Posted by dnspewak on October 14th, 2011
- The league released its annual preseason coaches poll Thursday afternoon, and in its final year as a Big 12 member, Texas A&M made history. For the first and last time ever, the coaches selected the Aggies to win the conference. They earned 73 points to share the honors with Kansas, who received the most first-place votes with five. Baylor and Missouri also received first-place votes, while Oklahoma and Texas Tech finished tied for last. The poll, of course, means absolutely nothing, but it’s decent fodder for us fans as we wait a few more hours for Midnight Madness to tip off.
- It’s also decent fodder for coaches and players: coach Bill Self and guard Tyshawn Taylor both told ESPN.com they were “surprised” at the first-place selection. The Jayhawks’ tone during the pre season has been unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Self even expressed some public concerns this summer to CBS Sports about how his roster is shaping up, and he’s admitted that his team has more question marks in 2011-12 than any he’s ever coached. Still, with seven straight Big 12 titles to his name, you’ve got to think Self will figure something out with this team– especially since most of the “unproven” talent consists of former blue-chip recruits.
- The day we’ve been waiting for since last April is finally here — the first day of practice. Unfortunately, less than half of the Big 12 teams are holding public Midnight Madness events. If you’re wondering who is having festivities, though, take a look at this CBS Sports schedule: it appears only Kansas, Texas A&M and Baylor will have public practices tonight (Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will have events later this month). Kudos to A&M, though, for being the only program to truly hold a practice at midnight.
- Rick Barnes has sent numerous forwards to the NBA during his head coaching career, and Class of 2012 big man Prince Ibeh is hoping to become the next star in the Texas frontcourt. The 6’10″ center verbally pledged to the Longhorns on Thursday, giving Barnes three forwards in this particular recruiting class. Considered one of the top recruits in the nation at his position, Ibeh checks in at #54 in the Rivals.com rankings. He’s primarily known for his shot-blocking ability, so watch out for this guy in the paint during the next four years.
- Finally, your obligatory realignment news: Kansas City mayor Sly James wrote a letter to Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton, expressing his desire for the university to stay in the Big 12. James appears most worried about his city losing the Big 12 Tournament, and who can blame him? If MU bolts for another league, it’d be pretty difficult to keep the league tournament in a state where no team competes, despite the proximity of Kansas and Kansas State. James estimates the Big 12 tourney generates about $14 million a year for Kansas City.