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KU, OSU 7-3
OU, ISU, BU 6-4
TT, UT 2-8
KSU @ KU
The last time KU wasn't in first place (not counting due to one team having played more) was Jan. 22-Feb. 26, 2011, after Texas beat them in Lawrence and didn't lose it's second game in conference until going short manned to Colorado and running out of gas. Can the Jayhawks get motivation from that? They didn't get motivated by suffering a home loss to OSU, and they didn't seem to get motivated by the follow up loss in Fort Worth. Maybe having lost three in a row, finding themselves in second place, and looking up at in-state whipping boy will be the motivation.
It's kind of hard to see where KU has been going wrong of late other than to say that its fg % in conference games (.427) isn't anywhere near where it has been in the past (averaged .490 last 4 years); however, while it shot miserably (18/61) against TCU, it shot fairly well against both OSU and OU. It hasn't been committing a ton of turnovers. It hasn't been beaten on the glass. It just hasn't done its usual job of dominating on the boards, making it impossible to get shots away, and getting a jillion looks at the rim on offense. KU has been in several close games this year that it pulled out (OT vs. ISU, +5 @ UT, +4 @ KSU, +5 @ WVU), so maybe it isn't so surprising that it came to lose a couple of close games. One can't expect to hit a banked three at the buzzer every game.
KU has a rough end to the conference season. While it still has 5 home games left, 4 are against the bottom teams in the league, and it still has to go to Stillwater, Ames, and Waco. The way KU is playing, a 13-5 record may be the likeliest end, and worse is definitely conceivable. What a wonderful time for Texas to have a craptastic season--the year KU is eminently subject to being challenged.
KSU--I still don't know how they do it, but they do. They have the best turnover margin, and the assist/fg ratio is great, making the fg% the best, but there's nothing else they stand out in. They just find a way to win. They managed to get Thomas Gipson fronted by Georges Niang and abused it for baskets and free throws. They forced ISU into 18 turnovers and only sent it to the line for 7 fta.
TCU @ OU
Twin Jayhawk killers facing off. TCU is improving, but I can't see it winning a road game.
Back later with Wednesday's games.
Yeah, what I said about TCU. It went 11 minutes without a basket and managed 4/24 shooting in the first half on its way to a 36-11 deficit. Now 44-17 with 15:47 left in the game. Abron is 4/5. Rest of team is 3/25. Osby has 11 pts, 7 rbs for OU.
KU was motivated, just like it always is when facing its favorite punching bag. 21 point lead at one point in the first half and I don't think KSU ever got within less than 15 the rest of the night. McClemore with 30.
McClemore is such a smooth player. He dropped 30 as effortlessly as one can drop 30.
Three games tomorrow
OSU @ Tech
Easily the hottest team in the conference, OSU is on a 5 game winning streak which includes wins at home over ISU and Baylor and on the road against KU. OSU won the earlier matchup by 34 by holding Tech to 28% shooting and wiping it out on the glass (40-23), and did this despite Smart having his worst game of the year (1/6 shooting, 3 pts, 5 rebounds, 0 assists, 2 steals, 0 blocks). It won't be a 34 point margin this time, but Smart will have a better offensive night.
WVU @ Baylor
WVU is 5-5. Baylor is 6-4. Those two teams are a combined 9-0 against Texas, Tech, and TCU, leaving them 2-9 against the rest of the conference. Kind of makes it hard to view them as teams that could contend, even with Baylor being a single game out of first.
Due to its wins over Oklahoma State, Kentucky, St. John's, and BYU, Baylor is on the right side of the bubble, but it isn't a sure thing by any means. WVU is so far away from the field that is can take solace only in the fact that Texas is farther. WVU could still get in. It has Baylor x 2, OSU, OU, KSU, KU, and ISU all left on the schedule, but it doesn't have any good OOC wins to give it a boost, so it has to win at least 5 of the 7 games shown above.
ISU @ Texas
Kabongo's back. ISU beat Texas by 20 in Ames. All bets are off until we can see what Texas can do with Kabongo, but I will say that while Kabongo got a couple of transition layups in Austin, he otherwise had pretty crappy showing against ISU last year. (8/18 shooting, 1/6 bta, 3/5 ft, 7 assists, 7 turnovers in two games). Texas will have to defend the perimeter better and force the ISU shooters to spots a little farther behind the arc. That and someone needs to do a better job defending Clyburn and Niang.
Worst defensive efficiency of the season.
“Kansas may wind up number one in these polls, but that would be so unfair to Texas...” -- Len Elmore, 2/13/11
Markel Brown just hit 4 straight three pointers. OSU up 18-6 after 5 minutes.
Brown made it 5 in a row, added a two pointer, then finally missed a three. He finished the half with two more treys and a pair of ft. He's 8/9 from the field, 7/8 bta, 2/2 from the line for 25 points. OSU up 55-34 at the half.
OSU in a 91-67 rout. Baylor won 80-60. Heslip 6/9 bta. Jackson didn't make turnovers. Gathers made free throws. All the Baylor bigs had foul troubles, but Baylor was never challenged after a second half sequence of Heslip 3, Jackson steal and layup, WVU turnover, Heslip 3.
KU, KSU, OSU 8-3
OU, BU 7-4
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