The Week That Was
- J’Covan Carrying Longhorns: In what could quickly turn into a weekly J’Covan Brown watch, the Texas guard had 17 in a loss to NC State and was dreadful in a closer-than-it-looked 56-40 win over Sam Houston State. Brown had exploded onto the scene early but some questions over his efficiency have cropped up again: Brown went just 3-12 from two-point range against Sam Houston State. With Texas currently ranked as the 34th best offense by Ken Pomeroy, the Longhorns need Brown, their best offensive player, to be a lot better if they want to be one of the top teams in the league this year.
- Tigers Get ‘Em Talking: More ridiculous offense from Missouri. The Tigers played two 70-possession games this week and scored 87 and 92 points in them. That’s good against anyone. They currently have the fourth-best three point shooting team in the country and turn it over at a rate higher than just four teams. The same question – What will they do when having to play a team with some size? – will probably linger until conference play, but it’s clear over the first month of the year that their guards are as good as any backcourt in the country.
- The Big Picture: For all the talk that the Big 12 might be down this year, it sure doesn’t seem that way, as they are 38-10 so far this year and two of those losses were Kansas’s defeats at the hands of Kentucky and Duke, both on neutral courts. The league’s two worst losses no doubt belong to Texas Tech, who has dropped games to both DePaul and Indiana State.
- Missouri (6-0): The Missouri stat that surprised me the most this week is their rebounding numbers: The Tigers snatch just 28.4% of the available offensive rebounds, which is 270th nationally. It’s very strange that a team that thrives on pressuring opponents and forcing them to speed up would be so focused on getting back defensively rather than crashing the boards. Of course, it could be more that the team wants to set up its press, but it is something to watch for sure.
- Kansas (3-2): After senior Tyshawn Taylor had 11 turnovers in a hard fought Maui Invitational championship game, several Kansas fans took shots at the guard and he responded on Twitter. Thomas Robinson was named to the Maui all-tournament team after putting up double-doubles in each game, but his struggles facing double teams highlight a potential concern for the Jayhawks. If he’s not scoring efficiently, Kansas could find it extremely difficult to repeat as Big 12 champs. One possible answer is the emergence of junior Jeff Withey. Withey had 14 points and 10 rebounds against Duke and might find himself matched up with Jared Sullinger in a little over a week when the Buckeyes pay a visit to Allen Fieldhouse. Read the rest of this entry »