Making Big 12 Teams Better Before the Trade DeadlinePosted by Kory Carpenter (@Kory_Carpenter) on December 17th, 2013
When you consider high school recruiting and player transfers, college basketball already has its own form of free agency. But what if college hoops adopted another NBA mainstay and began trading its players back and forth, and what if the trade deadline was December 31, right before conference play begins? Here are a few such hypothetical trades that could help Big 12 teams improve heading into January. And no, Kansas State fans — you can’t trade Bruce Weber.
1. Texas forward Prince Ibeh for Oklahoma State guard Stevie Clark: The Longhorns are 160th in the country in three point shooting percentage at 34.0 percent. They have guards that can score off the dribble and have gotten good production out of big men Cameron Ridley and Jonathan Holmes, so sending Ibeh to Oklahoma State wouldn’t kill their frontcourt. Stevie Clark would immediately become their best perimeter three-point shooter and would help spread the floor with his 43 percent shooting from deep. Oklahoma State has enough scoring potential in its backcourt already with Marcus Smart, Phil Forte, Markel Brown and Le’Bryan Nash, and Ibeh would be the only player in the rotation over 6’8”, helping a small frontcourt match up against the bigger teams in the Big 12.
2. Oklahoma forward Ryan Spangler and guard Jordan Woodard for West Virginia guard Juwan Staten. West Virginia is in the bottom half of the Big 12 in rebounds per game, rebound margin, defensive rebounds, rebounding percentage, and blocked shots. Spangler would give them 9.0 RPG, 1.4 BPG, and a 65.6 percent shooting rate, making him the Mountaineers’ best post player. And while Woodard isn’t on the same level as Staten, he is still averaging 11.9 PPG and 4.9 APG and would complement fellow guard Eron Harris well. For Oklahoma, the Sooners would then have three of the top seven scorers in the Big 12 in Cameron Clark, Buddy Hield, and Staten, which would represent a go-for-broke type of deal for the Sooners. Losing Spangler would kill any interior presence they had, but it would make them one of the best perimeter teams in the league. They already play faster than all but seven teams in the country, so why not add another high-scoring guard, push the tempo even more, and see what happens?
3. TCU point guard Kyan Anderson for Kansas guard Brannen Greene and forward Tarik Black: Junior Naadir Tharpe started the year with the first team but was benched in favor of freshman Frank Mason against Colorado and Florida (both losses). On Saturday, Tharpe started again against New Mexico and notched an eight-point, nine-assist, four-turnover performance in 37 minutes of action. It’s clear Bill Self doesn’t know what to do with that position yet. Kyan Anderson, who averages 13.9 PPG, 5.3 APG, and shoots over 50 percent from the floor, would solve Kansas’ problems there. And from TCU’s perspective, the Horned Frogs need all the help they can get, so two players are better than one. Brannen Greene was a highly-rated recruit who would be starting on most teams in the Big 12, TCU included, while Tarik Black would provide solid depth in the frontcourt next to Amric Fields and Karviar Shepherd.
4. Iowa State guard Monte Morris for Baylor forward Rico Gathers: Iowa State needs more size on the interior and Baylor needs another steady-handed guard. The Bears have plenty of depth down low with Isaiah Austin, Cory Jefferson and Taurean Prince, but they are turning the ball over on 22.6 percent of their possessions this season thanks to their ball-handlers, Kenny Chery and Royce O’Neale, combining for over four turnovers per game. Iowa State could survive without Morris on the perimeter but will need more size to advance in March. The starting frontcourt of Melvin Ejim, Georges Niang and Dustin Hogue runs 6’6″, 6’7″, and 6’6″. Rico Gathers is 6’8,” 270 pounds, and he averages 7.1 RPG.