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Big 12 Notebook

December 3, 2002 Conference Notes No Comments

Big 12 Notebook

by Mitch Schneider

Terrible Twos

The Kansas Jayhawks aren’t too fond of the number two.

KU, once ranked No. 2, has dropped two in a row, after starting the season 2-0. Both losses (67-56 to North Carolina and 83-73 to Florida) were by double-digit scores, and both games were rock-chalk full of deuces… Here’s how.

In Kansas’ first loss to the Tarheels, the Jayhawks connected on only 22 field goal attempts, while shooting two of nine (.222) from three-point range. Just two bench players scored for KU, and they each tallied–yep, you guessed it–two points apiece.

Two nights later, Florida’s two Matt’s (Bonner and Walsh) each scored 22 points in leading the Gators to the upset victory. Once again, only two non-starters scored for Kansas. (The Jayhawks also made 22 free throws in the game, but who’s counting?)

In two games, Kansas will next meet Oregon, a squad captained by two Lukes (Ridnour and Jackson). If the Jayhawks fail to make a strong showing against the Ducks, expect coach Roy Williams to make some changes to KU’s two-guard line-up.

Are the Jayhawks on the verge of an early-season collapse? It’s 2 soon 2 tell.

Can’t keep a Cowboy down on Saturday

Oklahoma State had one of those rare Saturdays every college dreams about.

Hours after OSU downed its gridiron-rival, No. 4 Oklahoma, 38-28, the Cowboys’ basketball team edged No. 9 Michigan State, 64-61, at the Great Alaska Shootout.

Senior guard Melvin Sanders paced Oklahoma State (3-1) with 18 points–his fourth straight game in double-digits–while six of the other seven Cowboys who played made a dent in the scoreboard.

Eddie Sutton’s squad is playing very well in the early stages of this season. The Cowboys appear to be one of the conference’s most balanced teams, and have looked terrific on defense (OSU has yet to allow 70 or more points).

While Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma have received most of the Big 12 pub thus far, O-kie State is looking much like the team that finished near the top of the standings last year.

Whoever crooned ‘Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be Cowboys’ wasn’t anywhere near Stillwater last weekend.

Manhattan chowder

Kansas State’s 1-3 record should come as little shock to anyone well-versed in college hoops. However, the Wildcats have actually played some solid ball in the early-going, and may surprise a few teams later in the year.

All three of K-State’s losses were by single digits, and the ‘Cats lone win came over an athletic Michigan bunch. Though only junior guard Tim Ellis is averaging more than 10 points per game, five other Wildcats are netting eight or more points through the team’s first four contests.

True, Kansas State has fallen to the not-so-prestigious BYU, Toledo and Northwestern. But Jim Wooldridge is making some headway with an entirely new line-up, which should eventually gel into a formidable unit.

If not, the Wildcats are in for another long season.

Wilson’s Three-point spree

Colorado guard Blair Wilson has nailed a Big 12 best 11 three-point shot attempts this season. Wilson is currently on pace to break the school’s season record for most three-point makes (97), as the junior is on course to net 106 treys.

Last year, Wilson connected on 76 three-point attempts, the fourth highest total in CU history.

Since Wilson has proven deadly from beyond the arc, teams might want to consider forcing him inside three-point land. Wilson has only made a handful of two-point shots this season, and his ratio of made three-pointers to two-pointers is one of the highest in the conference (2.2 to 1).

In short, get a hand up on this guy!

Intriguing match-ups of the week

Tuesday, Dec. 3 – No. 17 Georgia at Colorado
Wednesday, Dec. 4 – Tennessee at Texas A%M
Saturday, Dec. 7 – No. 2 Kansas at No. 10 Oregon
Saturday, Dec. 7 – No. 18 Missouri at USC (in Anaheim, Calif.)


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