Posted by dnspewak on March 28th, 2013
- Your move, Texas Tech. Five-star recruit Keith Frazier just tentatively committed to play for the Red Raiders, but he wants to play for interim head coach Chris Walker. That means Tech might need to keep Walker on as the permanent coach for Frazier to stay true to his word. Is it worth it? Frazier is, after all, a consensus top-25 recruit with the potential to change the entire landscape of this program. The shooting guard from Dallas is a McDonald’s All-American. Fan interest in Lubbock could be at an all-time high if he does indeed step on campus, but it appears that will hinge on Walker’s status. As the interim coach, Walker didn’t win very many games, but don’t judge him on the mess he inherited from Billy Gillispie. He kept things together fairly well, knocked off Iowa State at one point and avoided a complete catastrophe. Frazier or no Frazier, Chris Walker isn’t a bad candidate as the permanent head coach of this program.
- Amath M’Baye‘s short stay at Oklahoma is over. The swingman announced he’ll skip his senior year to enter the NBA Draft, a decision made partly because he needs to financially support his family overseas. He also feels he’s mature enough to make the move, considering he’s now almost 24 years old. The former Wyoming transfer was a solid addition for Lon Kruger this year, but he wasn’t an elite player and a few heads were scratched with his decision to forgo his senior year. M’Baye has a life to live, though, and his choice makes sense on a lot of levels. It’ll leave the Sooners looking for a versatile wing to fill the void, since M’Baye did a lot of different things with his blend of size and athleticism in the frontcourt.
- You’ve probably heard of Andrea Hudy before. She’s already been featured on ESPN, but here’s another look at the woman behind the magic at Kansas. Hudy is the strength and conditioning coach for the Jayhawks, and she’s built quite a reputation as a fierce motivator and frightening trainer. In the background of all this is her role as a female trainer in a largely male world of men’s college basketball. It’s admirable that she’s able to do her job — and do it well — without complaint from either the players or Bill Self’s staff. It’s proof that regardless of gender, a trainer’s a trainer. And they’re almost all as scary as Andrea Hudy. Judging by Self’s dominance of the Big 12, it looks like Hudy’s a step above her competition.
- Oklahoma State‘s roster will depend on whether Markel Brown, Le’Bryan Nash and Marcus Smart all return to school. That’s huge. But here’s a more detailed look at exactly what Travis Ford might have to work with next year. We know Philip Jurick is gone. Ford will miss that big body, but he ran into legal trouble before the season and isn’t irreplaceable. Michael Cobbins could be primed for a big year up front, as could Kamari Murphy, who’ll be a sophomore. Oklahoma State returns a good group of guards, too, including Phil Forte and Kirby Gardner. Beyond that, the Cowboys will welcome five newcomers who could get big minutes if the OSU Big Three decide to leave for the NBA.
- Let’s get this over with. You probably don’t like the NIT, but you need to know that Baylor knocked off Providence to advance to the semifinals at the Garden. The Bears will now face BYU, a team it defeated in Waco earlier in the year. That was an odd game, as it turned out — Baylor fell behind early, then went on a masterful run to seize control of things and win fairly easily. At that time, it seemed like that might be the win that could turn the season around. Instead, Scott Drew’s team is playing BYU in the NIT. So much for that.