Big 12 M5: 12.18.13 Edition

Posted by Kory Carpenter on December 18th, 2013

  1. If anyone knows what North Carolina head coach Roy Williams is going through with respect to the suspensions of Leslie McDonald and P.J. Hairston, it is Texas head coach Rick Barnes. Last season, Texas guard Myck Kabongo was held out for the first 23 games of the season for a violation of NCAA rules, but it wasn’t until December 21 until Barnes even knew if Kabongo would play at all. This season, Williams and North Carolina sit in a similar state of semi-permanent limbo waiting for rulings on McDonald and Hairston. What exactly is the NCAA waiting on?
  2. Bill Self called his team’s passing so far this season “awful,” and he isn’t wrong. The Jayhawks have trouble in that department but thinks they are getting better as time goes on. “We’ve always played inside-out. I think we’ve been less effective doing that this year,” he told Jesse Newell of the Topeka Capital-Journal. Perhaps most frustrating for Self is that he has two guys — Naadir Tharpe and Wayne Selden — who can make as sweet of passes as you’ll see any player in the country make, but they’ll turn around and fail to make a simple post entry pass on the next play. Frustrating, indeed.
  3. Oklahoma is 10-1 this season and senior forward Tyler Neal has been one of the reasons for the Sooners’ early success. At 6’7”, Neal has played all over the court this season, wherever head coach Lon Kruger needs him. “I’ve always kind of had that thought process that the more positions you can play — the more you can help the team and when guys go down whatever happens, foul trouble or whatever — the more you can be out there,” he told Ryan Aber of The Oklahoman. Neal is averaging 6.2 PPG and 3.6 RPG for the Sooners thus far this year.
  4. If you’re a fan of West Virginia sports, you will have some downtime this month. The Mountaineers’ football team is done for the year, and as Dave Hickman of the Charleston Gazette points out, the basketball team plays just two games in a 20-day period. WVU beat Marshall in a nice win on Saturday, it plays Purdue on Sunday, and then Bob Huggins’ team has another week off before playing William and Mary on December 29.
  5. Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall wants to play Kansas. Bill Self, on the other hand, doesn’t want to play Wichita State. Marshall told reporters recently that he offered Kansas a three-game series with sites rotating between Lawrence, Kansas City, and Wichita. Bill Self said he’s never heard from Marshall on the subject. You can tell the two sides won’t be playing anytime soon. The Shockers got another impressive win last night on the road at Alabama and improved to 11-0. They are ranked #11 in the country and would give Kansas a great game, but playing Wichita State doesn’t make sense for Kansas right now and likely won’t make sense as long as Self is coaching.
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Big 12 Morning Five: 12.15.11 Edition

Posted by dnspewak on December 15th, 2011

  1. With a slow basketball week thanks to final exams, this nugget of news from Tuesday still warrants a selection in our Morning Five links. The U.S. Basketball Writers Association named Thomas Robinson the National Player of the Week, further validating his breakout season for Kansas. With Tyshawn Taylor sidelined with a knee injury for the next few weeks, Robinson is the unquestioned leader on this team right now. During his award-winning week, Robinson missed just six shots (17-23) and scored 21 points in a win over second-ranked Ohio State.
  2. You’re probably sick of the endless Frank Haith articles right now after Missouri‘s undefeated start, but there’s no denying the man deserves every bit of these early-season compliments. Considered one of the most peculiar hires of the college basketball off-season, it seemed that the experienced Tigers would have to win despite Haith. Instead, it appears Mike Anderson‘s former players have instead rallied around Haith, adopting his new style of play with enthusiasm. Missouri has looked terrific at home and neutral sites so far, but it won just one Big 12 road game a year ago. If the Tigers show some road toughness of the next few months, you’re going to hear even more about Haith’s impact.
  3. After the announcement of Calvin Newell‘s transfer from Oklahoma, it was unclear who would step into his role as one of the Sooners’ primary scorers. So far, however, Tyler Neal looks like he is up to the task. Neal has elevated his game lately with Newell’s absence, even scoring a career-high 18 points against Arkansas. Before the transfer, Neal played about 14 minutes per game; now, that number has skyrocketed to about 22 minutes. He looks like a different player this season according to coaches and teammates– Steven Pledger even complimented his vastly improved ball-handling. If Neal continues to produce, Lon Kruger could have even more reason for optimism, considering his team has already overachieved.
  4. It sounds too good to be true: admission to Oklahoma State‘s December 31 game against Virginia Tech is completely free, according to Travis Ford. You would think fans would want to flock to Gallagher-Iba on New Year’s Eve– especially since OSU’s fan base is normally fairly rabid– but the school’s winter break may have something to do with the promotion. Either way, free basketball is always a great bargain. And that’s especially true when the opponent is as formidable as Virginia Tech.
  5. If you thought Frank Haith was getting a lot of attention, Perry Jones may actually beat him in that category. Since returning from the NCAA’s suspension, all eyes have been on Jones, a projected lottery pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. One blog sat down with him for some general discussion on life, basketball and Baylor University, and the sophomore had some interesting answers. Jones addressed why he chose Baylor in the first place, defending his decision to attend a non-traditional basketball school. Plus, he admitted he’s a big fan of paintball, even though at 6’11” he is an enormous target.
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