The Big 12 is absolutely loaded at the point guard spot.
Trae Young, Devonte’ Graham, Jevon Carter, Manu Lecomte. Barry Brown has been one of the most improved players in the country. Matt Coleman was fantastic this weekend for Texas. TCU replaced one very good point guard (Jaylen Fisher) with another (Alex Robinson).
It’s hard to differentiate yourself from the field in that league, but Keenan Evans has been just as good, if not better, than anyone in the conference not named Trae Young.
He had his breakout game on Tuesday: 38 points and three assists while leading Texas Tech back from a late deficit and hitting the game-winning shot at the buzzer in overtime. He followed that up with a team-high 17 points in a blowout win at TCU.
Evans is the head of the snake for Chris Beard’s club. He’s the senior leader, a defensive menace and the guy that has the cajones to take and make big shots on a seemingly-nightly basis. But my favorite part about Evans’ emergence is that he is not a Beard recruit. He was brought into the program by Tubby Smith and he has embraced everything that Beard wants him to embrace.
It is not always easy for a coach to work with a player recruited by someone else, and it is not always easy for a player to play for a new coach after the guy that recruited him left.
So credit to both of those guys.
They’re currently tied for first place in the Big 12 standings with a home game against Kansas.
THE ALL-‘THEY WERE GOOD, TOO’ TEAM
- NOAH DICKERSON, Washington: In Washington’s biggest weekend of the season, Dickerson played his best basketball. The 6-foot-8 junior had 25 points and seven boards in a win over No. 9 Arizona just 48 hours after going for 21 points and 16 boards in a win over No. 25 Arizona State.
- ANTHONY LAWRENCE, Miami: Miami picked up a pair of wins after losing Bruce Brown, and Lawrence was one of the stars. He posted a pair of double-doubles this week, including 25 points, 13 boards, three blocks and two assists against Virginia Tech.
- SHAMORIE PONDS, St. John’s: Ponds had 31 points, six steals, five assists and five boards in a loss to Xavier, then followed that up with 33 points, seven boards, four steals and three assists — including two huge buckets in the final 75 seconds — as the Johnnies snapped an 11-game losing streak and beat No. 4 Duke.
- JOCK LANDALE, Saint Mary’s: In two wins this week, Landale averaging 30 points, 15 boards, 3.5 assists and 2.0 blocks. The Gaels are still sitting a game in front of Gonzaga in the WCC title race.
- TREVON BLUIETT, Xavier: Bluiett led the Musketeers with 14 points in a win at St. John’s and followed that up with a thrilling 31-point performance in a home win over Georgetown that included this four-point play that forced overtime: