Big 12 M5: 03.13.13 Edition

Posted by Nate Kotisso on March 13th, 2013

morning5_big12

  1. It’s finally game day. The Big 12 tournament gets under way later today and Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg joins basically every other Big 12 coach in saying, “Any team can win it this year.” Maybe his Cyclones are the ones do it. They’ve beaten Kansas State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State already. If you remember, ISU was a desperation three-pointer and an incorrect offensive foul call from sweeping the season series away from Kansas. We shall see.
  2. Speaking of Iowa State, forward Anthony Booker apologized for giving an obscene gesture to the Mountaineers’ student section during Saturday’s game against West Virginia. Booker committed a flagrant foul and was sent to the bench by coach Fred Hoiberg with 5:40 left in the second half. There, he gave the one-finger salute, initially disguising it as simply resting his hand on his chin. In a statement released by Iowa State, Booker cites him getting “caught up in the emotions” of the game and realizes it “was a poor decision.” His actions violated the Big 12′s rules on sportsmanship but the league has given ISU their blessing in keeping Booker eligible. The Big 12 now considers the mattered “closed.”
  3. Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt hasn’t announced what he’ll do with the position of head basketball coach. But we know interim coach Chris Walker will be considered for the job. “Chris Walker has done an excellent job considering the circumstances that he accepted when he took the interim role. That said, there’s not one thing I believe Chris Walker could have done any differently or any better over the course of the basketball season,” Hocutt said. Walker has increased the Red Raiders’ win total by two games overall and in conference play. If Texas Tech decides to go with someone other than him, it will be their fourth different coach in four seasons. Just as in the situation with Kevin Ollie at UConn, I believe their permanent head coach is already in Lubbock; he just needs the interim tag removed.
  4. While players like Marcus Smart, Le’Bryan Nash, and Markel Brown grab all the headlines and highlights for 23-7 Oklahoma State, there has to be a bring-your-lunch-pail-to-work kind of guy who does the little things to help patch wins together. That guy for the Pokes is Michael Cobbins. Despite starting the season on the injury list, he has returned to a starter’s role. In addition to averaging seven points, six rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game, Cobbins was named to the first team all-Big 12 Defensive Team. A lot of people like the Cowboys as a sleeper pick in this year’s Big 12 Tournament, and if they are, Cobbins will be a big reason why.
  5. Here is a piece that will make you and I jealous that we aren’t college athletes. SportsBusiness Journal has kept a tally of the cool amenities that all the teams participating in the conference or NCAA Tournaments will receive. Compared to the other power six conferences, it looks like Big 12 teams will have a plethora of items offered such as a Canon Powershot camera, different models of watches and even a Samsung Galaxy tablet. The conference with the most to choose from appears to be the SEC who gives players the option of taking Beats by Dre headphones, a 16GB iPod Touch with music card, or a Sony Blu-Ray disc player with WiFi. At least we now know why Texas A&M and Missouri left for the SEC.
Share this story

Big 12 Team Preview #7: Iowa State Cyclones

Posted by KoryCarpenter on November 6th, 2012

Over the next two weeks, we’ll bring you the obligatory team preview here at the Big 12 microsite. Iowa State at the #7 position is next on our list.

The Skinny

  • 2011-12 Record: 23-11, 12-6 Big 12
  • Key Contributors Gone: F Royce White, G Scott Christopherson, G Chris Allen
  • Head Coach: Fred Hoiberg, 3rd season
  • Projected Finish: 7th

Replacing Royce White will be crucial if Iowa State wants to continue its uptick in the Big 12.

