Big 12 M5: 02.13.14 Edition
Posted by Brian Goodman on February 13th, 2014
- Without any official update on center Joel Embiid‘s status for Saturday’s game between Kansas and TCU, Benton Smith of The Lawrence Journal-World discussed how the Jayhawks might utilize their lineup to make up for Embiid’s absence. While Kansas doesn’t have anyone with Embiid’s combination of shot-blocking ability and creativity in the paint on offense, they certainly have the tools to compensate at the end of the day. With tilts against TCU and Texas Tech in the near future, the Jayhawks should be able to get by, but Andrew Wiggins needs to continue to be aggressive and hunt buckets.
- The student-run Iowa State Daily has a terrific feature on guard Monte Morris. If you click the link, you’ll learn how the freshman guard came into contact with a Big Ten coaching legend at the ripe age of ten and went on to grow into a role as a confident, vocal leader in high school. Looking back, it’s not hard at all to see what inspired Fred Hoiberg to plug Morris into his starting lineup a couple weeks ago (beyond his’ microscopic turnover numbers, we mean).
- If you’re still wondering how West Virginia was able to hold a potent Iowa State team to 1.03 points per possession on Monday night, don’t ask the Mountaineers, because they are not sure either. If you ask us, though, holding Melvin Ejim to six points on 1-9 shooting would be a good place to start. Even though the “organized chaos” approach worked on Monday, it would be advisable for the Mountaineers to have a more cohesive idea of what they’re doing on defense as they head into a three-game stretch where they’ll face Texas and Baylor before making the return trip to Ames.
- At this point in the season, it’s a pretty good bet that the Big 12 will get at least five teams into the NCAA Tournament. Four of those squads (Kansas, Texas, Kansas State and Iowa State) are confident plays. Beyond them, though, it’s anyone’s guess, because the Big 12’s bubble situation grew even foggier on Wednesday night as Oklahoma was upset by Texas Tech in Norman. The Sooners have now lost three of their last four games after winning four in a row, but while their tournament chances aren’t in serious danger, they could ultimately look back on Wednesday’s game as one that costs them, whether it’s from the perspective of being in or out or a couple spots on the seed line. Meanwhile, the Red Raiders may not have the firepower to knock off any of the conference’s heavy hitters just yet, but at 5-6 in the Big 12, Tubby Smith is definitely up to something in Lubbock.
- It’s been another confounding year for Baylor, but as most Big 12 teams have done this season, they took their frustrations out on TCU with an easy win. The Bears laid waste to the Horned Frogs in a 91-58 blowout, paced by Brady Heslip’s eight three-pointers, which tied a personal career high. As if that weren’t enough, the Bears hit eight other threes, including two each from Gary Franklin and Royce O’Neal. Don’t expect it to last, however; The Bears will be in for a heat check on Saturday when they face a top-15 defense in Kansas State.