Jimmer mania takes over the latest installment of Big 12 Hoops Conference Call. But we also wonder about the future of Texas, K-State and Ohio State. And since it is the first weekend in February we are obliged to ask about the Super Bowl.
As always answers after the jump, and make sure to leave your own in the comments section.
The hottest topic in college basketball is BYU’s Jimmer Fredette. If there was a game of One On One, which Big 12 player would you choose to take on The Jimmer and why?
- All college basketball fans know that it’s not how many games in a row you win in January, but whether you can string six together in March. With that said, is Texas peaking too early?
- Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly were suspended. Dominique Sutton, Freddy Asprilla and Wally Judge left the team. In one sentence, what in the world is going on at K-State?
- Obligatory 1976 Indiana Hoosiers reference: As the last unbeaten team in the country, can Ohio State run the table, their conference tournament and the NCAAs without suffering a loss?
- Obligatory Super Bowl question: Will Super Bowl XLV be the defensive struggle people are suggesting, or will it be a repeat of the last time the Packers and Steelers met, a 37-36 shootout?
1. The hottest topic in college basketball is BYU’s Jimmer Fredette. If there was a game of One On One, which Big 12 player would you choose to take on The Jimmer and why?
JL: I would actually like to see Josh Selby of Kansas against him and I’ll tell ya why. Jimmer is getting some run as an NBA prospect but everyone just acknowledges he maybe can make it as a role player. Would like to see him play the #1 stud recruit in the country in freshman Selby and see how that matchup would go.
MP: Well, straight off the top of my head I'd say Jordan Hamilton. Both are terrific scorers that don't play any defense. I would hope Hamilton would step up his intensity for a game of one-on-one. And I think Hamilton's size would cause the Jimmer a lot of problems. Though I'd also be very tempted to see Fredette take on LaceDarius Dunn. Dunn has been sort of quiet this year, but he's still on pace to become the all time scoring leader for the Big 12. Both are tremendous shooters. I'll stick with Hamilton though. His size would make up for his lesser range.
EP: The Jimmer is a freak scorer, but what would hurt him in a game of One On One would be his 6'2 frame. I would choose someone taller than him -- not an issue -- and someone with the quickness and athletic ability to recover from The Jimmer's quick first step and fade away jumpers. I think CU's Alec Burks has the size, athletic ability and quickness to beat The Jimmer. P.S. I can't remember where I heard it, but someone called The Jimmer "Marriott Points" after BYU's home court. I thought that was a classic nickname.
2. All college basketball fans know that it’s not how many games in a row you win in January, but whether you can string six together in March. With that said, is Texas peaking too early?
JL: Scary part is maybe they aren’t even peaking yet what with playing freshman in Cory Joseph and Tristan Thompson. I am going to have to say no I wouldn’t worry too much about it but it is an interesting thought.
MP: No. Texas is peaking at the best time possible in my mind. I think confidence is as important as anything else, and right now Texas has more swagger than any team in the nation. I expect them to drop a game (either on the road or in the conference tournament), but by peaking now the Longhorns know they can beat any team in the country on the road. That's confidence you can't get from beating up on lesser teams in the back of your schedule.
EP: I brought this question up for several reasons, one of which is that they have an easy schedule from here on out, so I think their intensity might not reach the level it is at now later on in the season. I also feel they will lose again, but wouldn't shy away from a bet if someone gave me Texas to win the tourney.
3. Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly were suspended. Dominique Sutton, Freddy Asprilla and Wally Judge left the team. In one sentence, what in the world is going on at K-State?
JL: Easy answer is no one knows since every day is something new with them. Maybe KSU got tired of Kansas and Missouri getting more media coverage in Kansas City and they are trying to find ways to get noticed more kinda like a kid acting out for attention.
MP: Anarchy! Truthfully, I think Kansas State is dealing (poorly) with preseason hype. I think the Wildcats had huge preseason expectations thanks to their incredible Elite Eight run, and they expected to pick up right where they left off. What they didn't expect was the work that goes into great team chemistry. Will Spradling is a fine substitute for Denis Clemente (though they're very different players), but the team doesn't fit together like it did last year. From Frank Martin's demeanor, he's pushing this team as hard as he can. I just think a lot of them weren't ready for it. This has been a nightmare of a season, and the Wildcats should be thrilled if they find a way to make the Big Dance. Maybe they will (I wouldn't count out the chance that Pullen just goes off in the Big 12 Tournament). We can only wait and see if Martin can get his team to gel.
EP: I think it is Frank Martin's stare, and the fact they are get unmercifully yelled out during each time out and all throughout practice. It is the classic case of the kids rebelling against the intimidating father. The Menendez Effect or whatever psychologists want to call it.
4. Obligatory 1976 Indiana Hoosiers reference: As the last unbeaten team in the country, can Ohio State run the table, their conference tournament and the NCAAs without suffering a loss?
JL: Heck no, I have watched very few Ohio State games this year but one of them was the Northwestern game and afterwards I said both Texas and Kansas can beat them no problem. They will lose at some point I think in the regular season.
MP: No. They're cutting things way too close. They almost lost to a Northwestern team without its best player, John Shurna. Ohio State plays even a tournament-level team with that kind of energy, they lose. End of story. Thad Matta's squad has a huge target on its back from here until they get the first loss, and they're entering a tough part of the schedule: against Michigan (who only lost by four last time they played), at Minnesota (only lost by three in Columbus), at Wisconsin (one of the toughest places to win in the country), against Michigan State, at Purdue (who'll be out for revenge) and against Illinois (who barely lost in Champaign). That's a brutal stretch. Even if they make it through that, the conference tournament and NCAA's are going to be too much to hope for. But it's been an awesome run.
EP: They won't run the table, but they have the talent to win the whole thing. In college ball you need three elements (generally) to win the championship 1) Inside play 2) Outside play 3) Senior leadership. The Buckeyes have all three, but no, they wont go undefeated.
5. Obligatory Super Bowl question: Will Super Bowl XLV be the defensive struggle people are suggesting, or will it be a repeat of the last time the Packers and Steelers met, a 37-36 shootout?
JL: I think it will be more of a defensive struggle than a shootout since Pouncey is out for Pittsburgh and the Steelers D will cause some problems for Rodgers on the other side. Seems like most every big game whether college or pro ends up more as defensive struggle than offensive.
MP: I'm expecting a shoot-out. I think the Steelers' run defense will force Aaron Rodgers to attack almost exclusively through the air, and I don't think the Steelers' secondary will be able to shut him down. Big Ben will be able to return the favor, though the Steelers should be able to run a little better. This should be an epic match-up though.
EP: On turf, even against the best D in the NFL, Aaron Rogers will light it up and the Packers will run up the score. The only question in terms of a "shoot out" is whether Pittsburgh can continuously counter. I don't think they can.