Player of the Week
Thomas Robinson, Kansas
The monster season continues for the dominant power forward. The junior is without a doubt the leading candidate for National Player of the Year honors. His ability to dominate games is impressive. He is a player who uses his physical strength and tremendous motor to impose his will on the opposition. In his past two games, he has accumulated a mind-boggling 45 points and 34 rebounds! He also leads the Big 12 in double-doubles with 10. His best game this past week was in an 84-58 romp over North Dakota. He scored 30 points and grabbed 21 rebounds while shooting 10-14 from the field for a blistering 71%. Maybe ever more impressive was his marksmanship from the line, knocking down nine of his 12 shots. He even dished out four assists.
Rodney McGruder, Kansas State
The junior swingman is the type of player who "quietly" fills the stat sheet. The 6'4" guard/forward is very adept at slashing to the basket, as well as rebounding the basketball and being a force on the defensive side of the floor getting steals or deflections. In an 82-46 blowout of Howard, he scored 14 points, grabbed five rebounds, and had five steals. He is showing improvement on his jump shot as well, nailing 4-4 from behind the three-point line. In a 67-49 loss to rival Kansas this week, he scored 15 points, grabbed five rebounds, and had another three steals. However, his jump shot wasn't falling at Phog Allen Fieldhouse. If it had been, you could see what type of monster game performance he is capable of having. He is an extremely skilled player who, when clicking on all cylinders, can carry his Wildcat team to victories.
Andrew Fitzgerald, Oklahoma - Scored 18 points on 8-15 shooting from the field (53%) while grabbing six rebounds in a loss to Missouri.
Will Spradling, Kansas State
The talented, 6'3" sophomore disappeared in the Wildcats blowout loss to Kansas this week. He scored only five points while shooting 28% from the field. He also shot an unimpressive 1-4 from behind the arc. While he did dish out five assists, he not only needs to be more efficient shooting from the floor, but he needs to be more assertive on the offensive end of the floor if K-State is going to reach their potential this year.
Top 5: Home Court Advantages
1. Allen Fieldhouse - Home to the Kansas Jayhawks, Allen Fieldhouse has long been a place where visiting teams fear playing. They rarely lose at home, and this year is no different. They have beaten ranked opponents Ohio State and Kansas State at home this season.
2. Gallagher-Iba Arena - One of the loudest courts in all of college basketball belongs to the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The fans are relentless, and no matter how good or bad the Cowboys are each year, they are always capable of pulling off the upset at home.
3. Bramlage Coliseum - The home of the Kansas State Wildcats, Bramlage Coliseum has transformed over the past five years along with the success of the basketball program. It is now one of the most intimate and hostile environments in America. This season, the Wildcats are 10-1 at home, only losing in double-overtime to West Virginia.
4. Mizzou Arena - When the Missouri Tigers play at home, they very rarely lose. This season, they are rolling at home, smashing each of their opponents along the way. Currently, they are 13-0 at Mizzou Arena.
5. Ferrell Center - Home to the Baylor Bears, the Ferrell Center is always rocking when the athletic Bears take the floor. They are 12-0 on their home floor thus far in their 2011-12 campaign, and you can bet that by season's end, their home record will be quite impressive.
Conference Power Rankings
1. Baylor (14-0) (1-0)
2. Missouri (14-0) (1-0)
3. Kansas (11-3) (1-0)
4. Iowa State (11-3) (1-0)
5. Kansas State (11-2) (0-1)
6. Texas (10-4) (0-1)
7. Texas A&M (9-4) (0-1)
8. Oklahoma (10-3) (0-1)
9. Oklahoma State (8-6) (1-0)
10. Texas Tech (7-6) (0-1)
I believe K-State lost to WVU in Wichita, not in Manhattan. If so, they're still unbeaten this year at home.
K-State losing to KU and then knocking off Missouri really shakes things up at the top of the Big 12, especially with KU matching up against Baylor the 16th. I think either 4 of those teams could win the conference.
Travis Releford should also be mentioned as one of the hottest players in the Big 12 right now. After establishing himself as a perimeter defender and spot up 3 point shooter over the past 3 seasons, he has started attacking the hoop over the last 3 games and it has paid off with him dropping 14, 16, and then 28 points in his last 3 games.
Releford averaged 19.3 ppg 7 rebounds on 58% shooting from the feild, 46% from 3 and 67% from the line as KU won 3 games.