Mac Stevenson
Kansas is an above-average basketball team when the Jayhawks are hitting at least 45 percent of their three-point shots. When that isn’t happening, KU is a below-average ballclub.
Coach Self’s biggest problem the last few games is the complete disappearance of guards Svi Mykhailiuk, Lagerald Vick, and Malik Newman; they have been non-factors on offense and ineffective on defense. All three are capable of playing terrific basketball, but that’s been missing from KU’s arsenal.
When Self lost Billy Preston (6-10, 240) because of the NCAA’s refusal to make a ruling on his eligibility, that put a dagger in KU’s chance to be a formidable team. Incidentally, that entire issue has been swept under the rug and KU’s fans deserve an explanation as to what the problem was.
After last Saturday’s games, Texas Tech has a stranglehold on the Big 12 championship. Kansas State played TT even the first half, but the Wildcats couldn’t stay close in the second half and lost 66-47. From here, it looks like Texas Tech will win an undisputed Big 12 championship.
Kansas State had a horrendous shooting night; the Wildcats hit just three of 17 three-point shots for a 17.60 percentage. And K-State committed 18 turnovers, which contributed to the second-half collapse.
Kansas still has time to right the ship and make a decent showing at the NCAA Tournament; nevertheless, it’s doubtful the Jayhawks will finish in so much as a tie for the Big 12 title, which will end their run of 13 consecutive Big 12 championships.
Wichita State managed to get the lid off the basket on their three-point shots and routed UConn 95-74. Guards Landry Shamet hit 4 of 6 from the three-point line and Conner Frankamp snapped out of his slump by hitting 4 of 5.
Coach Gregg Marshall’s team is a cinch to make the NCAA Tournament; if Frankamp and Shamet are back on track, the Shockers could still make a deep run at the Big Dance.
It’s a crazy season in college basketball and the NCAA Tournament should be full of thrilling games and a number of stunning upsets. It’s hard to believe, but the Big Dance is just about three weeks away.
Football recruiting for the 2018 class has been finalized for most of the major universities. All 10 of the teams in the Big 12 finished in the top-100 ranking compiled by; however, the final standings are nothing for conference fans to cheer about.
As usual, Texas (4th) and Oklahoma (8th) corralled the highest-ranked classes in the Big 12. From there, the drop-off is notable: TCU (28th), Baylor (32nd), West Virginia (33rd), Oklahoma State (35th), Kansas (48th), Iowa State (54th), Kansas State (57th), and Texas Tech (78th). Texas and OU have outstanding classes, but from there the Big 12 recruiting appears to be mediocre at best.
Kansas State signed just five junior college players in their 24-player 2018 class while Kansas coach David Beaty altered his recruiting strategy by signing 12 JUCO players in his 27-player class. It’s noteworthy that this is what Beaty had complained about when he came to KU; previous coach Charlie Weis left the recruiting process in a tangled mess by recruiting too many JUCO players.
During his post-signing press conference, Beaty said, “It’s real easy to say, ‘they’re signing a lot of junior college guys,’ and that’s not true. That’s why I give these numbers to you and that’s why I tell you exactly what the plan was, so you know. That way we get the truth out there.” That’s a discombobulated statement if ever there was one. Coach Beaty heads into his fourth season at KU with a 3-33 record; there’s been no sign of progress but the Jayhawks’ new president, Douglas Girod, is convinced everything is okay because KU is doing things “the right way.”
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder’s recruiting plan has remained consistent throughout his iconic career with the Wildcats. It’s useless to try and evaluate any of Snyder’s classes because they are always ranked towards the bottom of the Big 12 and he almost always develops a number of quality big 12 players. Snyder had a typical quote on this year’s class: “I can’t totally accurately assess the class itself until we’ve had the opportunity to have them in the program over an ample period of time.”
Whether or not the uncertainty of when Snyder is going to retire is handicapping K-State’s recruiting won’t be known for another year or two. But the Wildcats keep rolling along; K-State has won two-straight bowl games and that’s something that their neighbors to the east would consider miraculous.