Even though the football team still has one delicious game to go, I thought this seemed like a good time to start the Big 12 basketball preview. Since we are still a month away from the conference slate, I think I can call it a preview. And with the benefit of 3 weeks hindsight, it may even be halfway accurate. Since basketball fixes all of the puerile inadequacies of college football, I will not bother to split this up by division. What I will do though, since as a whole this will be rather bottomless, is make it a multiple part series. With any luck there will be some line of logic behind how I split up the posts.
The Jennifer Love Hewitt Division
12. Iowa State Cyclones
I can't really imagine getting too many arguments here. It's barely December and they have already dipped below .500 to 3-4 after an inexcusable 35 point loss to Drake. In addition to that humiliation, they have become the Big 12 punching bag for the Missouri Valley. For those of you unaware, this is a big part of how the MVC gets its RPI so high – they beat the cellar dwellers from power conference – those teams inevitably come up with at least one upset during conference play – and voila!
As for the Cyclones, they did put together one halfway decent game so far and fortunately, it was against Oregon State in the Big12/Pac10 challenge – so thanks. They have two more non-con games against teams with a pulse, both from the Big 11. Iowa is one and since they are equally horrible, I'd love to see a win there. I don't hold out much hope for a win over Purdue, but it would be much appreciated.
So if things go well and they sneak by Bethune Cookman and USC Upstate, they should be able to enter conference play at 9-5. Perhaps I'm giving them too much credit. Either way, the wins will be hard to come by from then on out. If they win a game outside of Ames, I will be beyond stunned, so let's just throw those eight out the window. They have home games against the North obviously and from the South they drew OSU, A&M and UT. Ouch. Let's quit wasting our time and give them 2 wins somewhere in there. Colorado and Kansas State maybe?
Why do I feel this way? Because they lost to Drake by 35. I'll be the first to admit that I haven't watched an ISU game (have they even been televised?) and with any luck, they only two I'll watch will be the two against the Jayhawks. Greg McDermott will again be coaching his "talent" to slow the game down as much as possible and hope the other teams get bored or frustrated enough to give away the game.
Notable Players: I don't know anything about this 6-10 freshman they have, Craig Brackins. But he is leading them in scoring and is second in rebounding. Rahshon Clark is a great athlete and that's about it. Jiri Hubalek is an ugly vagina. Wesley Johnson is by far their best player and has longer arms than he does legs.
11. Colorado Buffaloes
I like the hire of former Air Force coach Jeff Bzdelik. I doubt they will ever be top tier, but he is a good enough evaluator of talent and coach to have made Air Force an at-large tournament team. And lest we forget Boulder has a lot of hot, rich, white girls and of course cannabis. Some eighteen year olds have been known to enjoy those types of things.
Their season thus far has been completely invisible. They haven't produced one eye opening score and until I started looking into them, I wasn't entirely convinced their season had started. But, low and behold, it has – albeit uneventfully. They have started 5-3 with their big win coming over Air Force. They were throttled by Stanford and Wisconsin and also lost an ugly one to a decent New Mexico team. So they have accomplished nothing, but haven’t shit the bed either. By far their toughest out of conference remaining is their game at Wyoming so there is no excuse for not entering conference play at 10-4. As with Cy though I’m not entirely convinced they don’t blow another game along the way.
Despite not being able to attract five digit crowds unless Kansas is in town, they always seem to win a few they shouldn’t in Boulder. And despite his severe drop off the radar, Roby can still get hot so I’d say they should be good for 4-5 conference wins.
Notable Players: They actually have three pretty good players. But as far as I can tell, that’s about it. Marcus Hall and Richard Roby are their senior guards, both averaging about 14 per. Remember when Roby was thought to be a first round pick after his sophomore year? Hopefully K-Mart can pull some strings and get him in the door. Their other talent is soph Xavier Silas, averaging 10 a game. I wouldn’t waste my time with anyone else on their roster.
Thankfully, the time for honoring these bottom feeders will soon be at an end. But for now, since they obviously won’t help the conference, we need them to hold it together so as to not further damage the collective RPI.
Since this is the end of the Jennifer Love Hewitt Division, either I’m confused or the conference is pretty deep this year. Tomorrow we’ll climb the ladder a few rungs and take a look at some teams with the potential to make some noise.