NCAA Basketball Tournament - Xavier v Baylor

Big 12 coaches name Baylor’s Pierre Jackson preseason player of the year

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With practices just over a week away conferences are beginning to release their coaches and media polls for the upcoming season.

The Big 12 picked its preseason Player of the Year on Thursday, and for the second consecutive season the choice is a Baylor Bear.

Senior point guard Pierre Jackson, who was a second team All-Big 12 and Honorable Mention All-America selection last season, is the coaches’ choice to win Big 12 Player of the Year in 2012-13.

Jackson averaged 13.8 points and 5.9 assists per game for the Bears, who reached the Elite 8 for the second time in three years (and in both instances they lost to the eventual national champion).

But of the five players named to the coaches’ preseason All-Big 12 team Jackson wasn’t one of the three unanimous selections.

Those were Kansas center Jeff Withey, Kansas State guard Rodney McGruder and Oklahoma State guard/forward Le’Bryan Nash. Texas sophomore point guard Myck Kabongo rounded out the team.

The honorable mention selections for the preseason All-Big 12 team are: forward Isaiah Austin (Baylor), guard Elijah Johnson (Kansas), forward Romero Osby (Oklahoma), guard Steven Pledger (Oklahoma), guard Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State) and guard Sheldon McClellan (Texas).

Smart was also the pick for Preseason Freshman of the Year honors, and Oklahoma forward Amath M’Baye (transfer from Wyoming) was the coaches’ Preseason Newcomer of the Year selection.

But back to Jackson for a moment, as being named preseason Player of the Year wasn’t the lone honor he received on Thursday.

With Perry Jones III, who was the preseason choice to win Player of the Year heading into last season, Quincy Acy, Quincy Miller and Anthony Jones all leaving Baylor will rely on some young talent inside.

But Scott Drew can take solace in the fact that he’s got one of the nation’s best running the show.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Rick Pitino: ‘We should be penalized … but not this team’

Rick Pitino
(AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
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One of the biggest storylines of Saturday’s college basketball schedule had everything to do with a team that no longer matters in the championship picture.

Less than 24 hours after being informed that the school would be imposing a postseason ban that will leave the Cardinals out of the ACC and NCAA tournaments, No. 19 Louisville tipped off against Boston College, and they did so without leading scorer Damion Lee, who is battling a knee issue.

How would the team respond to the decision — the despicable, shameful decision — that the university’s president made?

Well, it seems.

The Cardinals jumped out to a 19-2 lead in the first eight minutes and cruised to a 79-47 win over an overmatched Boston College team in the Yum! Center.

And head coach Rick Pitino, after the quote, said exactly what everyone is thinking.

“We should be penalized, no question about it,” he said. “But not this team. But the NCAA didn’t make that decision. We made that decision.”

He’s totally right. The school sacrificed the season — and the only shot that a pair of fifth-year seniors would get to play in the NCAA tournament — to protect the school, the brand and the bottom-line moving forward. Like I said earlier, it’s despicable.

But credit the Cardinals for responding.

Because they still have something on the line. They’re just a game out of first place in the ACC, and while an ACC regular season title isn’t a shot to play in the ACC or NCAA tournament, it’s still a banner that would probably mean more to Damion Lee and Trey Lewis than any league title has meant to a Louisville player before.

Oklahoma State without Jawun Evans, questionable moving forward

Oklahoma State guard Jawun Evans (1) goes up for a shot between Kansas forward Jamari Traylor (31) and forward Perry Ellis (34) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stillwater, Okla., Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016. Oklahoma State won 86-67. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
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Oklahoma State’s star point guard was not in the lineup on Saturday against No. 13 Iowa State.

Evans injured his shoulder in the Cowboys’ loss at Texas Tech on Wednesday and was ruled out of Saturday’s game.

According to the school, his official status moving forward is questionable. The Pokes are just 11-11 on the season and likely need to earn the Big 12’s at-large bid to get into the NCAA tournament. It makes sense to let him get healthy.

Evans was averaging 12.9 points, 4.9 assists and 4.4 boards this season, but he had been arguably the best point guard in the Big 12 during league play, averaging 15.6 points and 5.6 assists.