Big 12 Blog

Player of the Week

Jeff Withey, Kansas

Jeff WitheyJeff WitheyAfter the three game losing stretch that really caught the nation off-guard, Kansas is back to where they were with three straight wins (two over top 15 teams) and Withey is a huge part of that. He’s had a double-double in all three games. He’s averaging over 16 ppg on a little over 9 shots per game, and has gotten to the line 29 times in these past three games, making 23 of them. He’s really stepped up his game and the numbers reflect that. The rest of his stat-line is as follows: 11.7 rpg 3.7 bpg 2 spg 0.7 topg.

Who’s Hot

Markel Brown, Oklahoma State

Brown has had one of the most overshadowed seasons I can remember. He has basically no hype due to playing next to Marcus Smart and also having Le’Bryan Nash in the lineup, but Brown actually leads the team in ppg, is 2nd in apg and has a higher FG% then both of those guys. Ina recent article posted here on the author stated that Brown is actually having one of the best seasons in the last 20 years for OSU, but Smart ranking #1 on that list has taken away from the attention he has gotten. He’s averaging 19 ppg over the past 4 games (3 wins and a double OT loss to KU).

HM: [Angel Rodriguez], Jaye Crockett

Who’s Not

Isaiah Austin, Baylor

He’s one of the more controversial figures on this site this season, mostly regarding his draft stock. His recent play has not helped his supporters cause much. Despite having ridiculous length Austin likes to play on the perimeter and isn’t much of a shot-blocking force (1.4 bpg at 7’1). He’s shooting a mediocre 46.8% from the field this year and under 60% from the line. Despite being called a great shooter he’s only shooting around 32% from deep on the season as well. Those are also his season averages, in his past six games he’s only averaging 9.2 ppg 8.5 rpg on 34.4% from the field and 23.8% from deep. He has a long way to go to be the next LaMarcus Aldridge as some have compared him to, and really doesn’t look like a lottery pick at all right now.

HM: Kyan Anderson, Jabarie Hinds

Five Surprises

1. The West Virginia transfers-Aaric Murray and Juwan Staten have been to of the most disappointing players in the entire nation this season. Murray was once considered a lottery talent before transferring, and Staten had a very nice freshman season leaving for WVU. Staten averages 5 more mpg than anyone else on the team yet is 4th in scoring and one of the lowest on the team in FG% and is beginning to lose time to two upcoming freshmen. Murray essentially gets in foul trouble every game and while he leads WVU in scoring, he doesn’t average double-figures and his efficiency is low for a post player. Both need to work really hard this offseason if they want to live up to their expectations.

2. Cory Jefferson’s play-Coming into the season Jefferson had just 148 career points and 115 rebounds in 55 games. In 26 games this year he has more than doubled both (317 points, 215 rebounds) and has been remarkably efficient for this disappointing Baylor Bears team. He’s put himself on the map as a possible second round pick after hardly playing until this season, props to him for the hard work.

3. Elijah Johnson’s regression-A lot of us had high hopes for the super-athletic senior combo-guard to step up as a leader in his senior season and make himself a first rounder. Instead he’s made himself almost undraftable due to how much he’s regressed in almost every way. His efficiency has plummeted across the board, and his scoring, rebounding and steals have all dropped noticeably, while his fouls have gone up. The only area he’s actually up in is assists (4.4 from 3.5), but it’s irrelevant because his assist-to-turnover ratio has dropped considerably (1.42 compared to 1.94 last season).

4. Ben McLemore-Many expected him to be a solid player who showed off his tremendous athleticism at times, but no one expected him to be this good this fast. The redshirt freshman has torn up the NCAA this year and has worked himself into the conversation for the #1 overall pick in this year’s NBA draft. He’s improved his jump shot and IQ considerably since his senior year in high school and projects to be a big time two-way player in the NBA.

5. Iowa State-Most weren’t that high on them after they lost their superstar Royce White among others. However, this may be an Ewing Theory situation as ISU hasn’t seen much of a drop-off at all and have a lot of quality players this season. They look like a tourney team and maybe could pull out a win or two when they get there.

Conference Standings

1. Kansas 22-4 (10-3)

2. Kansas State 21-5 (10-3)

3. Oklahoma State 19-6 (9-4)

4. Iowa State 18-8 (8-5)

4. Oklahoma 17-8 (8-5)

5. Baylor 16-10 (7-6)

7. West Virginia 13-13 (6-7)

8. Texas 12-14 (4-9)

9. Texas Tech 9-15 (2-11)

10. TCU 10-16 (1-12)

The8thDeadlySin's picture
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I agree 100% with the WVU

I agree 100% with the WVU breakdown.. Pitiful. It's hard being a fan this year..

Hale's picture
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Thanks man, yeah I was much

Thanks man, yeah I was much higher expectations for them. At least you have two freshman guards who look really good.

juice304's picture
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I also agree with the WVU assessment. I can't remember seeing a team have a harder time scoring. Staten can't hit a jumper to save his life. And Murray is about the biggest baby i have seen. So much talent, but no IQ. I also agree with 8th deadly on how hard it is being a fan. Sometimes i wanna just change the channel but i can't do it.