Posted by Nate Kotisso on January 10th, 2013
- After struggling last week, Ben McLemore proved to Kansas fans and all of us last night that he is gonna be juuust fine. His bank-three with 1.6 seconds left forced overtime with Iowa State, where eventually the Jayhawks took control and avoided their first loss in the conference opener in two decades. Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg had some interesting comments after the game. On the bank shot, Hoiberg said, “I wish it would’ve swished. I’d feel better about myself right now if that thing didn’t bank in.” I don’t know if that’s the alternative you really want, coach. Maybe I’m crazy, but if I were you, I’d rather he miss the shot. What a game nonetheless.
- There was another Big 12 game that came down to a game-tying three and bonus basketball. The problem was that your eyeballs were in risk of a complete meltdown if you watched West Virginia and Texas duke it out to the end last night. Fortunately for you, Chris Flanagan of Hook’em Headlines survived to provide a quick breakdown of last night’s game. I’d like to think I can draw some positives from a game like this for UT but the facts are that Texas choked away a double-figure lead, couldn’t hit their free throws and will face Iowa State in Ames on Saturday. Eep.
- In an interview with Oklahoma State’s student newspaper before Wednesday’s game, Marcus Smart opened up on the struggles of teammate Le’Bryan Nash. Ever the team leader, Smart said, “We need to find him in the post and give him the ball at times where he needs to get his confidence back. He is down right now, but that is partially my fault because, as a point guard, you need to know when and where to get players the ball.” Nash went 6-of-10 from the field for 13 points last night. I hope it’s a step in the right direction, because the guy’s too talented to be playing the way he has been.
- Conference play has commenced which means it’s time for Andy Glockner to start up Bracket Watch once again. After feeling uneasy about teams through the first two months of the season, Glockner projects the Big 12 to receive six NCAA Tournament bids: Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. That is also as many as the Big Ten, Mountain West and Big East are projected to receive. The Big friggin’ East! That’s a major compliment, for this season anyway.
- When we see good programs schedule cupcakes on their schedule (and they know who they are), college hoops and non-college hoops fans alike ask the question, “Does the regular season even matter?” Eamonn Brennan gives us his opinion which, like mine, is a definitive “yes.” The sport is doing fine as-is on the business side with CBS and Turner signing checks to the NCAA Tournament. Whether it’s Indiana-Butler or Indiana-Central Connecticut State, it matters a whole lot if either game is lost. We need to bury this hatchet already.
Posted by dnspewak on November 8th, 2011
- The pre-season Naismith Award list was released Monday by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club’s Board of Selectors, and it includes five Big 12 players: Perry Jones (Baylor), Quincy Miller (Baylor), Khris Middleton (Texas A&M), Marcus Denmon (Missouri), and Thomas Robinson (Kansas). All five are more than deserving to make the list, and they’ll all contend for Player of the Year honors in the Big 12, at the very least. The committee left off a couple of notable names, though. If Miller can get a vote, then why can’t Oklahoma State’s LeBryan Nash? In the end, of course, it’s all semantics. The list will be narrowed to the top 30 players in February.
- It looks as though the Big 12 will continue to confuse most Americans by remaining at 10 teams for the 2012-13 season. You’d think it would make a little more sense for a league called the Big 12 to have, you know, 12 teams, but OU president David Boren said Monday that no expansion will occur next season. However, here’s a curveball: After the 2012-13 season, Boren said the league may have an opportunity to return to 12 teams. The math would finally align, and the world would once again be normal. But does that mean that realignment apocalypse isn’t over yet? We may have to run through this same drill in two years.
- All anyone ever wants to talk about at Missouri is how much the move to the SEC will benefit the school financially. However, there could be some related money troubles on the horizon. According to the Associated Press, MU may need to pay $26 million in exit fees to leave the Big 12. Plus, upon joining the SEC, Missouri may be expected to upgrade its facilities and scholarships to stay competitive. Gov. Jay Nixon wouldn’t comment on the issue, but the state’s budget chairman said he hasn’t heard back from MU officials as to how they plan to pay for the move.
- Speaking of Missouri’s move… Kansas isn’t too happy about the potential death of the Border War. Just take a glance at some of the comments from the Kansas camp. Bill Self has said that KU has “absolutely no obligation whatsoever to play Missouri in basketball. None.” And football coach Turner Gill echoed that statement, saying he does not see the annual game on the gridiron in Kansas City continuing past this season. After a century of battles — both literally and figuratively, as it does of course date back to skirmishes during the Civil War — it’s hard to accept that Kansas may end the Border War just like that. Self also said “the majority of Kansas fans don’t give a flip about playing Missouri,” but we’re not so convinced that’s true, either. From both perspectives, the end of the rivalry would be a tragedy. Let’s hope clearer heads eventually prevail — college basketball is better when the Border War game continues.
- Sticking with Kansas here, ESPN.com’s Eamonn Brennan had a nice write-up about the importance of Jayhawk guard Tyshawn Taylor. It’s no secret he’s struggled with consistency during his time in Lawrence, but now it’s time for him to step up as the leader of this squad along with Thomas Robinson. Self has said that Taylor has “matured so much,” and that would be terrific news for a KU team looking to win its eighth straight Big 12 title. Without a fine performance from Taylor this season, Kansas cannot win. It’s as simple as that.