Big 12 Hoops Conference Call

Is Tommy Carcetti a better politician than some members of the Big 12 basketball community?

This week we look at fanbases who might freak out, 5-star recruits, K-State's impossible start to conference play and Big 12 players/coaches as politicians. The questions....

1. Fred Gulley and Reger Dowell transferred, Jean-Paul Olukemi is out for the year. Le'Bryan Nash is shooting 36.4% from the field. Time for Oklahoma St. Cowboys fans to freak out?

2. In the last 11 games, Texas A&M has cracked 70 points once (against Arkansas Tech).They are now 9-4 with Sagarin's 338th ranked schedule. Time for Aggie fans to freak out?

3. The Big 12 signed three 5-star recruits last year, Myck Kabongo, Quincy Miller and Le'Bryan Nash. All have shown flashes but none have dominated the way we've seen some other top notch conference freshman dominate in years past. Which of these guys is most likely to consistently play like a 5-star recruit first?

4. Who did K-State piss off to start conference play at Kansas then home versus Mizzou and Baylor? If you're a Wildcat fan, what record are you happy with after the first three games? Do you jump off a cliff at 0-3?

5. The Iowa Caucus took place yesterday. Disregarding political affiliations, which Big 12 player or coach would make the best politician?


Our answers, after The Jump.

1. Fred Gulley and Reger Dowell transferred, Jean-Paul Olukemi is out for the year. Le'Bryan Nash is shooting 36.4% from the field. Time for Oklahoma St. Cowboys fans to freak out?

Joe Loyd: Umm yeah most definitely. Is it too early in the season for Cowboy fans to already be looking for a new basketball coaching prospect or taking a look at spring football depth charts?

E. Carnes: Markel Brown has a hip injury and didn't play all of their last game, either. If he's out, then it's only Keiton Page who has ever played a Big 12 game before. Freaking out is definitely warranted.

Nathan Kotisso: Hopefully Nash will step his game up for conference play but yeah, it's time to freak out. I don't believe coach Travis Ford is on the hot seat yet but his chair is getting warmer and warmer. Some of the players that made him successful were holdovers from the Sean Sutton era. He needs more time to carve out his own niche.

Evan Pfaff:
Yes. The injury to J.P. couldn't be prevented, but the combination of that, the transfers and their highest rated recruit ever not performing up to his hype should all be a concern going forward for the Cowboys. They just simply haven't played good basketball and squeaked through a difficult non-con one game over .500. Now they go into arguably the toughest conference schedule in the country depleted and wounded.

2. In the last 11 games, Texas A&M has cracked 70 points once (against Arkansas Tech).They are now 9-4 with Sagarin's 338th ranked schedule. Time for Aggie fans to freak out?

JL: Once again yeah I think so especially with the round robin scheduling in the Big 12 this year which doesn't bode well for a team that doesn't consistently score points. I have not seen much of the Aggies to be honest so I can't begin to tell you what is fully wrong with them. Anybody have any comments?

EC: Time for a little freak out. If the Aggies lose to Iowa State or Texas, time for a big freak out. If the Aggies lose to Texas Tech, time for a full-blown panic attack. A&M has got to snap out of it and find a consistent way to score or it's going to be a rough second half of the season.

NK: If that doesn't grind your gears Aggie fans, ponder this. 5-8 Houston Baptist (No. 252) is ranked just above you all (No. 253) in the latest RPI. But I don't know if it's time to freak out just yet. It's hard to size up this team because the Aggies have either played top 25 teams or scrubs so far (except for Rice). The upcoming Iowa State and Texas games will be their second and third matchups against solid competition (meaning not ranked but not terrible). I'm in wait-and-see mode with the Ags.

EP: I don't think we ever thought A&M would be an offensive juggernaut, but I don't know if anyone would have suspected that they would be this inept. I wouldn't freak out if I were A&M... yet... as I feel they have talent. It brings up a question, really, of coaching. You look at Oklahoma and what Lon Kruger has been able to do with his talent level and you look at Billy Kennedy and what they haven't been able to do with his talent level. I hate to keep dogging coaches, but in college hoops a good coach is worth 5 games a season? Maybe 10?

