We had a Big 12 doubleheader in our state Wednesday night. Kansas in Norman, Texas in Stillwater. I watched both games. Here’s what I saw:
* A bunch of foul shots. Texas shot 23 foul shots. Kansas shot 30. OU shot 36. OSU shot 51. Four teams. Two games. One hundred forty foul shots. That’s 35 foul shots per team per game.
Foul shots are the worst thing about basketball. Basketball is a wonderful sport with all kinds of movement. Then every once in awhile, everybody stops and stands around while one guy shoots unguarded.
* Kansas has 12 second-chance points. It seemed like 32. But the Sooners had nine second-chance points. So OU held up reasonably well on the boards. The Jayhawks outrebounded OU 36-22, which is not terribly one-sided for a team that shot nine percentage points better than the Sooners.
* OSU had seven turnovers. It seemed like 17. The Cowboys sometimes play willy-nilly with the ball. And they miss foul shots (16, on 51 attempts). But I tell you, OSU plays defense. The Cowboys get it after it. And a bunch of those wild passes the Cowboys tend to throw are completed.
* I like Kamari Murphy. I think he’ll end up being a better play than Michael Cobbins. The problem is, OSU needs both to go deep into the NCAA Tournament. The Cowboys are woefully thin inside.
* The best days of Andrew Wiggins, the KU freshman phenom, are ahead of him And that’s a good thing. He had nine points and six rebounds against OU, on 2-of-9 shooting.
* Man, it was great to see Tyler Neal play well: 11 points, 4-of-5 shooting. The OU senior from Putnam West is a solid player.
* KU has a guy named Justin Wesley. He played one minute vs. OU. On a whim, I looked up his bio, just on the off chance he’s related to Walt Wesley, the Kansas center from the early ’60s who played in the NBA. I had a trading card of Walt Wesley. No, no mention of Walt Wesley. But turns out Wesley is the brother of former Jayhawk star Keith Langford.
* OU freshman point guard Jordan Woodard had 10 points against Kansas. And didn’t make a field goal. He was 10-of-10 from the foul line. Woodard this season has 181 points; 95 of them from the foul line. That’s more than 50 percent. I’ve never seen anything like that.
OSU superstar Marcus Smart had 24 points against Texas on Wednesday, making just four of 11 shots. He was 16 of 24 from the line. Smart has 769 career points. Only 244 have come at the line. That’s less than 32 percent.
* Le’Bryan Nash: Two points, two rebounds, four fouls, 1-of-5 shooting. The Cowboys dodged one, getting that kind of production out of Nash and still beating the Longhorns.
* Stevie Clark, welcome back. I assume you’ve got two strikes. Choke up on the bat.
* Kansas takes the lead in the Big 12 race. The Big 12 will be determined by who wins in places like Lawrence, Stillwater, Ames, Waco and Norman. KU is one-up on the road.
* With 2:06 left in the first half, OU led 44-43. Bill Self inserted Conner Frankamp into the game. The freshman from Wichita had scored 17 points all season and had gone five straight games without scoring. So what does Frankamp do? Nail a 3-pointer to give KU a lead and soon thereafter a jumper to key a 7-0 run. Kansas led 50-44 at halftime. Sometimes, you just never know.
* Ryan Spangler can’t get into foul trouble. He’s like Nash for OSU. Just can’t get into foul trouble. Spangler played just 23 minutes and had as many fouls (four) as points and more fouls than rebounds (three). Can’t have that against a big team like Kansas.
* I guess it’s time to say something about Cam Clark, who had 32 points and leads the Big 12 in scoring. He played superbly. Makes you wonder if Clark was under-used in years past. He came in as a ballyhooed recruit, and now he’s playing like it.