Over the half of the Big 12 was in action Thursday, and we had some interesting results.
Rice 65, Texas A&M 58
The Aggies had two excusable losses on their schedule (even if one was a shellacking), but this third loss at home to a middle-tier Conference USA doesn’t fall in that category. It wasn’t as if Rice fluked their way to a win by making a ton of three’s. They actually beat the Aggies at their game, out-rebounding A&M 35 to 24. The Aggies should still be fine, but they’ll need to bounce back quickly as they travel to Waco on January 2.
Kansas State 83, Southern Illinois 59
Southern Illinois clearly isn’t what it was in Chris Lowery’s early years, but Kansas State should still feel good moving right along and getting to 8-1. We’ve talked about the Wildcats lack of a great individual player this year, which they’ve seemingly had every year since Michael Beasley. But as the season progresses Kansas State is showing that they may have a ton of depth.
Thomas Gipson was the early story. Now Angel Rodriguez has stepped up lately. Add them to Jordan Henriquez, Jamar Samuels, Will Spradling and Rodney McGruder and you’ve got a number of guys that can beat you on a given night. Statistically of note in this game was that 10 of Samuels’ 14 points came from the free throw line.
Texas Tech 56, Oral Roberts 72
It wasn’t difficult to see this one coming. Oral Roberts probably isn’t one of the darling mid-majors this year, but I’m sure they had a lot of confidence after giving Xavier their first loss of the season, even if Xavier wasn’t at full strength. You can’t expect to win on the road when you turn the ball over 20 times, which Tech did tonight.
This is simply where Tech is right now as they rebuild their program, and there is no shame in that. It probably means nothing, but for comparison’s sake, Oklahoma beat Oral Roberts by 14 earlier this year, though that game was in Norman.