Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
My top basketball matchup in the Big 12 this week, and my Big 12 player of the week.
Sorry that I haven’t had my Big 12 top matchups up for the last 2 weeks, I had been slacking on watching all the games with travel during the holidays.
Top Matchup in the Big 12 This Week
Texas (8-6) at Iowa State (10-3) | (Saturday, January 12th) This is the only intriguing matchup I think that will be played this week in Big 12. Besides maybe the Oklahoma State at Oklahoma game, which I think OSU will win handily after being smacked with 2 straight losses to top #25 teams, all the other Big 12 games don’t stand a chance to predict close contests. But, in this one we have a Texas team that has one very embarrassing loss to Chaminade and a few other losses to some great teams (Michigan State, UCLA, Georgetown). UT went down in OT to a good Baylor team last Saturday, but destroyed a decent North Carolina team a few weeks back. I cannot figure out if the Longhorns are good or not, and this game should be an indicator. Iowa State is definitely a good team as they have only losses to great teams in Iowa, UNLV, and Cincinnati. Iowa State should be a contender this year in the Big 12 alongside Kansas State and Oklahoma State trying to take down top dog Kansas. Iowa State is ranked in the nation #7 in scoring per game, #6 in rebounding per game, and #18 in assists per game. They are outstanding in knowing how to play together and win as a team. They have four guys that average double figures in scoring (Will Clyborn, Tyrus McGee, Georges Niang, and Melvin Ejim). I really enjoy watching this team play and see their transitions from offense to defense on the court and vice versa. UT is still a mystery to me as they have some great talent on their team, but besides sophomore guard Sheldon McClellan (15.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg) I don’t think they really have the right chemistry to be at the level that they could with all their talent. This game will definitely be interesting to see how well UT does against a really great Big 12 team. It might be closer than most think, but we will see which UT team shows up on the court. Realistically Iowa State should win this one by 10 and even further establish their dominance in the Big 12 as a top team. Predicted Winner - Iowa State
Big 12 Player of the Week
Rodney McGruder (Kansas State)| The senior guard took down #22 Oklahoma State scoring 28 points with 5 threes, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. McGruder is the star of a Kansas State team that has come out of nowhere and is now one of the best Big 12 teams in the conference. Also, earlier in the week against South Dakota he had 15 points with 3 threes, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. I know Jeff Withey (Kansas) had 9 blocks yesterday against Temple, but I still had to give the honors to McGruder because he was the spark that KSU needed to be able to knock off an impressive #22 Oklahoma State team.