Big 12 Blog
Player of the Week
Jeff Withey, Kansas
The Kansas Jayhawks are rolling with junior center Jeff Withey playing consistently. Since a loss to the Missouri Tigers on February 4th, a fire seems to have been lit under the 7-footer. He scored 25 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in a win against Baylor, and this week, he has played even more brilliantly. In the Jayhawks 81-66 win over Oklahoma State, he scored 18 points while grabbing an astonishing 20 rebounds! In the process. he even swatted seven shots. He followed that amazing performance with an 18 point, 11 rebound, nine block performance in a 59-53 win over rival Kansas State, almost notching a triple-double in the process. As of late, he has been playing out of his mind for head coach Bill Self and Kansas.
Phil "Flip" Pressey, Missouri
Point guard play is crucial for teams that want to advance in the NCAA tournament. That's a great sign for Missouri and head coach Frank Haith, because sophomore point guard Phil Pressey is stepping up his game in February. The 5'10" sophomore is keeping the Tigers in the hunt for a number one seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament. In his team's 72-57 win over Baylor this week, he scored 19 points, while grabbing four rebounds and dishing out three assists. He followed that stellar performance by filling the stat sheet with 13 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in a blowout win over Oklahoma State. If he can continue to score the basketball while keeping his talented talents involved in the flow of the game, Mizzou will be dancing their way to New Orleans and the Final Four.
[Player: J'Covan Brown], Texas - Averaged 18.5 points, four rebounds, and three assists as the Texas Longhorns split in games against Texas Tech and Missouri
Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas - 42 points in the Jayhawks two games this week. He is shooting the ball much better and making Kansas a more dangerous team.
Khris Middleton, Texas A&M -
This season hasn't been kind to Texas A&M and it's star, Khris Middleton. Before the college basketball season even began, he was being touted as a possible lottery pick in the upcoming NBA draft. However, that isn't going to plan. He has missed a combined 12 of the Aggies 25 games this season due to a nagging knee injury. Even when he's been in the lineup for A&M, he has been putting up lackluster numbers at best. He is averaging 11.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. While these would be considered solid numbers for many college players, they aren't for a player with the physical tools he possesses.
Top 5: Conference Games This Week
Kansas State at Baylor (Saturday at 1:30 p.m. ESPN3)
Kansas State is back on the tournament bubble after losing a hard fought game to rival Kansas. If they can take down Baylor in Waco, which will be an enormous task, they will have victories over both Missouri and Baylor,as well as a very talented Long Beach State team. which could do wonders for them in the long run,
Baylor at Texas (Monday at 9:00 p.m. ESPN)
The Texas Longhorns need this victory more than Baylor does. They are looking to stay on the tournament bubble, and a win over the Bears would do just that. They have won four straight conference games and have resume wins over Temple and Kansas State.
Kansas State at Missouri (Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. ESPN2)
Another huge game for Kansas State this week is against Missouri. They will probably need to beat at least one of the two Big 12 powers in Baylor and Missouri. They've already beaten Mizzou once this season, but beating them on their own home floor would be very impressive.
Oklahoma at Iowa State (Saturday at 1:30 p.m. ESPN3)
Iowa State is another Big 12 team on the NCAA tournament bubble. Their only impressive resume victories right now are Kansas and Kansas State, so it is crucial that they win the next few games before they end their conference season with Kansas State, Missouri, and Baylor. They can either play themselves in or out of the tournament based on the final two weeks of the conference season.
Texas at Oklahoma State (Saturday at 4:00 p.m. ESPN3)
This is a must win game for the Longhorns. A loss to the Cowboys at Gallagher-Iba Arena can play a part in ruining their season, so look for J'Covan Brown to put the young Texas players on his back with his scoring prowess.
Conference Power Rankings
1. Missouri 24-2 (11-2)
2. Kansas 21-5 (11-5)
3. Baylor 22-4 (9-4)
4. Iowa State 18-8 (8-5)
5. Texas 17-9 (7-6)
6. Kansas State 17-8 (6-7)
7. Oklahoma State 12-14 (5-8)
8. Texas A&M 13-12 (4-9)
9. Oklahoma 13-12 (3-10)
10. Texas Tech 8-17 (1-12)