Posted by Taylor Erickson on October 31st, 2013
- As good as Tyus McGee was last year for Iowa State, early news out of Ames this season suggests freshman guard Matt Thomas might fill the void left by McGee without a hiccup. Cyclone head coach Fred Hoiberg was a great shooter in his own right, and told the Des Moines Register on Wednesday “I ain’t tweaking that shot, I’ll tell you that.” Fellow Iowa State teammates also couldn’t help but gush about Thomas’ ability to knock down shots from behind the arc. As if you needed another scare on Halloween, just imagine one of the nation’s best shooters as a weapon in Hoiberg’s arsenal. Yikes.
- As difficult as the rebuilding job at TCU was for head coach Trent Johnson, it appears the Horned Frogs seem to be heading in the right direction with the proper man at the helm. On Tuesday, Johnson indicated that he believes his team in year two in Fort Worth is more skilled than that a season ago. Among those looking to contribute for TCU this season, senior guard Jarvis Ray feels as if he’s playing with a little bit of a chip on his shoulder this season after missing the Big 12 campaign last year with a broken foot. In what should be a weak bottom half of the Big 12, Ray and company will have a legitimate shot to significantly surpass last season’s conference win total of two games.
- To say that West Virginia‘s inaugural season in the Big 12 was a bit of a disappointment would be an understatement to say the least. Bob Huggins’ squad struggled to a 6-12 record in the Big 12, and a 13-19 mark overall. At the top of the list of disappointing players for the Mountaineers was point guard Juwan Staten, who figures to be an important piece for Huggins this season. Staten seems to be using last year’s frustrations as motivation to improve his leadership for this go around in an effort to become the floor general West Virginia needs to really make their team go. Don’t sleep on Huggins and West Virginia this season as Morgantown might just be a difficult place for many Big 12 teams to go get a win.
- While it appears that Kansas State may struggle at times this season scoring the ball, help in that department may be merely but a year away. Maine transfer Justin Edwards will be forced to sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules, but it seems he’s found exactly what he was looking for in Manhattan. Edwards wanted more exposure against better competition, and there’s no doubt the Big 12 conference will provide him that. Last year Edwards lead the America East Conference in scoring at 16.7 points a game, and while he won’t be able to suit up for the Wildcats this season, his focus during the down year will be on pushing teammates in practice and using his athleticism to bring competition to Bruce Weber’s squad.
- One of the more intriguing questions surrounding the Kansas Jayhawks this preseason is who, if anyone, will Bill Self choose to use the redshirt tag on for the 2013-2014 year? As Tom Keegan of KUSports.com points out, it might be in Self’s best interest to avoid redshirting anyone this year. Coming into the season, many believed sophomore guard Andrew White III might be a prime candidate, but it’s clear that White will hold a solid spot in Kansas’ rotation this season. This likely leaves one of Self’s incoming freshmen, Brennan Greene or Conner Frankamp, as a more likely fit. Although Kansas has only had one exhibition game in the books, it appeared that Frankamp might be the odd one out. If history is any indicator, former Kansas high school standout Brady Morningstar has laid out a blueprint for Frankamp (a Wichita native) as to how patience could certainly pay dividends down the road in a Jayhawk uniform.