Player of the Week:
Udoka Azubuike Kansas
Udoka Azubuike played out of his mind for the Kansas Jayhawks as they put down a very strong Dayton Flyers team in the final of the Maui Invitational. In the final game, he scored 29 points and had four blocks. His 29 points was a career high for him, and earlier in the tournament he scored 21 against East Tennessee. His field goal percentage was also off the chart as usual, shooting 80% from the field against Dayton, 83% from the field against BYU, and 87.5% against Chamanade. Maui is year after year viewed as on the of the premier tournaments in the country and it is refreshing to see Azubuike showcase his skills in this historic tournament. Not to mention, he was a major contributor to help lead his team to win the tournament, and after his performance, in my mind there is not a lot of controversy over who the premier center in the NCAA is.
Devon Dotson Kansas
In my mind, the Big Twelve player of the week was either between Azubuike and Dotson, and even though Dotson was beat out by his teammate’s spectacular performance, Dotson really showed the country why he belongs in the NBA. Against Dayton in the Maui championship, he scored 31 points, had five steals and shot 68.8% from the field. In their semi-final game against BYU, Dotson was only shooting 31%, but took on a distributer role and dished out 8 assists in the win against the Cougars. Looking forward into the season, I’m excited to watch Dotson play and I can only see his draft stock go up.
Jared Butler Baylor
Jared Butler is the life-blood of the Baylor Bears offense this year. In this past week he has really moved into another gear regarding his offensive production, scoring 22 points against 17 Villanova in the Myrtle Beach Invitational and then following it up with 20 points and 6 three pointers against Maryland- Eastern Shore. The 20 points against a 0-10 Maryland- Eastern Shore may seem lackluster, but Butler only played 24 minutes of the game, making it a very solid offensive showing. Going forward Butler should work on his passing and court vision to give him credibility in the long run, but it will be interesting to see if Butler can keep up his scoring proficiency against a tough Arizona team on Saturday.
Davide Moretti Texas Tech
Even though Davide Moretti is one of the upper classmen, this past week he was not able to contribute as much as the Red Raiders would have hoped. In their most recent OT loss to a decent DePaul team, he played 35 minutes but shot an abysmal 1-10 from the field and made seven free throws to score 10 points, an uncharacteristic game for the junior who is usually a steady shooter. Not only was he ice cold shooting, but he also racked up five personal fouls and five turnovers. While this poor a performance is rare for Moretti, you have to think that it doesn’t help his draft stock if he has any NBA dreams. He will have an opportunity to right his wrongs on the 10th when the Red Raiders play the number one ranked Louisville Cardinals.
Yor Anei- Oklahoma State
Even though Oklahoma State is 7-1 and considered to be a better team than people thought they would be so far, one of their leaders Yor Anei did not play up to par in the past week as they racked up their first loss to Georgetown. While he has proven that he improved his offensive production from last season, he only scored 4 points shooting 25% from the field against the Hoyas. While he did get two blocks (arguably the best part of his game), he also had five personal fouls. While this is not the greatest loss in the world for Oklahoma State, they will have a chance to redeem themselves as they play a decent Witchita State team on the 8th. This could potentially be a big game for Anei; the Shockers do not have a lot of talented big men that have the skill to challenge him in the paint.
Top five Big Twelve Mascots
1. Kansas Jayhawks (Big Jay)
Not only does Kansas have the most historic basketball team maybe in the country, but they also have one of the best mascots. The Jayhawk is unique to Kansas University, and is incredibly recognizable. The colors of the mascot are classic and the Kansas logo beautifully shows off the mascot; and everyone knows their chant, “ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!”
2. Oklahoma State Cowboys (Pistol Pete)
Pistol Pete is an incredibly creative mascot, with the large head and the pistols on his hips. His look is very classic and reminds me of an old school mascot look with the realistic head and the vintage clothes. Pistol Pete has been the official mascot since 1923, and he not only goes to school functions, but also weddings, birthday parties, and different community gatherings throughout the year.
3- Oklahoma Sooners (Boomer and Sooner)
Oklahoma actually has two mascots, which is one of the reasons why Oklahoma is number three. Boomer and Sooner are the two horses that pull the Boomer Schooner at football games, but for basketball games, the university needed non-animal mascots. Boomer is the blue-eyed horse mascot who wears a crimson jersey and Sooner is a brown-eyed horse mascot that wears white.
4- Texas Tech (Raider Red)
Texas Tech’s Raider Red looks more like a Looney Toon than a collegiate mascot, but that is just apart of the appeal. He was originally created after their Masked Rider was told he could not bring his horse to certain events. Raider Red dawns a big white cowboy hat and shoots his two pistols into the sky after baskets and key moments in the game.
5- Texas (Hook ‘Em)
While the more famous Texas mascot Is Bevo, the big Longhorn that makes appearances at football games, Hook ‘Em is just as beloved by all Texas fans. Hook ‘em wears a cowboy hat on top of his big horns and is known for his energy and dance moves at basketball games. He breaks the top five because of Texas’s unique mascot, The Longhorn, and his creative name. “HOOK ‘EM HORNS!”