Josh Klingler is the co-host and update anchor of "Fescoe in the Morning," heard weekdays 6a-9a on 610 Sports Radio. Perhaps the busiest sports personality in Kansas City, "Kling" also hosts pregame and postgame for KU Football and Men's Basketball broadcasts on the Jayhawk Radio Network and does morning sports updates on News Radio 980 KMBZ. He brings you his insight each Thursday on 610sports.com
Josh Klingler: Big 12 hoops is here & this weeks picks
by Josh Klingler,posted Oct 20 2011 2:01PM
Big 12 basketball media day is now complete meaning the basketball season is off and running. The Big 12 could be in for a very exciting season with a wide open field playing an 18 game full home and away schedule.
Kansas and Texas A&M are the coaches co-favorites to win the league followed by Baylor and Missouri. I really think it's a four team race this year and not the one or two of previous years. To me, there are more “ifs” than “for sures” in the league this year, which is why I think this league race will be interesting.
For the Jayhawks a lot is banking on Bill Self being .. Bill Self, and getting the most out of a returning cast that hasn't proven they can be the go to guys. Tyshawn Taylor, Thomas Robinson, and Elijah Johnson have all shown flashes in spurts, but Taylor is the only one that has played consistent big minutes. What “if” Thomas Robinson is in foul trouble going from 15 to 30 minutes? What “if” Tyshawn Taylor doesn't build off of his end of season run? What “if” Elijah Johnson isn't a breakout performer and can't be a consistent 3-point threat? What “if” there is no bench play? That's just a fraction of the “ifs” for the 7-time defending league champ.
For A&M, what if the new coaching staff can't get what Mark Turgeon could last year out of this Aggies squad? The same can be said for Mizzou. Ready-made teams can be scary .. and really a no-win for a new coach. Either you succeed and it was the last guys team, or you underperform and you're a dog.
For Baylor, will they ever commit to defense? They look to have the most raw talent, but the Bears have never shown the coaching to go along with it. Will they ever have the want-to to get out of the 2-3 zone and actually guard anyone?
For Mizzou, will they have enough bigs to stay in the race? Will Kim English be who we think he is? Will the new coaching style of Frank Haith mesh with the fastest-40-minutes leftovers?
Also it's a big year for Kansas State, not great expectations, but to me a season which could go a long way to determining their staying power as a program.
This Big 12 season is going to be fun. I didn't think I was quite ready, but now I'm anxious for tipoff.
Back to football .. this week's picks. On the season I'm 14-3, finally getting on the K-State bandwagon with last week's road pick at Texas Tech.
#11 Kansas State at Kansas. 11Am Jayhawk coverage on 610 Sports Radio.
The Wildcats have passed every single test thus far, so why not this one? If it were any other team but KU, it might be a letdown type week. After all of their big games leading up to this and getting a league road win last week, I'd probably normally lean away from the Cats. Facing their in-state rival will be more than enough to keep the momentum going.
While Kansas did play better last week, certainly on defense, they lost by 30 and still gave up 600 yards. They'd love nothing more than to knock off their buddy from the ranks of the unbeaten. Nice stat .. KU is playing their 7th straight week against an unbeaten and 3rd straight ranked team. But the road thus far has not been kind.
K-State 34 KU 16
Missouri vs #4 Oklahoma State11am on 98.1fm KMBZ.
Mizzou blew out the jets last week vs Iowa State finally #freeingHenryJosey and turning up the offense in the win over the Cyclones. It had to feel good to turn it loose on someone. Now can it take it to a game against a better team?
The recipe should be similar, a ton of Josey and James Franklin running the football, staying away from MU as we've known it and continue to used a balance of run and pass and keep the ball away from OSU. I thought Texas a week ago had a good plan against the Cowboys and dominated the time of possession. The problem is that you have to score every drive and try to get some type of stops against OSU, easier said than done.
MU hasn't been great at preventing the big play, against Cowboys team whose middle name is big play. I don't like this matchup for the Tigers.