The state of college basketball was addressed in Monday's Big 12 Coaches' Conference.
With a league this year that has five teams separated by two games, questions are arising whether the sport of college basketball and the conference are down. The question of if there are certain things that officials and teams can do to give people what they want was also raised.
The coaches weighed in:
Kansas coach Bill Self: “I'm sure it's not broken. I do think from an officiating standpoint, we can still emphasize things in the rules that I think is great for less body contact, so to speak — especially on the post. I'm not blaming officials at all but teams are more and more aggressive and more and more physical, and it seems like teams have less regard for putting other teams in the bonus.”
TCU coach Trent Johnson: “Ijust don't think there's that many great teams this year. There's a lot of good teams. Maybe 20 to 25 teams that are good that could get on a roll and probably go deep into march.
“I don't think there's anything wrong with college basketball. The sport has been so good for so long. When you have a down year, everyone wants to nitpick it. Well, is this a down year because Kentucky's not as dominant as they've been or UCLA's not as dominant as they've been?”
THE FINE LINE OF BEING ON THE BUBBLE
Scott Drew's Baylor team is currently .500 in conference play. The Bears have dropped three straight.
That means they are part of the talk about bubble teams. So how does Drew keep his team thinking about the next game and not the implications of multiple losses?
“First of all, basketball players, they're going to watch basketball,” Drew said. “They're going to watch SportsCenter. ... The thing is, like any parent with a child, you don't want to hold them too tight that you squeeze them to death.”
TOUGH TRAVEL FOR WEST VIRGINIA
Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins talked Monday about how every conference team his team faces is more than two hours away from any team they used to play when WVU was part of the Big East.
Huggins was asked if he thought there was anything that could change, like scheduling away opponents that are near each other so they spend one week away at Big 12 games and another week home.
“I think we've all got some idea,” Huggins said of recommendations he and his team have come up with for changing the schedule. “I think at the end of the year we've got to got to sit down and put our heads together for the most fair and equitable thing to do.”
Kansas senior Jeff Withey has scored in double digits for the last 11 games, including double-doubles in four of his last five. ... With his 28 points against Oklahoma, Baylor senior Pierre Jackson passed the 1,000-point plateau in his career.
Texas Tech coach Chris Walker on his team's struggles: “I tell our guys a 3-point shot becomes a 10-point shot because of our inability to score.”
Huggins on his team's turnovers: “Sometimes I think our guys are colorblind. We have the tendency to throw it to the wrong team at times.”