Big 12 M5: New Year’s Eve Edition

Posted by Taylor Erickson on December 31st, 2013

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  1. If there was any question about Iowa State’s depth heading into the season, those concerns should be alleviated by now as DeAndre Kane became the fifth different Cyclone to win Big 12 Player of the Week honors this season. This marks the first time in conference history that a school has had five different players win player of the week honors in the same season. Kane averaged 19 points and 8 rebounds per game in route to MVP honors as Iowa State won the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii last week. Kane is just the most recent example of head coach Fred Hoiberg playing the transfer market perfectly in the offseason, and has been a huge reason why Iowa State is undefeated to this point.
  2. When watching Kansas play up to this point in the season, the lack of consistent three point shooting has been a glaring hole for the Jayhawks, and a reason so many Kansas opponents have chosen to play zone defense against Bill Self’s squad. Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star dove deeper into Kansas’ three-point shooting, pointing out that just 18.8% of their scoring has come from behind the three-point line. Of the last 20 Final Four teams, 19 of them have all averaged at least 20% of their points from deep, with UConn’s 2009 team being the only squad to fall under that mark. Interestingly enough, the combination of Andrew Wiggins, Wayne Selden, and Naadir Tharpe have all shot above 33% from three for the season, while freshmen Frank Mason, Conner Frankamp, and Brennan Greene, are averaging a poor 23% from deep. For Kansas to make a deep run in March, they will need a solid shooter to emerge from the group of Greene, Frankamp, or Andrew White.
  3. Oklahoma State has rolled through the non conference portion of their schedule with just one blemish in a rematch loss to Memphis in the Old Spice Classic. Buried under the great start for the Cowboys is the difficulties they’ve had rebounding the basketball. As NBCSports.com discussed in their New Year’s resolution series, Oklahoma State is 147th in offensive rebounding and 179th in defensive rebounding this season. While Travis Ford’s team has athletes all over the floor, they lack the size down low to really match up with some of the bigger teams they see. It will be interesting to see how this factors in during the Big 12 conference season.
  4. As I finish discussing Oklahoma State’s rebounding problems, news breaks tonight that the Cowboys may have lost starting forward Michael Cobbins for a considerable amount of time in a blowout win over Robert Morris on Monday night.  Cobbins spent the second half watching the game from behind the bench using crutches and wearing a boot, and head coach Travis Ford said after the game that the injury “doesn’t look good.” Oklahoma State can slide LeBryan Nash to the four spot with Kamari Murphy at the center position, but at 6’8″, Murphy will give up significant size to most teams in the Big 12.
  5. The departure of former Kansas State standout point guard Angel Rodriguez in the offseason left a void in the Wildcats roster, and undoubtedly had a significant impact on K-State’s slow start out of the gate this season. For Wildcat fans, there’s hope that freshman point guard Jevon Thomas can add a dynamic that they have been lacking two months into this season. Thomas became eligible with the conclusion of the first semester, and says his emphasis will be on the defensive impact as he makes his debut in Bramlage Coliseum on Tuesday afternoon.
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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