The Big 12 Tournaments will be held in the Ford Center from March 11-14 (men) and in the Cox Center from March 12-15 (women). What if the women’s championship game was a Bedlam showdown? Might the women’s title game be moved across the street to the Ford Center, which offers roughly 5,000 more seats? Big 12 officials said that scenario has been discussed at length, but switching sites "would not be practical." The move would include a redistribution of tickets, moving television trucks and equipment to the other arena, and possible installation of a different court, because the women’s 3-point line is not the same as the men’s.
Film starOU’s Blake Griffin worked in front of the cameras and behind one, too, at the Big 12 Media Days. As part of a "day in the life” project for ESPN.com, Griffin has been toting a handheld video recorder since last Friday. "A video diary,” Griffin called it. "I’ve filmed in the locker room, training room, guys getting taped, all that stuff,” Griffin said. "I took it to the football game on the sidelines. Went up in the stands, filmed some people. Some stuff around our apartment. And here. "I interviewed a few people. Some of the girls basketball players. Guys on our team. And I got a couple of the football players at the cafeteria the other day. It’s been cool.”
3-Point changeThe men’s 3-point line has been moved back a foot, to 20 feet, nine inches. Kansas coach Bill Self and Texas coach Rick Barnes view the change differently. Self didn’t think the switch would dramatically affect the game. Then he took his team to Canada for exhibitions and changed his mind. "I think you’re gonna see a lot of bad shots taken, especially early in the season,” Self said. "A lot of two-and-a-half pointers in that space between the old three and the new three, which is probably about as bad a shot as you can take, from a percentage standpoint.” Barnes said he planned for the change to be a factor. Maybe even use more zone defense. "But after being in practice, I’m not sure if it’s going to be that big a factor,” Barnes said.
No Michael BeasleyKansas State has lost Michael Beasley and Bill Walker to the NBA. Wildcat coach Frank Martin was first to meet with the media Thursday, at 8 a.m. "Obviously, when Michael Beasley doesn’t play for you,” Martin said, "you end up being the first person up and everyone’s half asleep because no one’s got anything to ask you anymore.” Someone had a question. Could it be more enjoyable as a coach to work with a roster void of megastars? "Give me five of those guys,” Martin said. "It’s a heck of lot easier to win with five NBA guys than five non-NBA guys. If you don’t have pros on your team, your chances of beating Texas and Kansas are out the window.”
Supply & demandTim Brassfield, executive director of the All Sports Association, said the Big 12 men’s tournament is in a lottery situation in terms of general public tickets at the Ford Center next March. Brassfield said there were 2,600 requests and 1,500 available seats; a lottery will decide who receives tickets. Lottery notification will be sent Jan. 19. Each school was allotted 1,100 tickets for the men’s tournament. Brassfield said the women’s tournament already has sold 2,000 more all-session tickets than the 6,300 that were sold two years ago, when the tournament shattered attendance records.
South dominates pollThe South Division has five of the top six teams, according to the preseason Big 12 poll. "If you talked to the coaches in the South, they’ll say that the balance of power has been in the South for a while,” said KU’s Self. "If you talk to the coaches in the North, they think the South coaches don’t know what they’re talking about.” Said Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon, "the depth of the South, it’s kind of scary. So if you win the league out of the South this year, you’ve had one heck of a year.”
German import would help ISUIowa State sophomore sharpshooter Lucca Staiger is having trouble getting on the court. The German national, by way of Decatur, Ill., was declared ineligible last season over amateur issues and is having arthroscopic knee surgery today. "He certainly is going to be a big part of our team if he can play,” said Cyclone coach Greg McDermott, who credited ISU’s fans for keeping Staiger around. "They went above and beyond to try to make him feel at home, and that is the sole reason he stayed,” McDermott said. "He could have packed his bags and gone home and started a professional career.” COMPILED BY BERRY TRAMEL, ANDREA COHEN, JOHN HELSLEY AND JOHN ROHDE