Posted by dnspewak on October 29th, 2012
- Looks like Fred Hoiberg’s not finished taking Division I transfers. Former USC point guard Mo Jones announced this weekend that he will transfer to Iowa State, and he’ll gain eligibility next fall after sitting out 2012-13. Jones had no choice but to leave the Trojans after the school found him academically ineligible and coach Kevin O’Neill dismissed him from the team. He could have improved his grades and then re-applied to the university, but he’ll instead make a major impact in Ames with his superb defensive skills and quickness. Jones, who led an atrocious USC team in scoring a year ago, took almost all of his team’s shots and had to do it all with little to no help. He’s still a very effective point guard, though, and he played an important role on the Trojans’ NCAA Tournament team as a freshman in 2010-11. Hoiberg and the Cyclones are lucky to add another transfer of this quality.
- Kansas may have a chance to develop its frontcourt depth early in the season now that forward Kevin Young has broken a bone in his hand. Young had surgery and will miss a few weeks, including both exhibitions and the season opener on November 9. Coach Bill Self said that he should be available for the showdown with Michigan State the following week, though. Until then, the injury could mean big minutes for freshman Perry Ellis, as well as an extra chance for Jamari Traylor and others to prove themselves and fight for more playing time down the road.
- Jeff Withey may be a block machine for Kansas, but it’s easy to overlook a fellow center just down the road in Manhattan. Jordan Henriquez’s defensive skills are underrated on a Big 12 and national level, but he’s quietly becoming a centerpiece for Kansas State in coach Bruce Weber’s first season. He’s also a writer’s dream, the kind of guy who will say anything to anybody. Weber even calls him the “Mayor of Manhattan,” to which Henriquez objects: “I think there is a mayor of Manhattan, correct, so I don’t want him to think I’m taking his title because I sure don’t want to have the job he does.” Well said, Mr. Henriquez.
- Oklahoma State is not an easy team to project this season, and that’s because it’s hard to tell just how good Le’Bryan Nash will be. On a team depleted by injuries and roster losses a year ago, Nash fought through a few difficult stretches but generally improved as the season progressed. Now, as a sophomore, that learning curve won’t be an excuse anymore. With Marcus Smart now taking the pressure off in the backcourt, Nash might be the key to this team’s success in 2012-13.
- We’re a little late on this, but it’s too priceless not to mention. When all of the league coaches gathered at Big 12 Media Day, they looked like a collection of white-collar businessmen and lawyers attempting to secure a deal with a corporation or prosecute a criminal in a jury trial. We’re talking fancy suits, hundred-dollar ties, that sort of thing. Except for one guy. See if you can spot who was a little, well, underdressed at Big 12 Media Day.