Big 12 M5: 11.20.13 Edition
Posted by KoryCarpenter on November 20th, 2013
- Credit to Gary Parrish for calling his shot about 10 hours before Marcus Smart went off for 39 points in a rout of Memphis in Stillwater. “But Smart now has a nice opportunity to shift the national conversation back in his direction, because the big stage will be all his on this Tuesday night.” Andrew Wiggins played Tuesday night, as did Jabari Parker and Julius Randle and Aaron Gordon. But Smart stole the spotlight from the fabulous freshmen, reminding us all that he is still the best guard in the country.
- Kansas freshman center Joel Embiid had a big day Monday. Jayhawk beat writer Rustin Dodd featured him in an excellent article, as Embiid’s dad watched him play for the first time in his life, and he finished with 16 points, 13 rebounds, and three blocks in an 86-66 victory. He was 7-7 from the floor and had a few buckets that made you realize he probably won’t be in a Kansas uniform last season. The biggest defense for the second-ranked Jayhawks is still protecting the rim, and as Dodd points out, Self is working with Embiid to play more like former Jayhawk and shot block-extraordinaire Jeff Withey. If that happens, this team will be complete.
- Last season Juwan Staten ran the West Virginia offense and the results weren’t pretty. Staten had a respectable statline of 7.6 PPG and an assist-to-turnover ratio of better than 2/1. But as Bob Hertzel points out, last year West Virginia was bad. Really bad. #219 in the country bad. And fair or not, that blame went largely to the point guard. A year later, Staten is averaging 20 PPG, 7.3 APG, and is shooting over 51 percent through three games.
- Texas is 4-0 for the first time in four years thanks in some part to the hustle of Jonathan Holmes, who lost parts of couple teeth diving for a loose ball in Monday night’s 89-61 win over Houston Baptist. The biggest takeaway from the win, as Chris Hummer notes, is that freshman guard Kendal Yancy got the start over returning leading scorer Javan Felix. It was a good move to get Yancy some starting experience in a game the Longhorns would control because Rick Barnes will need all the help he can get this season to keep his job.
- If you want good seats in the Kansas student section, whether the Jayhawks are playing Iona or Towson or Missou…Kansas State, you better like early mornings, sitting, and waiting. It’s a somewhat complicated system that is run close to perfection considering it is run by students and students only. But don’t let Elise Reuter of the Kansas City Star fool you about some of the camping group names. Back in the day, when Kansas and Missouri still played, Bill Self once handed out pizzas before reading the list of the 200 or so groups, many of which would make your grandmother blush. “You guys toned it down this year,” he said. “Last season was much worse.”