Fred Hoiberg wasted no time after being hired at Iowa State in April 2010, quickly assembling a group of transfers who sat out the first season before making a big impact a year ago. The Cyclones saw a seven-win improvement in 2011-12 and played eventual national champion Kentucky tough — at least for a half — in the Third Round of the NCAA Tournament before losing, 87-71. Now Hoiberg is looking to do it again. Last year’s top three scorers are gone, led by NBA first round pick and do-everything forward Royce White. He has two more excellent transfers eligible to play this season and a solid four-man recruiting class to blend with those transfers. Hoiberg proved he could mesh everything together for a successful season a year ago, but he had a lot of help with one of the most difficult forward match-ups in the country in the form of Royce White. The non-conference schedule plays out nicely for the Cyclones, with a few tough games — a possible game with UNLV in Las Vegas in the Global Sports Classic and BYU in Ames — but plenty of multi-directional schools will be at home to boost the win total while the newcomers learn to play together. Hoiberg said at the Big 12 Media Day that he has accomplished what he set out to do, quickly building up the program with transfers and surrounding them with good four-year guys. It was successful last season and Hoiberg’s roster moves this year proves that he thinks it will work again.

The Personnel

Hoiberg said that he’ll always play to the strengths of his team, no matter the style. Last year, he gave the ball to White just about anywhere on the floor and let him distribute to the shooters, and it worked. White was too big for most guards and too fast for most big men. And when he drew extra attention, Cyclone shooters were ready, knocking down 293 three-pointers on the year. Hoiberg called last year’s team unconventional because of White’s offensive game, something that won’t be the case this season. “We’ll have Korie Lucious, a pure point guard again,” Hoiberg said at Big 12 Media Day. “I’m excited about that. It gives us the opportunity to play a little faster.” Lucious, now a redshirt senior, played three seasons at Michigan State, contributing to two Final Four teams for Tom Izzo while averaging 6.5 PPG and 4.1 APG in 2010-11. He takes over for White, sort of. As Hoiberg mentioned, Lucious is a pure point guard, while White was nothing of the sort. Lucious will look to pass first and score second. He’ll push the tempo, and while he’s not a 6’8″, 260-pound mismatch, he brings his own skills to this Cyclone team. “He’s got that experience of leading a basketball team.” Hoiberg said. “And we’ve got the athletes to get out and run and play with him.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

The Transfer Effect: What the Statistics Say about Missouri and Iowa State’s Recruiting Methods

Posted by dnspewak on December 27th, 2011

No matter how established the program, every college basketball coach eventually takes a chance on a transfer. Jim Boeheim, for example, plucked Wesley Johnson from Iowa State and turned him into the Big East Player of the Year in 2009-10. Tom Izzo and Mike Krzyzewski’s current rosters both include transfers with Brandon Wood (Valparaiso) and Seth Curry (Liberty), and in 1979, a former Indiana Hoosier named Larry Bird nearly won a title with Indiana State just a few years after quitting basketball (and Bob Knight’s Indiana Hoosiers) altogether.

Hoiberg and Haith Are Recruiting Transfers Heavily to Their Programs

Normally, coaches take one or two transfers at a time to fill immediate holes, but that’s not everybody’s philosophy. Meet Missouri’s Frank Haith and Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg, a pair of coaches who have abandoned traditional recruiting methods at their new schools in favor of Division I transfers. Haith, hired in April to replace Mike Anderson, is using three open scholarships in 2011-12 on players who will not appear in a single basketball game this season by signing Keion Bell (Pepperdine), Earnest Ross (Auburn) and Jabari Brown (Oregon). Hoiberg, on the other hand, has four transfers on his roster in his second year with the Cyclones: Chris Allen (Michigan State), Chris Babb (Penn State), Royce White (Minnesota), and Anthony Booker (Southern Illinois). The two coaches have energized their fan bases by signing big names from major schools, but Haith and Hoiberg’s recruiting tactics cannot be accurately judged at this point. Iowa State’s Fab Four will begin Big 12 play next month, and Missouri’s three transfers will not all be eligible until December 2012.

