Shake-ups and break-ups abound
Conference play started with some scrambled rosters in the Big 12.
Iowa State was down four scholarship players for a weekend victory over North Dakota State, Nebraska is up one and Texas A&M continues to recover from the loss of wing and defensive specialist Derrick Roland to a gruesome leg injury.
First, the Cyclones. Coach Greg McDermott was busy last week. He suspended freshman guard Chris Colvin, booted from the team reserve guard L.A. Pomlee, and played without starting center Justin Hamilton, who had suffered a concussion in the previous game against Duke.
Never miss a local story.
Also, frontliner Jamie Vanderbeken, a three-point shooting weapon, has played sparingly this season while recovering from a preseason stress fracture to his foot. He may be ticketed for medical redshirt season.
Hamilton should be back for Wednesday's home game against newly minted No. 1 Texas, but Colvin, who averages 3.2 points, won't return until at least February. He copped an attitude, walking out of a team meeting after last Wednesday's loss to Duke.
"He's been disrespectful to the coaching staff, he's disrespected teammates and in my opinion doesn't realize what a privilege it is to wear a Iowa State uniform," Cyclones Coach Greg McDermott said.
Christian Stanhardinger couldn't wait to wear his Nebraska uniform. The 6-foot-8 freshman from Munich had to sit out the Cornhuskers' first 15 games under NCAA penalty for playing on a German club squad with salaried teammates, and he debuted like he hadn't missed a beat.
Stanhardinger went for 13 points and seven rebounds and keyed a second half push that helped Nebraska take a brief second-half lead against Texas A&M. The Aggies won by 11.
A&M Coach Mark Turgeon said Stanhardinger wasn't a typical college freshman.
"He played at a pretty high level overseas, and he wasn't afraid of the environment or the opponent," Turgeon said.
The A&M victory was its third straight after the Joe Theisman-like career-ending injury to Roland. Turgeon said the team has taken the path he'd hoped it would.
"We're all trying to do more for Derrick, even the coaches, stepping up and doing a better job," Turgeon.
Three deja(gra) vu moments
Now: Zaire Taylor's big shot against Kansas State
Then: Taylor's big shots against Kansas and Texas last season
Now: Kansas' loss at Tennessee
Then: Kansas' loss at DePaul in 2006-2007
Now: Derrick Roland's crushing leg injury
Then: Donnie Boyce's broken leg fall at Kemper Arena in 1995
Three double 1s (plus one)
Three Big 12 schools have spent at least one week in its history at No. 1 in the Associated Press football and men's basketball polls.
(Kansas State has been ranked No. 1 in basketball and was ranked first in 1998 in the USA Today coaches poll in football. But the Wildcats were No. 2 in those weeks in the AP poll).
In three words
1. Texas — Breathing rarefied air
2. Kansas — Give Vols credit
3. Kansas State — Big man APB
4. Baylor — Know Ekpe Udoh
5. Missouri — Home sweet home
6. Oklahoma State — Anderson: Big shoulders
7. Texas A&M — Team defense improving
8. Texas Tech — Purge Stillwater memory
9. Nebraska — Welcome Christian Stanhardinger
10. Iowa State — Team's off kilter
11. Oklahoma — Someone must lead
12. Colorado — Getting better, but...