With the completion of the NBA Draft and the annual coaching and transfer carousels nearing their ends, RTC is rolling out a new series, RTC Summer Updates, to give you a crash course on each Division I conference during the summer months. Our latest update comes courtesy of our Big 12 correspondent, Evan Pfaff.
- Round Robin Scheduling – For the first time since the Big 12 was formed, the conference will implement full round-robin scheduling, meaning each school will play a home-and-home with each of the other nine schools in the conference. In the past, schools played the teams in their division in a home-and-home, but only played schools in the other division once per season, switching home courts every year. That meant the epic battles between the Texas Longhorns and Kansas Jayhawks happened only once per regular season, and whichever school hosted the game had a monumental advantage over the other. With a full round-robin format, not only will each school play two additional conference games, but seeding will be based more on outcomes on the floor than the scheduling fates.
- Reloading Talent – The Big 12 is used to replacing an enormous amount of talent. In 2010, ten Big 12 players were taken in the NBA Draft. Two months ago, the Big 12 cupboards were once again raided, as seven players heard their names called. The conference should again be stacked and we might hear as many as ten names called on draft day 2012. From incoming freshmen like Baylor’s Quincy Miller, Texas’ Myck Kabongo and Oklahoma State’s LeBryan Nash, to returning stars like Kansas’ Thomas Robinson, Baylor’s Perry Jones III and Texas A&M’s Khris Middleton, the Big 12 should again be a breeding ground for NBA rosters.
- New Coaches… EVERYWHERE. Change is inevitable in college athletics, but stability at the top usually translates into success on the floor. So it is eye opening that from Mike Anderson and Mark Turgeon leaving to Pat Knight and Jeff Capel being shown the door, the Big 12 had a 40% coaching turnover this summer. Now with Frank Haith, Billy Kennedy, Billy Gillispie and Lon Kruger roaming Big 12 sidelines, the conference has some questions to answer. Can Missouri conform to a set offense? Can A&M meet high preseason expectations under new management? Do Billy Clyde Gillispie and Lon Kruger have another run left in them?