Instead of speculating as to whether the two teams will suffer from dreaded chemistry problems with so many transfers, why not crunch the numbers to see if The Transfer Effect really exists? Although finding aggregate data for Division I transfers is virtually impossible, recent anecdotal evidence shows that the recruiting strategy is an enormous risk for both coaches. Seven teams from both the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons welcomed three or more transfers to their programs at the same time, and only two teams (San Diego State and UNLV) finished above .500 in league play. Seton Hall, the only power conference team in the group, missed the NCAA Tournament.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Iowa State’s Impact Transfer– But He’s Not Who You Have in Mind

Posted by dnspewak on November 28th, 2011

Fred Hoiberg brought in four notable Division I transfers this season, and by now, you know them by name: Chris Babb (Penn State), Royce White (Minnesota), Anthony Booker (Southern Illinois), and Chris Allen (Michigan State). After months of hype from media members and writers such as ourselves, the group basically became known as Iowa State‘s version of the Fab Four.

So far, Babb, White, and Allen are the team’s three leading scorers, serving as the catalysts during a decent 5-1 start for the Cyclones. And that’s all great and dandy.

Except the most important transfer so far may arguably be Tyrus McGee, a junior college guard who has not started a single game this season. He earned a reputation at Cowley County Community College as a sharpshooter, and he’s certainly lived up to that billing with a blistering 56.7% mark from three-point land. Besides the season opener against Lehigh, McGee has scored in double figures in every other game, and he’s also made at least two three-pointers in each contest.

Tyrus McGee Plays Hard for Coach Fred Hoiberg (Credit: Des Moines Register)

But his scoring totals aren’t the reason McGee has earned constant praise from Hoiberg. Instead, McGee is actually making more of a mark on the defensive end, bringing a much-needed energy and toughness to Iowa State’s roster. Like any defensive stopper, Hoiberg says he “love[s] the kid because he’ll run through the wall for you.” He may not have run through any dry wall last week, but his efforts did help Iowa State to a 64-54 victory over Providence in the South Padre Island Invitational.

McGee then scored 17 points in a route of Rice in the title game. In six games, McGee has exactly one turnover. And did we mention he’s missed only one free throw so far? Yeah, it’s early. Really early. Iowa State already lost on the road to a decent but unspectacular Drake team, and its wins so far (against Lehigh, Western Carolina, Northern Colorado, Providence and Rice) aren’t going to turn any heads. Still, hustle is hustle, and McGee will play hard against any opponent. If the Cyclones surprise the Big 12 this season, he will probably be a major factor in this program’s revitalization.

Share this story

Big 12 Team Previews: Iowa State Cyclones

Posted by dnspewak on November 5th, 2011

Projected finish: 8th

2010-11 record: 16-16 (3-13), 12th

Head coach: Fred Hoiberg, second season

Key Losses: Diante Garrett (17.3 PPG), Jake Anderson (12.8 PPG), Jamie Vanderbeken, (11.1 PPG)

Coach Fred Hoiberg‘s team started quick in nonconference play during his first season, but his Cyclones eventually tumbled to a dismal last-place finish in 2010-11. After losing one of the league’s top point guards in Diante Garrett, Hoiberg’s job doesn’t get much easier this fall. However, he does have one of the more intriguing rosters in the Big 12 with four big-name transfers set to take the court. There are a lot of wild cards for Iowa State this season, but there may be enough talent for a surprise finish.

Fred Hoiberg's Team Could Surprise (AP/A. Heisenfelt)

The Stars: Scott Christopherson may be the most underrated shooter in college basketball. He shot a blistering 44.1% from three-point range last year, making 83 threes during a terrific campaign. Garrett got a lot of the credit as the star last season, but Christopherson was probably the second most important player on the squad. After playing sparingly as a freshman at Marquette due to injury, Christopherson finally emerged as a team leader when he became fully healthy and earned a starting job.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

20 Questions: Which Transfers Will Have the Biggest Impact This Season?

Posted by rtmsf on November 2nd, 2011

I. Renko is an RTC columnist.

Question: Which Transfers Will Have the Biggest Impact This Season?

Every year, college basketball fans draw up their preseason predictions of conference champions and NCAA Tournament fields based on returning players and incoming recruits.  But each year, a handful of key transfers play a pivotal role in leading their teams to a conference championship or NCAA Tournament bid.  Which transfers are most likely to play that role this year?

