Posted by dnspewak on January 2nd, 2013
- Burnt Orange Nation always does a terrific job breaking down the nitty-gritty and statistics of Texas hoops, but this week’s entry has some interesting numbers relevant to the Big 12 as a whole. Read toward the bottom of the article and look at some of the surprising statistics with regard to Oklahoma State‘s defense. As the article explains, the Cowboys have blocked 16 percent of their opponents’ shot attempts in the paint. That’s not a statistic you often hear about, so it is difficult to put that in perspective. Still, blocking almost one out of every six shots from up close seems impressive. And it is also odd to consider that Oklahoma State’s opponents are shooting a lower percentage from the field in transition than in a half-court setting.
- Speaking of Oklahoma State, the Cowboys blew a golden opportunity to really arrive on the national scene in a one-point loss to Gonzaga Monday night. No shame in a loss to the Zags, though, who have ripped through non-conference play with a 5-0 record against the Big 12. That’s quite bizarre in the aggregate, but not at all that surprising when you dig deeper to see how it happened. In order, Gonzaga has now defeated: West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Baylor, and Oklahoma State. Maybe the basketball gods can arrange a showdown between the Bulldogs and Kansas in the NCAA Tournament to see Gonzaga really is King of the Big 12 this season.
- Bear with us as we analyze the Gonzaga/Oklahoma State match-up one more time. As disappointing as Travis Ford has to feel in letting one slip away at home, simply competing with the Zags in a down-to-the-wire, nationally televised game has to mean something. They will kick you out of the coaching profession for praising a team for a moral victory, but even Ford can admit he liked what he saw for the most part. “We did some good things,” he said. And he’s right. He learned that Marcus Smart is a gamer in big contests, and he learned that his team can really defend. If only the Cowboys didn’t have to play a front line like Gonzaga’s on this particular night.
- And your Big 12 Player of the Week hails from… Texas Tech, in a surprise selection. It’s Jaye Crockett, who emerged as a real playmaker in Big 12 action a year ago, and this year he is taking over as the primary scoring option. In fact, he is leading the team in scoring. Meanwhile, Jordan Tolbert has not been quite as effective after a stellar freshman season. As a sophomore, he is not getting to the free throw line as often as he did last year, so it helps that Crockett, Dejan Kravic, and freshman Josh Gray have all picked up a bit of the slack.
- We will leave you on a heartwarming note that has nothing to do with men’s basketball. Instead, here is a video of an Iowa State women’s basketball player being proposed to at center court. Our only complaint: Why pull this stunt after a non-conference game against Alabama State? If the dude was really bold, he would wait until Brittney Griner were in town and ask his girlfriend at halftime then in front of a packed house.