Big 12 M5: 01.23.12 Edition

Posted by dnspewak on January 23rd, 2013


  1. Romero Osby is what you call an impact transfer. A year ago, he immediately became a force on the boards and in the paint for Oklahoma after transferring over from Mississippi State. Now, as a senior, he’s elevated his game even further. Osby is the centerpiece of a team attempting to qualify for its first NCAA Tournament since the Blake Griffin era, and he’s leading the way by attacking the glass and playing with an edge. He scored a career-high 29 against Texas on Monday night, and doing damage against the Longhorns is a sure way to become a new fan favorite in Norman.
  2. Losing team? Underachieving? Cue the coachspeak from Rick Barnes, who says his Texas team won’t give up even after losing its first five Big 12 games. We should certainly hope that players with Division I scholarships wouldn’t simply pack it in, but if anybody were to do it, it might be Texas. The Longhorns have been crippled by the suspension of Myck Kabongo, and he’s not set to return to the lineup until next month. There are no juniors or seniors on this team, no veteran leaders and an offense so ugly it makes Bo Ryan look like Paul Westhead. Except Ryan wins. His teams play slowly but efficiently. There’s nothing efficient about Texas right now, and Barnes will need to look ahead to next season to rebuild his proud program.
  3. Before Kansas outlasted Kansas State last night, CBS Sports penned a thoughtful piece on why the state of Kansas is perhaps the “best college basketball state of the modern era.” Not Indiana. Not Kentucky. Not North Carolina. The state of Kansas, home to KU, KSU and the MVC’s Wichita State. Look at the numbers. Matt Norlander, who wrote the article, might just be right. The three schools in Kansas have won more than three-quarters of their games historically. That number sits at 81 percent. Eighty-one percent, people! All hail to the state of Kansas.
  4. Everybody loves Melvin Ejim in Ames. Why not? He hustles his tail off and, oh, he rebounds too. The Iowa State forward leads the league thus far with 9.7 rebounds per game, a statistic you probably didn’t know about until you read it here. Truth be told, it surprised us too. Ejim is 6’6”, after all, so the fact that he’s outboarding 7’1” Isaiah Austin in the Big 12 is a testament to that whole “it’s-not-the-size-of-the-dog-in-the-fight” theory.
  5. West Virginia is having a bad season. You know that. At least one writer argues that it’s due to a lack of recruiting. Problem is, the article doesn’t really dive into Huggins’ recruiting classes or analyze the players he’s brought in. In terms of high-profile recruits, you’ve got to consider Aaric Murray and Juwan Staten in that “marquee” league of newcomers, even though they’re both transfers. They were wildly coveted across the nation after they transferred out of the Atlantic 10, and although they’re not traditional freshmen, those were major signings for Huggins’ program. If you look at sheer ratings — which mean little to nothing, but can at least give us a barometer — it shows one four-star player on this roster in Jabarie Hinds and two more signed for 2013. It also may be premature to rank Huggins’ sophomore class, which includes Hinds. The bottom line is that Huggins’ players aren’t getting it done, but that might not necessarily be because the head coach is losing a bunch of recruiting battles.
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