Pierre Jackson and Gary Franklin, Baylor — With the return of Perry Jones and the addition of blue-chip recruits Quincy Miller and Deuce Bello (coming soon to an All-Name Team near you), expectations for the upcoming season in Waco are high.  The Bears have more raw talent than almost anyone in the Big 12 and have a realistic shot at a conference crown.  But Baylor also had quality talent and relatively high expectations last year, only to find their season upended by mediocrity at the most important spot on the floor — the point guard position.  AJ Walton was thrust into the role of replacing Tweety Carter and responded by posting an obscene 32.1% turnover rate.  In a not-unrelated phenomenon, the Bears finished the season ranked 322nd in Division I in team turnover percentage.

The Development of Franklin and/or Jackson Could Be the Difference-Maker for Baylor This Season

If Scott Drew can’t find someone to settle things down at the point this year, the Bears may disappoint again.  And that’s where Jackson and Franklin come in.  Jackson is a well-regarded JUCO transfer and Franklin a formerly touted recruit who transferred from Cal after just a semester.  Franklin will not be eligible until the spring semester, but both will have a chance to pin down the starting point guard job.  If either proves to be a stable floor general, the Bears could have their first conference championship in more than 60 years.

Iowa State’s Starting Lineup — Okay, so maybe the entire starting lineup won’t consist of transfers, but it might come close.  Fred Hoiberg is trying to resuscitate the Iowa State program by resuscitating the careers of several D-I talents, including Chris Allen (Michigan State), Royce White (Minnesota), Anthony Booker (Southern Illinois), and Chris Babb (Penn State).  They make this list as a group because collectively, they will have the single biggest transfer impact on any BCS program this year.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

RTC Conference Primers: #5 – Big 12

Posted by Brian Goodman on November 2nd, 2011

Steve Fetch of Rock Chalk Talk is the RTC correspondent for the Big 12. You can find him on Twitter @fetch9.

Reader’s Take I

 

Top Storylines

  • This is of course the last year for Texas A&M to leave its mark on the Big 12, and it could be Missouri’s as well. Both teams enter the 2011-12 season with serious conference title hopes,  but each comes with some question marks. Missouri lost Laurence Bowers to an ACL injury, which really puts a strain on their interior depth. They didn’t rebound terribly well in the first place, ranking 317th nationally in defensive rebounding, and the loss of the 6’8” Bowers, who was their best returning player on the glass, won’t help. A&M meanwhile still has Khris Middleton, but do they have anyone to get him the ball? Dash Harris had a turnover rate of almost 30% last year and an assist rate of only 21%
  • Speaking of those two, the Big 12 has four new coaches this year, with Texas Tech and Oklahoma joining A&M and Missouri as teams with new head men. The Big 12 hasn’t had this many new coaches since 2007 when six of the twelve schools had first-year men on the job. I took a look at  how coaches in the Big 12 have done in their first year on the job and compared it with the historical performances of the programs who have new coaches at the helm this season, and it looks like all four could be in for rough times initially.
  • Kansas has won at least a share of the last seven Big 12 titles, but in order or the Jayhawks to make it eight, Bill Self will have to do his best coaching job yet. He lost both the Morris twins and Josh Selby to the NBA, as well as the underrated Tyrel Reed and Brady Morningstar to graduation. What’s more, incoming freshmen Ben McLemore, Jamari Traylor and Braeden Anderson were all deemed ineligible. Kansas still has some talent to work with, especially Thomas Robinson, who had a tremendous summer.

Even Bill Self Has Admitted That This Season Will Be A Challenge For The Perennial Blueblood

Predicted Order of Finish

  1. Kansas (14-4)
  2. Baylor (13-5)
  3. Missouri (13-5)
  4. Texas A&M (12-6)
  5. Oklahoma State (10-8)
  6. Texas (9-9)
  7. Iowa State (7-11)
  8. Kansas State (5-13)
  9. Oklahoma (4-14)
  10. Texas Tech (3-15)

All-Conference Team (key stats from last season in parentheses)

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story