What’s the Big deal? (02/11)

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

A.J. Abrams reminds Kansas coach Bill Self – from a size standpoint and probably because of that ridiculous compression arm sleeve – of Allen Iverson. “He’s going to get looks,” Self said of the Texas guard. “You hope he doesn’t shoot a high percentage.”

MORE coaching philosophy: “It’s a fine line between winning and losing,” Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon said. His point was, his team isn’t so much better or worse than the rest of the Big 12, so it’s the little things that will define the Aggies. After a recent skid, A&M has gotten hot. “We kind of came together,” Turgeon said. “We have gotten a lot better. More confidence, more poise…”

FRESH off Saturday’s spanking at Bramlage Coliseum, Oklahoma State coach Sean Sutton insisted his kids were fine. “We didn’t play well Saturday night, and K-State had a lot to do with it,” he said. “K-State is a very good basketball team. They dominated us in the second half… Our guys didn’t fight.”

THE one area Baylor coach Scott Drew wants to improve as soon as possible? “Transition defense,” said the perpetually gleeful Drew. He was pleased with scoring 90 points against KU – Sutton, whose team faces the Bears next, said putting up 90 in Allen Fieldhouse “doesn’t happen a lot” – but dismayed that his team gave up 100. But… “Kansas does a lot of things right, and that’s why they’re so good.”

MORE on the Wildcats: Expect something soon in the Dallas Morning News on Frank Martin. Also, Missouri coach Mike Anderson was complimentary of K-State, saying, “They have some nice pieces… Frank has done a nice job of bringing that team along… He has them playing hard and together.”

PAT Knight began his head coaching career at Texas Tech with a pair of games on the road – both losses. Now he’s back at home, at the United Spirit Arena, but it’s against Kansas State. “I got baptized by fire,” Knight said. “We came off the road, but now we have to face Michael Beasley, so it doesn’t get any easier.”

JEFF Bzdelik wasn’t available, but Colorado assistant Steve McClain took his place Monday. One of his first orders of business was fawning over the Jayhawks, whom the Buffs meet Feb. 16. “It’s one of the best Kansas teams I’ve seen on TV, that I’ve watched on tape,” McClain said. “When you have that many players, to keep them as grounded and focused as Bill (Self) has done is an enormous task in itself… That’s what makes Kansas a great team. They have a lot of great players that on any given night, one can explode.”

HARP on his substitution patterns – and you will – but Frank Martin was consciously building depth, which is why nobody plays more than 31 minutes per game. “I believe in depth,” Martin said. “I believe in preparing guys for the moment they get on the court and play… It’s what I believe in.” Also, the K-State coach said there was nothing new to report on Dominique Sutton, other than the freshman was sore Sunday. Martin said he’d know more before today’s practice.

LOVE Doc Sadler – and he’s doing a nice job in Lincoln, too. The Nebraska coach said he didn’t believe Frank Martin was getting the respect he deserves, and then I asked him how to stop Michael Beasley – especially after all of the junk defenses the Huskers tried Wednesday didn’t work. “You hope he misses shots,” he said. That’s awesome on several levels…

FROM the “Just Sayin’” Department: Texas coach Rick Barnes was asked about the difficulty in winning back-to-back NCAA titles – why he was asked, I’m not certain – and he said it was hard enough just winning one. Elaborating on that point, Barnes said, “The teams that win have two or three pros on it.” Hmmm….