Big 12 M5: 01.03.14 Edition

Posted by Taylor Erickson on January 3rd, 2014

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  1.  With the recent injury to Oklahoma State forward Michael Cobbins, Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com questions whether the Cowboys still have a shot at winning the Big 12 regular season title. Cobbins’ departure means sophomore Kamari Murphy will be forced to pick up some of the slack left by Cobbins on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. Oklahoma State has the ability to play small forward LeBryan Nash at the four spot, but with Nash at 6’7″ and Murphy standing at 6’8″, a team that has struggled in both offensive and defensive rebounding becomes even smaller against some of the bigger frontcourts in the Big 12.
  2. Iowa State fans had a chance Thursday to honor historic Cyclone coach, Johnny Orr, when his urn was placed in Hilton Coliseum for a public visitation. Orr passed away earlier in the week after suffering complications from a head injury suffered at his residence. It seems only fitting that the success or “Hilton Magic” that Orr introduced to Ames during his tenure as Iowa State head coach seems to be fully restored with the success the school has experienced with head coach Fred Hoiberg at the helm.
  3. The awful start that Kansas State opened the season with in a loss to Northern Colorado appears to be a thing of the past, and Tim Bisel of the Topeka Capital-Journal suggests that Bruce Weber’s Wildcats might just have a say in the Big 12 race after all.  That’s not to suggest that Kansas State will win the conference title, but the Wildcats are dangerous enough to pose a serious threat on a nightly basis for some of the league’s top teams. What’s even more interesting is how similar this season is to that a year ago, where Weber’s squad again struggled out of the gate before tying Kansas for the league regular season title.
  4. If you have watched enough of Kansas this season, you have probably noticed how un-Kansas-like the Jayhawks have been on the defensive end this season. And, if you’re familiar with Bill Self, you can probably guess how well that sits with the Kansas head coach, who said after a win on Monday night against previously undefeated Toledo that his team “is not getting it on that end at all” in regards to his team’s defensive effort. While the young talent at Kansas is as good as any team in the country, it’s becoming increasingly obvious how valuable veteran leadership has been in previous years when it comes to locking down opponents on defense.
  5. Joe Lunardi of ESPN.com released his most recent way-too-early-but-still-intriguing Bracketology update, which features five teams from the Big 12 in Oklahoma State, Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, and Texas. The Cowboys as a two seed are the highest seeded team in the league with the Longhorns bringing up the tail end as a 10 seed. What’s perhaps more interesting than those teams that are featured in Lunardi’s bracket are the teams that are for the time being not listed, namely Oklahoma who has jumped out to a 11-2 record after making the NCAA tournament a year ago. If Kansas State maintains the trend they’ve been on as of late, there’s a chance the Big 12 could place as many as seven teams in the Big Dance, but with league play getting started, there’s bound to be some cannibalization among conference foes that could damage some resumes.
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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