Daily Archives: Jan. 28, 2008

No. 22 in AP, No. 24 in ESPN/Coaches

Kansas State is ranked in both Top 25 polls this week. Funny to note, however, that the Wildcats are one spot ahead of Texas A&M in the AP poll, but one spot behind the Aggies in the coaches’ poll. Never mind that K-State drilled A&M in Manhattan Jan. 19, and that both teams have the same number of losses.

Yep, these polls make a lot of sense.

At least Wednesday will be a matchup of two ranked teams and also a showdown for first place in the Big 12 – how cool is that?

What’s the Big deal? (01/28)

Random musings from the Big 12 coaches’ teleconference call:

NEWS flash — five overtimes will wear you out. Texas A&M was ready mentally against Oklahoma State, a game the Aggies won, but Baylor wasn’t nearly as fortunate. In fact, A&M coach Mark Turgeon predicted in his post-game address that the Bears would struggle, which they did in losing to Oklahoma. The past couple of weeks have been trying for Turgeon and the Aggies. “A very humbling experience,” he said. “But we’re starting to do the little things to be successful… They’re not quitters. They’re fighters. This team knows there is a lot of basketball left.”

GIVE Baylor coach Scott Drew credit for being honest. Following the Bears’ loss to Oklahoma, Drew said BU was convinced Sooners freshman forward Blake Griffin wouldn’t play. So much so, he and his staff didn’t even bother scheming for OU’s best player. “I wish, as a coaching staff, we’d done a better job of preparing if Blake played,” he said. “He’s a great player… Certain guys you have to game plan, and he’s someone you have to prepare for.

I think Mike Anderson might be in denial about what’s happening inside his program at Missouri.

HERE’S Texas Tech coach Bob Knight’s indirect take on the possibility of KU (or Memphis, for that matter) going undefeated through the remainder of the regular season and the postseason; remember, Knight’s 1976 Indiana club was the last to accomplish the feat: “If something has been done once, it can always be done again.”

COUNT Jeff Bzdelik as a member of the Michael Beasley Fan Club — but with a caveat. It seems the Colorado coach has heard the rumblings about Beasley possibly being a problem child (unfounded, but the perception persists). The former NBA coach drew on his experiences in the league to form the following analysis: “This young man has the talent. Does he turn out to be Derrick Coleman or does he turn out to be a Tim Duncan type? It comes down to his head and heart.” Bzdelik was asked what surprised him about Beasley, and his response was, well, a surprise. “His quickness. He jumped into passing lanes a couple of times in an explosive way.” Sounds like a NBA guy, no?

HAVE to love Frank Martin’s classic response to a question about Beasley’s comments about beating KU: “Do you think Darrell Arthur is going to be a better player because of what Michael says?”

OKLAHOMA coach Jeff Capel didn’t know if he’d have Griffin until 70 minutes before the opening tip. “We honestly had no idea,” Capel said. “We weren’t trying to play games, to pull a fast one.” Griffin, who was supposed to be sidelined for a few weeks, finished with 17 points and 15 rebounds — a performance good enough to earn the freshman forward a share of the Big 12 player of the week.

SURE, Doc Sadler red-shirted a bunch of Huskers and Nebraska is off to a 0-4 start in Big 12 play, but he’s staying the course. “My confidence hasn’t wavered in these guys or the program,” Sadler said. Playing Kansas twice in two weeks obviously didn’t help. “You don’t have a chance to… We’ve gotten our brains beaten in twice. In some small way, you have to hope your team is strong in character.”

IN this, the Year of the Freshman, Texas coach Rick Barnes was asked UCLA’s Kevin Love. “He’s so fundamentally sound,” said Barnes, whose Longhorns defeated the Bruins back in December. Truth is, Love, for all of his hype, would only be the third best forward in the Big 12 — behind Beasley and Griffin — although he is garnering buzz as a potential Player of the Year candidate. Weird.

BARNES also said D.J. Augustin is as good of a shooter as A.J. Abrams. Just found that interesting.

ANOTHER news flash — according to Iowa State coach Greg McDermott, no one can guard Beasley one-on-one.