Big 12 M5: 12.13.12 Edition
Posted by dnspewak on December 13th, 2012
- This. Is. Awesome. T. Boone Pickens, everybody’s favorite Oklahoma State alumnus, has purchased the 4,000 remaining tickets for a New Year’s Eve showdown with Gonzaga and will give them away for free. Considering the Cowboys’ surprising start and increased expectations, this might be one of OSU’s more important home games in some time. With as much greed and power in sports today, it’s nice to see a guy like T. Boone give some tickets away for us common people to enjoy.
- We wrote a few days ago about the relative weakness of the Big 12 through the first month or so of the season. Here’s another look at the league’s early woes. This article digs deeper into the problem: Only Kansas and Baylor find themselves in the Top 100 of the RPI, and the conference as a whole has dropped to fifth. Stunningly, the Big 12 is also 0-5 against the Big Ten. The odd thing is that Oklahoma State is really the only team who has overachieved so far this season, but it’s early enough that Texas, West Virginia and several other teams could easily rebound.
- Oklahoma seems to have a lot of interesting characters on this roster. Buddy Hield made an earlier appearance in the Morning Five for his fun-loving antics, and here’s a look now at fellow freshman Isaiah Cousins. He brings a New York City attitude to the Sooners, a style of play often found up East but not normally in leagues like the Big 12. As teammate Romero Osby puts it, “Guys from New York City are always edgy.” Fair enough.
- The John Beilein days at West Virginia seem far removed. Hard to believe that less than a decade ago, Kevin Pittsnogle and the crew roamed Morgantown and created a semi-powerhouse in the Big East. His departure to Michigan wasn’t all that messy, and that’s why his match-up against the Mountaineers this weekend in Brooklyn shouldn’t be too awkward for him. Plus, West Virginia got another hometown man with Bob Huggins, and it seems to be sailing along just fine after a Final Four appearance in 2010. So don’t expect to hear the Boo Birds out in full force in Brooklyn on Saturday.
- To end this edition of the Morning Five, we’ll point you to a story that doesn’t necessarily relate to the Big 12 but involves a current coach in the league. We all know Bruce Weber‘s reign at Illinois did not end very well. He found a good gig at Kansas State and never looked back. But his old team has taken off under new head coach John Groce. He’s not bringing up last year, though. At all. “I haven’t certainly talked to them about it at this juncture and maybe in large part of it is I wasn’t here last year and don’t have relevance to that,” he said. No matter Weber’s involvement with this Illinois team, he’s in a decent position in Manhattan and it was certainly time for him and the Illini to part ways. It’s interesting to see how his old guys have fared, however. Maybe he wishes he’d had just one more year in Champaign.
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