The Big 12 conference has seen its fair share of clutch performers and clutch moments both in conference play and out of conference play. Most everyone can remember Acie Law of Texas A&M draining a 3 pointer versus Kansas to give the Aggies their first and only win ever in Allen Fieldhouse or Mario Chalmers incredible 3 pointer vs Memphis in the 2008 national title game.
As is the case with college sports some clutch performers from the previous season have graduated and moved on, guys like Sherron Collins of KU & Zaire "Mr. Big Shot" Taylor of Missouri. Now is the time to see who can step up and create their own legacy.
Let's take a look at each team in the Big 12 and see who should be getting the ball and taking the shot in the closing seconds of the upcoming 2010-2011 season.
After taking a look at my choices please let me know your thoughts on who I got right or who you think I missed out on or simply your general thoughts on life if you wish.
Tough call on this one for the Buffs in choosing between Alec Burks or Cory Higgins. If forced to choose one over the other I would probably go with the more experienced player and choose Higgins simply based on him being a senior leader.
Going with Jeter as he was starting to find an offensive game toward the end of last season for Doc Sadler's team. Standing 6'3" and quite powerful for Nebraska, Jeter should be able to force his way into the lane and if nothing else draw some contact.
Another choice where it came down between two players, Singletary & PG John Roberson. Going with Singletary as he has the size to be able take the ball down low at the end of the game if necessary or enough ability to hit an outside shot.
Iowa State Cyclones - Diante Garrett
Garrett is a senior and also quite adept at getting to the basket so he is the pick for the Clones.
Davis is the choice almost more out of default than being the clear defined leader for this role. With so much unknown about this years teams down in Norman, Davis is one of the few known commodities for Jeff Capel. While he isn't the most athletic player on the team he is a senior and a pretty crafty player.
Oklahoma State Cowboys - Keiton Page
With James Anderson gone to the NBA it's time for Page to step up and take the end of game shots for the Cowboys. While his size could be a hindrance in this role, he is adept at being able to get his shot off.
Texas A&M Aggies - Khris Middleton
Going to say Middleton steps up and becomes the main guy for the Aggies in late game situations with Donald Sloan no longer around. At the end of his freshman season last year Middleton begin to show an expanded offensive game as witnessed by his 19 point performance in the Aggies opening round NCAA Tournament victory over Utah State.
Texas Longhorns - Jordan Hamilton
Very tough in picking a single player with whom Rick Barnes should put his trust into. By mid-season this player could be incoming freshman PG Cory Joseph but for right now the decision is Hamilton. While he was very erratic his freshman season, Hamilton stands 6'7" and has tons of talent plus a strong outside shot (at times).
This is an obvious decision for Scott Drew assuming Dunn is on the court and not in the courthouse (sorry lame joke). If he is out playing Dunn represents a senior leader with whom the total team would have trust in to take and make a final shot. Who would be the person if Dunn isn't around?? Not exactly sure but would guess something would be drawn up to try and get big time recruit Perry Jones the ball or for someone to throw the ball towards the glass and hope Jones can rebound and score.
Figuring out who Bill Self trusts this year to take the final shot will be quite interesting to watch with Sherron Collins no longer handling this role. While usually guards tend to be the people we think of getting the ball late in games (see Collins, S.) this season might be the one where Morris steps us and takes control and makes it his team. Watch out though to see if Josh Selby gets trusted late in the season over the rest of the more experienced players.
This is probably one of the more obvious picks in the conference with Zaire Taylor gone now is the time for English to start handling the pressure shots. The leading returning scorer for the Tigers at 14 points a game, English is now an upperclassman and expected to lead the Tigers when the going gets tough.
Kansas State Wildcats - Jacob Pullen
And finally in perhaps the most obvious choice is Pullen for the Wildcats. After witnessing his heroics in last seasons Sweet Sixteen game victory over Xavier, anyone who thinks Pullen won't be getting the ball at the end of the game is crazy especially with Denis Clemente no longer around.