Player of the Week
Rodney McGruder, Kansas State
The Washington D.C. native is starting to play up to his ability, and that's a great sign for anyone who follows Wildcat basketball. The 6'4" shooting guard scored 19 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and handed out four assists in a surprising 82-73 loss to Oklahoma. He followed that steady performance with a huge outing against Texas. In an 84-80 win over the Longhorns, he dropped 33 points while shooting 65% from the field and 67% from behind the 3-point line. In addition, he also snatched eight rebounds and dished out two assists. This week has been a good sign of things to come for Kansas State.
Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas
The overwhelmingly inconsistent Tyshawn Taylor now put together a string of very good games for now Big 12 leading Kansas. While his turnover problems continue, he is negating them with his stellar performances of late. In a win over Iowa State, he pounded the Cyclones with 28 points, six assists, and four steals. Then, in an early conference showdown with the Baylor Bears, he was the unsung star of the game. In the 92-74 blowout, he again dropped 28 points. He also handed out six assists and grabbed two rebounds. In that game, he shot an amazing 71% from the field and 67% from behind the 3-point line.
Royce White, Iowa State - This week, posted averages of 17.5 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1 block per game.
Texas A&M Aggies
The Aggies came into the season with high expectations, hovering around preseason Top 25 rankings. They were returning future NBA draft selection Khris Middleton, as well as David Loubeau and Ray Turner. However, since conference play began, things have started to fall apart for A&M. It seems that none of their star players are playing as well as they should be, except for the Washington transfer Elston Turner. As it stands right now, they are an underwhelming 10-7 on the season. Even worse, they are 1-4 in conference play, good for ninth place in the Big 12. If they want to turn the season around, Khris Middleton and David Loubeau need to step their games up.
Top 5: Conference Games This Week
1. Iowa State at Texas (Wednesday at 9:00 p.m.) -
The Iowa State Cyclones are hovering near the top of the Big 12 standings and are quietly putting together a very solid season. They have already beaten Texas, so a sweep of the conference power would be huge for them.
2. Texas at Baylor (Saturday at 1:00 p.m. CBS)
This game becomes even more crucial for Texas if they lose to Iowa State for the second time this season. This Longhorn team is young, but they are plenty talented. It's going to be very tough for their young guns to keep their composure in Waco on national television.
3. Kansas at Iowa State (Saturday at 2:00 p.m. ESPN)
This game is important for both teams. Kansas is currently in the driver seat in the conference, and are in control of their own destiny. Iowa State is looking for a marquee victory to put on their March Madness resume.
4. Texas A&M at Kansas (Monday at 9:00 p.m. ESPN)
Texas A&M is in emergency mode right now. They need a statement victory, and beating Kansas at home would be a huge momentum changer for the team. However, it's very rare to take down KU at home.
5. Oklahoma State at Texas A&M (Saturday at 4:00 p.m. ESPN3)
Another game that Texas A&M must win. While Oklahoma State is having a down year, they are still capable of beating many good teams. The Aggies can't fall victim to them, or they can start kissing their postseason hopes goodbye.
Conference Power Rankings
1. Kansas 15-3 (5-0)
2. Missouri 17-1 (4-1)
3. Baylor 17-1 (4-1)
4. Iowa State 13-5 (3-2)
5. Kansas State 13-4 (2-3)
6. Texas 12-6 (2-3)
7. Oklahoma 12-5 (2-3)
8. Oklahoma State 9-9 (2-3)
9. Texas A&M 10-7 (1-4)
10. Texas Tech 7-10 (0-5)