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Big 12 Notebook

December 10, 2002 Conference Notes No Comments

Big 12 Conference Notebook

by Mitch Schneider

Husker uprising

Will the real Cornhuskers please stand up…? Please stand up…?

Sorry for the Eminem reference, but we start out this week’s Big 12 notebook rappin’ about the Nebraska Huskers. In a three-week span, NU (3-3) has ridden its Lincoln roller-coaster in all sorts of directions this season.

In the Huskers second game of the year, Division II Alaska-Fairbanks upended Nebraska, 64-61, in the Top of the World classic. NU fans were calling for the head of head coach Barry Collier after this upset.

Fast-forward to last Sunday. After opening the game with a 16-0 run, the Huskers cruised to an 80-60 win over No. 17 Minnesota. Nebraska handed a talented Gophers’ team its first loss of the season, and the win was NU’s first over a ranked opponent in almost a year.

How can a team fall flat on its face against a D-II school, and then rebound to crush one of the nation’s best?

There really must be something lurking in those cornfields.

Nobody’s perfect…(Except the ‘Clones, Tech and Mizzou)

Three cheers go out to Iowa State (5-0), Texas Tech (5-0) and Missouri (4-0).

These three schools are the only Big 12 teams left with an unblemished record, and all three potentially could carry perfect slates into the start of conference play.

Of the six teams Iowa State has left on its pre-season schedule, only Boston College (12/10) and Iowa (12/13) pose a real threat to the Cyclones’ record. However after that stretch, coach Larry Eustachy’s squad opens the Big 12 season with Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma… ouch!

Texas Tech should also make a nice run at perfection, as the Red Raiders’ only true test on their schedule appears to be Minnesota (12/28).

If Missouri hopes to begin conference play with a gleaming record, the Tigers have some work to do. Mizzou still has to battle Memphis (12/14), Illinois (12/21), Valparaiso (12/30) and Iowa (1/4) before it opens its Big 12 season with Baylor.

But MU coach Quin Snyder doesn’t seem too worried. Plus, he’s got better hair than either Larry or The General.

General disorder

While on the subject of The General, did anyone get a load of Tech’s 72-point victory over Nicholls State last Saturday?

The Red Raiders more than tripled-up the Colonels, 107-35, and the blowout win set a new school record for largest margin of victory.

In the win, guard Andre Emmett led six Red Raiders in double-figures as he posted 21.

As one would expect after glancing up at the scoreboard, Tech had a +21 edge in rebounding, a +26 edge in made field goals, and a +20 edge in turnover margin.

Texas Tech did, however, record a (-) 72 rating in class. There’s no need to further humiliate the other team when you’re up 35 at the half.

Clipped wings

The Kansas Jayhawks, the preseason No. 1 favorite for several different mediums, have fallen and they can’t get up.

After starting out 2-0, KU (3-3) has dropped three of its last four games. It seems the Jayhawks’ difficult pre-conference schedule has caught up with them, as Kansas has lost to North Carolina, Florida and Oregon (three ranked teams) in the last two weeks.

Unfortunately for Roy Williams’ squad, the schedule doesn’t get that much easier any time soon. Kansas still has to play Tulsa, UCLA and California before it opens its Big 12 season with Iowa State.

KU’s problem is rather obvious: its bench. The Jayhawks don’t have anyone on their bench to turn to in dire times. Kansas heavily relies on its five starters, as they all are averaging around 30 minutes per game, and have accounted for almost 91% of KU’s scoring this season.

The bench doesn’t have a single player averaging more than four points per game, and only one non-starter is seeing more than twelve minutes a night.

Unless the Jayhawk starters can consistently avoid foul trouble and fatigue, Kansas and its short bench will be in major trouble come March.

Match-ups of the week:
Tuesday, Dec. 10 – Boston College at Iowa State
Wednesday, Dec. 11 – Kansas at Tulsa
Friday, Dec. 13 – Iowa State at Iowa
Saturday, Dec. 14 – Memphis at Missouri
Sunday, Dec. 15 – Texas at Arizona (Game of the week!)


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