Oklahoma State men's basketball coach Travis Ford watched a few highlights of in-state rival Oklahoma earlier this year — maybe 15 to 20 minutes worth on television.
And although it's Bedlam week, Ford seemed unphased by the little film he'd seen and the team.
Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger, however, knows all about Ford's phenom freshman Marcus Smart.
“He's a fantastic player,” Kruger said. “Great feel for making plays at great times.”
ONE GAME IN 21 DAYS
The Iowa State players are tired of playing each other. The Cyclones have played only one game in the last 21 days.
“They're so excited (to play this week),” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said. “We tried to simulate a game as much as possible.”
Hoiberg called the time spent away from the court “hard” on his players.
“You want practice time but this is just over the top,” Hoiberg said.
Iowa State opens its Big 12 season against Kansas, which is currently riding an 11-game win streak.
Asked if he could imagine a more difficult start, Hoibeg responded: “Just look at their home court record, it's a difficult place to complete and a difficult place to win ... but we're excited. The staff is excited.”
THE FAB FRESHMAN
Look across the Big 12 and a freshman's name is bound to be at the top of the statistics list for most of the teams. A handful of coaches from across the league agreed that the talent this year from freshmen is noticeable.
OSU's Smart was the name mentioned most, but there's also Javan Felix at Texas and Isaiah Austin at Baylor. Buddy Hield is beginning to make a name for himself at Oklahoma.
“The talent level with freshmen is terrific, but it's the same every year,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “Baylor's recruited the top players in the country in the last three years. Texas is always good. We have great evaluators of talent in this league.”
Six Big 12 teams are in the top 54 for RPI.
Self said he's never seen a better shot blocker than his senior center, Jeff Withey.
Texas coach Rick Barnes said his team doesn't like being called young or immature; he said the Longhorns are 8-6 because they aren't doing things consistently.
West Virginia coach Bob Huggins on what it will take for the Mountaineers to turn their season around: “At the risk of sounding simplistic, it'd be nice to make a shot every once in a while.”