3. The Big 12 signed three 5-star recruits last year, Myck Kabongo, Quincy Miller and Le'Bryan Nash. All have shown flashes but none have dominated the way we've seen some other top notch conference freshman dominate in years past. Which of these guys is most likely to consistently play like a 5-star recruit first?

JL: Well I am gonna take a shot in the dark and say Nash simply because he is going to be forced to do so with the defections around him. Obviously he won't have as much help around him now but for Nash now is the time.

EC: Nash still has a long way to go. It's closer between Kabongo and Miller, but I like Myck. And not just because I'm a Texas fan. I think Barnes can mold Kabongo into a more consistent, elite player before Drew can do the same with Miller (even if it means more public drubbings like after the Texas-UNC game).

NK: I'd say Miller but again none have been spectacular. If there wasn't so much depth he'd play more than his normal 20-25 minutes a game. Kabongo is an outstanding passer but has to learn to make the same plays minus the turnovers. Don't be surprised if all 3 decide to come back for sophomore seasons.

EP: I have seen the most potential out of Quincy Miller. His athleticism and height is just unmatched, problem is that he lost his senior year of high school with a torn ACL and now must face D1 players. That is a tough transition. I do think Kabongo is closer than any of the three today, but Miller will surpass him.

4. Who did K-State piss off to start conference play at Kansas then home versus Mizzou and Baylor? If you're a Wildcat fan, what record are you happy with after the first three games? Do you jump off a cliff at 0-3?

JL: This is just typical K-State scheduling from the Big 12 as they messed up and actually gave the Wildcats a home football game to start conference play this year so they figured they would get them on the back end in basketball. There is obviously some sarcasm in that statement but some truth as well since it was a well known fact amongst KSU fans that the football team always started on the road in the conference which isn't easy. The only thing can say about this schedule is maybe if they can steal a win or two early then it could set the Wildcats up for a good run this year.

EC: Don't give Joe ideas. It's not the way I would want to start conference play, but I wouldn't be too worried about an 0-3 start for them. No shame for any team in the Big 12 losing to the top tier of the conference. That being said, it would be awfully beneficial for the Wildcats to beat one of those teams. If they go 0-3, it puts a lot of pressure on K-State not to drop games to second-tier teams like Oklahoma or Texas.

NK: I want to give credit to Joe for being bold in his stance for K-State. I saw a team that would struggle this year without Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly and he saw one that could contend in the Big 12. Kudos to you sir. If you're a fan, either a win against Mizzou or Baylor should do. The tournament committee will remember the team who knocked BU or MU first.

EP: Not sure just whose cape K-State stepped on, but man, that is brutal. And it's not like KU, Mizzou or Baylor snuck up on anyone, everyone thought they were going to be good from the get-go. I don't see K-State going 3-0 and think I would elated as a K-State fan at 2-1. 1-2 is probably more realistic, though with two games at the Octagon of Doom, you never quite know. But I still wouldn't jump off a cliff at 0-3. With the new round robin format you have to play each team twice so basically they're just getting this first pass out of the way earl.

5. The Iowa Caucus took place yesterday. Disregarding political affiliations, which Big 12 player or coach would make the best politician?

JL: Hmm very interesting question I must say. Gonna have to go with either Scott Drew at Baylor or Bill Self at KU since both seem to be very slick in their recruiting efforts and have the ability to influence people.

EC: My two favorite things to talk about! Frank Martin has the LBJ-style intimidation down, Travis Ford is working some Mitt Romney/John Edwards hair, and I bet Rick Barnes could use his recruiting skills to assemble a scary campaign machine. But my choice would be Kim English. He's well-spoken and would work the heck out of rope lines and photo ops. Plus, imagine all the money he could raise through social media...

NK: KU's Bill Self would be atop my list. All he does is get results so theoretically he'd torch other candidates at caucuses/primaries in every conceivable fashion. BTW, how about Romney and Santorum doing their best impression of Baylor and Missouri at the top! The Big 12's as up in the air as the GOP race.

EP: No doubt Kim English. Not only is he charismatic and media savvy, but If you haven't heard the story of how he helped get Baltimore mayor Tommy Carcetti Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to clean an abandoned playground outside his grandmother's house, you should take a look at this story by KOMU's Eric Blumberg.

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