What’s the Big deal?

Random musings from Thursday’s Big 12 coaches’ teleconference call: 

EXPECT an official word from Frank Martin later today on Jamar Samuels. I’d be shocked if he isn’t red-shirted, but then again, given David Hoskins’ situation, he might be needed for depth. So, now, after typing that last sentence, I’m changing my mind. I don’t think they’re going to red-shirt Samuels. Can you follow that logic?

ALSO, Martin hasn’t read the Sports Illustrated feature on Mike Beasley, but he’s pleased with his star freshman’s progress.

NOW with Acie Law in the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks, first-year Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon believes he has several players who will inherit the role of big shot-maker at the end of games. “I think we’ll do it by committee,” he said. Fascinating…

CALLING it his deepest and most talented team, Scott Drew believes Baylor has given itself a shot at reaching the NCAA Tournament — especially if the Big 12, given its RPI standing, reaps five or six berths in the tourney as Drew suspects it might. My thought is six is probably going to be the cut-off, and wouldn’t you know it — that’s probably where Kansas State is going to hover all season.

MIKE Anderson believes Texas is a better team this year than the Longhorns were last year. The reason is Kevin Durant. “They have a lot of weapons,” the Missouri coach said. “I think D.J. Augustin is the glue to the team. A.J. Abrams can shoot it from the parking lot…” Asked if there was a tendency for the rest of the Longhorns to stand around and watch Durant, Anderson replied, “Given what he did, it made sense sometimes.” Do you think a little of that is happening right now in Manhattan?

IT’S still an experience listening to Texas Tech coach Bob Knight. One win away from 900 for his career, he said he hasn’t even given it a thought. “You win a lot of games because you’ve coached a long time,” Knight said. He was asked about playing at Oklahoma State, and he replied, “It’s the same as any place else.” He gave props to John Roberson, saying the guard has played to his strengths, namely intelligence, but he also knocked Martin Zeno for his inconsistency.

GIVE Jeff Bzdelik credit for being blunt. Using only about eight players, the first-year Colorado coach was asked if he expected that rotation to hold up during conference play. “No,” he said. “We’re undersized and not really deep… It doesn’t bode well for playing in this particular league — I’m going to be honest with you.”

JEFF Capel says Memphis is the most athletic and talented team the Oklahoma Sooners have faced this year, but he expects that to change Monday when OU faces Kansas. On the topic of K-State, Capel compared Beasley to a young Derrick Coleman (which I think I’ve said a time or two before, but I digress). He also said that given how well Bill Walker has shot it from three-point range recently, that’s gives the Wildcats a “dynamic combination” at forward. Now, about those guards…

EVEN though it’s not just the Aleks Maric Show in Lincoln anymore, Nebraska coach Doc Sadler isn’t holding his breath about upending Kansas this weekend. “I look at Saturday’s game as a free game for us,” Sadler said. “I don’t think too many guys are going to beat those guys.” For the record, I think this guy is a very good coach. I think he’s gone about the growth process the correct way, focusing on defense and tempo. “Are we better? Yes,” he said.

INDIRECT rebuttal to Anderson via Texas coach Rick Barnes: “To think our team wouldn’t be better if Kevin Durant was here is ridiculous,” he said. “… We had a very unselfish team last year… People look at Kevin last year and think that was all we did… I think people make this more complicated than it is.” Also, Barnes was explaining about how the this year is different without Kevin, and he said, “That could happen a year from now…” But he caught himself, when it seemed almost certain he was going to say “without D.J. Augustin.” Now, I’m not putting words in his mouth, but I’m guessing the point guard — who might be Mike Beasley’s biggest competition for Big 12 Player of the Year — will be in the League next year. Much has been made of how much he idolizes Steve Nash after learning from the two-time MVP this summer, and he really does play like Nash. Wouldn’t he be a good fit as the heir apparent in Phoenix? He’ll probably be the third or fourth point guard taken, depending on how you classify Eric Gordon. It will go Derrick Rose, Gordon, Ty Lawson and then Augustin. Write it down.