From the Balcony

Every Tuesday Mark Hersom breaks down the Big 12 and gives analysis on the conference. Check out what Mark has to say this week From The Balcony.

I was trying to figure out where to start this article this week and was just lost for words. It's been a long time since Cyclone fans expectations for a basketball season have been so disappointing. Losing a game or two at home is one thing, but losing bad to a hot, young, hungry Jayhawks team is another. Normally Cyclone greats of the past, (Stevens, Grayer, Thigpen, Hoiberg, Willoughby, Fizer, Tinsley) rise up to the challenge and grab a firm hold of what's at stake and don't lose control. This year's team has lost too many close games and the league was ripe for the picking. There are only a couple teams that really want to finish in the top four spots and ISU is not one of them right now unless they go on a run. It is not out of the question to do so but this Sunday's match up against the Buffaloes is the season. Lose and you hope to win 3 more games to host an NIT game, win and move closer to obtaining the new goal right now, finishing in the #4 spot in the conference. Here's hoping the Cyclones can finish 5-4 the rest of the way and put together a couple wins in the Big 12 tournament to make a case for the Big Dance. Seems like we've been down this road before……..


Big 12 home attendance- updated by the Big 12 conference January 26th.

Team-capacity                  average         highest att.             Sellouts


Baylor (10284)                   7440             8847-vs Texas                   0

Colorado (11064)                3979             10586-vs Kansas                0

Iowa St (14092)                 11684  14092-vs KU&Iowa    2

Kansas (16300)                  16300  16300                     10

Kansas St (13500)    6338             12326-vs Missouri     0

Missouri (15061)                 8076             15061-vs Kansas                1

Nebraska (13595)     8783             11271-vs Iowa St               0

Oklahoma (12000)     11682  12745-vs Texas                 3

Oklahoma St (13611) 11557  13058-vs Texas A&M 0

Texas (16755)                   12457  16755-vs Villinova     1

Texas A&M (12500)   7381             12110-vs Oklahoma   0

Texas Tech (15098)  6899             7943-vs TCU            0


I'm seeing that Bobby Knight's reign is almost over, probably the worst loss of the season for the Cyclones, at Lubbock.


Missouri and Iowa St are the only two Big 12 schools that will play five of their first eight games at home. Oklahoma St plays five of their first eight on the road.


Will Blalock ranks 7th (6.6pg) in the NCAA assists/game leaders. Curtis Stinson is 41st (5.2). Iowa State as a team ranks 33rd with 16.8/game

Curtis ranks 17th in steals/game with 2.7/game in the NCAA statistic leaders and ISU as a team is 10th with 10.3.


Rankings- as of 1/31/06

1) Texas-(5-1)- had to lose sometime. Longhorns are 9-1 in their last ten games. Soph Daniel Gibson averaging 18.4pts, hitting 42.7 % 3's and 5.1rb/game in last ten games.(2/1@Missu, 2/4-A&M).


2) Kansas- (5-2)- had the best week winning on the road at A&M and Hilton, then blowing out Bobby Knight on Big Monday. RPI is rising like Tiger Woods' bank account. Shooting 50% or better in eight of last ten games. KU's top seven scores are freshman or sophomores. Jayhawks lead the NCAA's in holding their teams below 47%FG shooting in every game.(2/5-OU on CBS).


3) Oklahoma- (4-2)- Big MO win for Kelvin Sampson's squad. Sooners, finally hitting their three's. OU's gotten double figure offensive rebounds in every game this year. Jr Michael Neal is 13-22(.591) from 3-point range in last three games. En Fuego! (2/1-A&M, 2/5@KU).


4)Colorado-(5-2)- Can the Buffs finish a season strong? With soph. Richard Roby and all of those Seniors this may be the year. Roby is averaging 25.8pts/game over last five. Off to best start in Big 12 play since 96-7 when went 6-0. (2/5@ISU).


5)Kansas St-(3-3)- The Wildcats have held all but three opponents below 70 pts/game.


6)Nebraska-(3-3)- Freshman Jamel White scored career high 28 points against Tigers last Sat and tied team record for most points by a freshman with Erick Strickland who did it back in 1993. Cornhuskers have held all but two teams below 50%FG shooting. How will this team respond to Joel McCray being suspended? (1/31@Okl St, 2/4-Baylor).


7) Texas A&M-(3-4)-Aggies barely beat Baylor over the weekend and have a rough two road games this week. (2/1@OU, 2/4@Texas) Not many teams could even split those. Acie Law has scored double figures in all but one game and is averaging 21.2ppg last six. Aggies have only one win against Sooners, was back in 1999.


8) Iowa State-(3-4)-Curtis Stinson is averaging 26.3ppg, shooting 48%FG, with 20 rebounds, 20 assists and 12 steals in last four games. Cyclones can not afford to lose any more home games as still have to travel to Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas St and upset minded Baylor. Will need to continue to win on the road where they have won 6 of their last 8.(2/5-Colorado).


9) Oklahoma State-(2-4)-JR forward Torre Johnson has had thirteen games in double figures despite starting only one game. Cowboys host Nebraska tonight where have won five of last seven.(1/31Nebr.,2/4@KSU).


10) Texas Tech-(3-4)-The Red Raiders were lucky to get wins at home against the Cyclones and Cowboys and seems like Bobby Knights wheels are falling off. Have about the best one two punch in Jackson and Zeno who led or tied for game highs in 18 of 20 games.



11) Missouri-(3-4)- SR Jimmy McKinney needs 20 more rebounds to become the 5th player in school history to have 1000 points, 400 rebounds and 300 assists. JR Thomas Gardner has already surpassed his season total in points of last year. Tigers have lost their swagger and may get a knockout punch if they drop two this week. (2/1-Texas, 2/4@Tech).


12) Baylor-(0-6)- The Bears connected on 16-30 three pointers in a loss last weekend to the Aggies which tied a school record set back in 2002. Right now the Bears appear to play you make a two and I'll shoot a three. Scary team for other teams on the bubble. (you listening Clones!!) (2/1-KSU, 2/4@Nebr.)





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