Inside The Big 12 – January 29, 2004's weekly look at all of the news concerning Big 12 men's and women's basketball with a focus on the men's side. In this week's edition we talk about the conference players of the week and also mention what may be the best freshman class in the history of the Big 12. A campus report of every team is also included.

Texas Tech's Emmett headlines men's weekly honor

Texas Tech standout Andre Emmett was once again named Big 12 Men's Player of the Week Monday, becoming the first player ever to earn the honor five times in a season.

For the week Emmett shot 60 percent from the field and averaged six rebounds. Meanwhile, the senior continues to lead the Big 12 in scoring with a 22.2 scoring average. His 56.6 shooting percentage is seventh in the Big 12. Emmett has been named Big 12 Player of the Week five times, which is a conference record.

Two current NBA players earned the honor four times – Kansas' Drew Gooden during the 2001-02 season and Iowa State's Marcus Fizer during the 1999-2000 season.

Stratton, Richards named women's co-players of the week

The Big 12 Conference office announced Monday that Baylor's Jessika Stratton and Nebraska's Margaret Richards were named co-Big 12 Women's Basketball Players of the Week for games from Jan. 19-25.

Stratton, a 5-10 senior guard, averaged 20.5 points, 3.0 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.5 rebounds in 37.0 minutes a game in the Lady Bears' two wins last week. The Colorado Springs, Colo., native was also 5-5 from the free-throw line in those wins, and has now hit 31 straight free throws and is .971 (33-34) for the year from the charity stripe.

Richards, meanwhile, provided possibly the best all-around game of her career in Nebraska's 81-63 win over No. 9 Kansas State last week. She erupted for 21 points, eight rebounds, five assists, a career-high five steals and one blocked shot to power the Huskers past the Wildcats.

Tickets go on sale for Men's Big 12 Conference Basketball Tournament

Big 12 Conference officials have announced that a limited number of tickets for the 2004 Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament will go on sale to the general public on Monday, Feb. 2, beginning at 9 a.m. Mountain Time.

Tickets are only available via Internet on a first-come, first-serve basis, with a maximum of two tickets per order. The cost of each all-session ticket is $210, plus a one-time $10 per order handling fee.

The tournament, played in Kansas City between 1997 and 2002, was held outside of the Midwest for the first time when it moved to Dallas. The past four tournaments (2000-03) have been sold out, as have five of the seven previous events.

Weekly Big 12 Men's Basketball Report

This week in the Big 12

The current season's conference freshman class may be the best in the conference's history. The are currently seven first-year players from Big 12 schools averaging 9.9 points or greater which is two more than the previous high from the 2001-02 season. Iowa State guard Curtis Stinson's class-leading 14.7 ppg would rank fourth on the all-time freshman list. Texas' P.J. Tucker is next at 12.7 ppg, followed by Oklahoma's Drew Lavender at 11.9 ppg, Missouri's Linas Kleiza at 11.1 ppg, Texas Tech's Jarrius Jackson at 10.6 ppg, Kansas' J.R. Giddens at 10.1 and Kansas State's Cartier Martin at 9.9…

In the seven-year history of the Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament there are only three seeds that have won more than 10 games in a regular season. Oddly, the No. 3 seed leads the pack with a 14-4 record in Tournament play, including three titles in 1999 (Kansas), 2001 (Oklahoma), and 2003 (Oklahoma). Any team with a seeding of 11th and 14th has never won the tournament…

Three years ago Tuesday, Jan. 27, tragedy struck the Big 12 family and all of college athletics as a plane carrying eight Oklahoma State men's basketball representatives and two pilots crashed with no survivors upon a return trip from a game at Colorado…

Big 12 Campus Report

A stingy Bears defense has held every opponent it has faced below 80 points this season, and have not allowed a foe to broach the growingly magic number since an 82-64 loss to No. 5 Texas on Feb. 26, 2003 in Austin.

Senior Amadou Doumbouya has started the last six games for the Buffs with Ricardo Patton's team posting a 4-2 record during that span.

Iowa State
Cyclone starting center Jared Homan missed his team's 63-59 loss to Baylor Saturday due to a sprained ankle in the Iowa game last Wednesday.

KU's upset loss to Richmond broke its 12-game home win streak and its 52-game home win streak over unranked opponents. The Jayhawks have still won eight straight games in regular-season Big 12 action, and 21 in a row against conference competition in Lawrence.

Kansas State
Kansas State held Oklahoma to just 36.2 percent shooting from the floor Saturday, marking the 11th time in 15 games this season that an opponent has been held below 40 percent shooting against KSU. In addition, the Wildcats have now held 12 of the 15 opponents they've seen to 65 points or less.

Missouri's overtime loss to Texas last Tuesday was the Tigers' second straight overtime game in less than a week as they picked up a 79-75 OT win over No. 11 Oklahoma Jan. 17. The last time the Tigers played back-to-back extra session games was in March of 1978.

Freshman Charles Richardson Jr. has recorded a team-high 48 assists against just 20 only the fourth NU freshman with at least 80 assists, joining Tyronn Lue (144), Jake Muhleisen (105) and Jaron Boone (87). NU's career assist leader, Brian Carr, recorded 78 assists as a freshman.

OU Sophomore forward Kevin Bookout announced on Saturday that he will undergo shoulder surgery this week and miss the remainder of the season. Bookout shot .516 from the field this season. Bookout also blocked a shot a game.

Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State's defense is giving up an average of just 2.25 fastbreak points per game. Similarly, the Cowboys are now 13-0 this season when allowing fewer than 70 points, something they've done in 10 of the last 11 contests.

The Longhorns have won six consecutive games following a loss and are 14-4 in contests following a defeat dating back to the start of the 2001-02 season. UT is 2-0 this season following a loss, after going 4-1 last season and 8-3 in 2001-02 after posting losses.

Texas A&M
None of A&M's four Big 12 losses have been by more than nine points (5.5 per defeat), and the Aggies been within four points in the final two minutes of all four games and were either tied or within one point in the final two minutes of the last two games against Kansas State and Texas Tech.

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