurred while going up for a rebound, and could have been much worse than it actually was.  As discussed by Brian Goodman on Thursday, Ejim’s injury could shift sophomore guard Georges Niang to the center position while JuCo Dustin Hogue would slide to the power forward position.
  2. On the other end of the spectrum, Baylor received good news on Thursday when Denver transfer Royce O’Neale was granted a waiver to play immediately for the Bears this season.  O’Neale is from Killeen, Texas, and wanted to transfer to be close to his ailing grandfather.  The 6’6″ O’Neale will provide an important piece for Scott Drew’s squad which lost Deuce Bello and L.J. Rose to transfer in the off-season.  Baylor will once again have some of the best talent in the Big 12 this season, but whether or not they can contend for a league title remains to be seen.
  3. After Kansas closed out the spring recruiting season by landing the ultra talented Andrew Wiggins, many believed head coach Bill Self would certainly look to use the redshirt this season.  Andrew White III was the name most often discussed as a potential redshirt candidate, but it appears the sophomore guard had other ideas.  White spent the off-season getting in serious work with Kansas strength and conditioning coach Andrea Hudy, often times putting in an additional workout at midnight throughout the summer.  When White took the floor for the Jayhawks on Tuesday evening, it was evident his body has undergone a serious transformation since last season and now he figures to be a staple in Self’s rotation this year.
  4. The narrative around Oklahoma State this season beings with Marcus Smart, who is expected to be one of the top players in college basketball.  But Smart is not alone in the Cowboy backcourt, as he is joined by talented guard Markel Brown, who was tabbed by Big 12 coaches as a member of the all-Big 12 preseason team.  The cause for concern in Stillwater is the talent in the frontcourt, and as Rob Dauster pointed out, the Cowboys managed a whopping 6 offensive rebounds in their exhibition game on Sunday against Campbellsville.  As good as Oklahoma State is at the guard position, the front line will be an important factor when going up against teams like Kansas and Baylor this season.
  5. We have all probably had our fill of preseason polls so far this year, but the Associated Press released their preseason top 25 on Thursday, and featured Big 12 teams Kansas (5), Oklahoma State (8), and Baylor (25).  These three teams figure to be the class of the conference this season, with Kansas and Oklahoma State considered to be among those teams capable of winning the national title.  Whether or not the middle-tier teams in the Big 12 like Iowa State and Kansas State can make a push into the top 25 by the time conference play rolls around will be interesting to watch.
Taylor Erickson (54 Posts)

Taylor Erickson is a Big 12 contributor for RTC. You can follow him on Twitter @tc_erickson.


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