The Big XII conference season is off and running, and man, it’s good to wake up on a Sunday morning in January and be on top of the conference. These recaps are in chronological order.
West Virginia 78, Texas Tech 67
This is the second win in a row for West Virginia by the score of 78-67, but this time they needed start Juwan Staten. Sure, they probably could've gotten by the Red Raiders without Staten's services (he was barfing after the game), but his 16 points certainly didn't hurt things. West Virginia has now played the easiest portion of their road schedule. It only gets harder from here for the Mountaineers.
Oklahoma 70, Texas 49
The Sooners took a huge early lead, lead 33-14 at the half, and never looked back. Most people that visit this site regularly probably took two things from this game: Oklahoma is better than expected and will be an even tougher win for KU than expected, and Texas is certainly beatable if you get them into a jump shooting contest. Either way, an early Texas loss is probably a good thing for teams vying to win the league.
Iowa State 63, Oklahoma State 61
Dustin Hogue and Georges Niang each had critical blocks at the end of the game to preserve the win for the Cyclones who all of a sudden look vulnerable. Phil Forte scored 21 points and LeBryan Nash added 19 for the Cowboys. Iowa State was led by Hogue’s 17 while Niang and Matt Thomas added 10 a piece in the win.
Kansas State 58, TCU 53
This was a game that K-State had to win. They have to beat the teams that they are supposed to beat if they want to dig out of their self inflicted hole. Marcus Foster came out of his funk and scored a game-high 23 points as K-State ended a three game skid. TCU's skid is something a little more substantial. The Horned Frogs have never won a road game in the Big 12.
Baylor 66, TCU 59
After the near upset on Wednesday against Kansas, Baylor almost fell to TCU. The Bears had their worst offensive performance of the year in this one. They shot a measly 28% from the floor, and should probably feel pretty lucky to get out of that high school gym with a win. And by the way, the more overtime I see, the more comfortable I feel when the Jayhawks are in tight games.
Oklahoma State 69, Texas 58
Was it more Le Bryan Nash and Phil Forte soring 20 points each or was it the fact that Texas shot just 34% for the game? It was definitely some of each and when you factor in the fact that it is always difficult to win at Gallagher-Iba, maybe more people should have seen this one coming. You just had to think that Texas would’ve come out and played better after the debacle on Monday against OU.
Kansas State 66, Oklahoma 63
Gotta admit, I didn’t see this coming. Marcus Foster has responded like a champ after his benching a week or so ago. He nailed a game-tying floater to send this one into OT, then in that OT frame, he made the three-pointer that won the game for K-State. Buddy Hield did his part (31 points) and so did TaShawn Thomas (14 and 11), but the rest of the Sooners contributed 18 points in 45 minutes of basketball. Only two players even came off the bench; all starters played at least 38 minutes. That’s not going to cut it. Lack of depth will kill OU this season.
Iowa State 74, West Virginia 72
Traveling all the way to Morgantown and taking down the red-hot Mountaineers is a tough task. For that reason alone, Iowa State deserves credit. But the Mountaineers probably could’ve won this game going away if they’d just made some three-pointers. It’s easier said than done, but 3 of 15 from behind the arc isn’t going to win you many games.
Win(s) of the Week: Oklahoma over Texas/K-State over Oklahoma
At the beginning of the week, I thought the OU win over UT was easily going to be the win of the week, but after K-State’s win on Saturday, I had to add them to the list as well. The fact that the Sooners beat Texas is probably didn’t catch as many people off guard as the way in which they did it. They dominated Texas from the start and Oklahoma has a pretty solid defense. The fact that they beat Texas in Austin makes this win even more impressive. Then, the Wildcats go to Norman and beat the Sooners. This conference is going to wild.
Team of the Week: Kansas State
Not only did they get a much-needed win over TCU, they shocked the Sooners in Norman. After a 7-6 non-con season with no significant wins, the Wildcats needed a week like this. They have a chance to win two next week, too.
Co-Players of the Week: Jamari Traylor and Marcus Foster
I have been on the "What does Jamari Traylor bring to the table" bandwagon for quite some time, but he really proved his worth to the Jayhawks this week. He almost single-handedly broke down the Baylor zone, allowing for KU to dominate the second half of that contest. He was 6 of 7 from the floor and finished with 13 points in KU’s win over Texas Tech on Saturday.
Marcus Foster was benched a week ago, but he took it like a man. He scored 23 in the win against TCU and then finished the OU game like a man, helping KSU to the upset win. This is the player that many had on their preseason All-Big XII team.
WTF of the Week: Texas
I thought Texas was a legitimate threat to win the league (and they might still be), but I wouldn’t have thought that they would drop their first two. This team has work to do, and it looks like teams will dare these guys to shoot from farther away than five feet all year.
Updated Big XII Standings:
Kansas, 2-0, 13-2
Iowa State, 2-0, 12-2
West Virginia, 2-1, 14-2
Oklahoma State, 2-1, 12-3
Oklahoma, 2-1, 11-4
K-State, 2-1, 9-7
Baylor, 1-2, 12-3
Texas, 1-2, 12-4
TCU, 0-3, 13-3
Texas Tech, 0-3, 10-6
Upcoming Big XII Schedule:
Tuesday, January 13
Oklahoma State at Kansas
Oklahoma at West Virginia
Wednesday, January 14
Texas Tech at Kansas State
Iowa State at Baylor
Saturday, January 17
Baylor at Kansas State
TCU at Texas Tech
West Virginia at Texas
Oklahoma State at Oklahoma
Kansas at Iowa State