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BIG 12 OUTLOOK: 03.09.09 (Postseason Awards Edition)

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It's Big 12 Tournament time! Let the games begin!

Big 12 Outlook will morph a bit this week. In this edition, I take a look at the overall predictive performance for the 2009 conference season and hand out my end-of-season awards. Later in the week, Outlook will project tournament outcomes based on current available information.

There will be a Big 12 Outlook posted every morning of the tournament, which I may or may not update throughout the day with game outcomes. It depends on how busy I am at work. However, I do hope the comments section on said entries will function as a live discussion for the BOTC community, much as our game threads do already.

Seed Record RPI Pomeroy Sagarin Streak Best Win* Worst Loss* Coach
Kansas 1 14-2 8 10 10 W-1 Missouri UMass Bill Self
Oklahoma 2 13-3 4 18 8 W-1 Purdue Arkansas Jeff Capel
Missouri 3 12-4 11 11 12 L-1 Kansas Nebraska Mike Anderson
Kansas State 4 9-7 77 41 44 W-1 Missouri Oregon Frank Martin
Texas 5 9-7 36 27 26 L-1 UCLA Arkansas Rick Barnes
Texas A&M 6 9-7 29 45 41 W-6 Missouri Baylor Mark Turgeon
Oklahoma State 7 9-7 26 32 32 L-1 Texas Baylor Travis Ford
Nebraska 8 8-8 69 61 70 W-2 Missouri UMBC Doc Sadler
Baylor 9 5-11 75 64 63 L-2 Arizona State Iowa State Scott Drew
Iowa State 10 4-12 160 115 113 W-1 Houston SDSU Greg McDermott
Texas Tech 11 3-13 129 95 101 L-1 Kansas Lamar Pat Knight
Colorado 12 1-15 233 180 202 L-11 Iowa State Montana State Jeff Bzdelik

Note: As any of these numbers change, I will color-code them to indicate direction of change.
Team names that are colored indicate a change in seed.
(green = upward, red = downward)

*According to Pomeroy rating


Big 12 Outlook went out with a semi-whimper, going 4-2 on the final Saturday. Missouri's loss, although perhaps predictable with an "eyeball test," even prevented Outlook from correctly predicting the final seed order, as Texas A&M jumped Oklahoma State in the 9-7 tie mess, while Missouri fell back below the Oklahoma team they beat earlier in the week.

The other whiff was thanks to the ever-underachieving Baylor Bears, who I swear must be responsible for at least 5 of my 22 incorrect picks. I have some more thoughts on this in my awards, but Scott Drew did a bang-up job of wasting a lot of good talent this season.

By the way, who do you think will win the tournament? Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page and vote in my poll. As for Outlook's opinion on the 1st round outcomes, you'll have to wait until Wednesday morning for those predictions. Today is more about looking back at where we've been more than where we're going.

All told, Outlook correctly predicted the outcomes of 74 of the 96 conference games this season, for about 77 percent accuracy. I thus award myself a C+ for the season; not too shabby for my first attempt at this. My goal for next year, though, is 80 percent or better.

Perhaps more impressive were the correct predictions of Kansas State as the No. 4 seed as far back as mid-February, of Oklahoma State's eventual 6-game winning streak as far back as early February and of Missouri's undefeated home season as far back as mid-January.

Final pick record: 74-22 (.771)

Postseason Awards: The Botcies

The Big 12 Conference awarded its postseason honors to players and coaches today, as well as selecting its 1st, 2nd and 3rd all-conference teams and honorable mentions.

Well, I have some disagreements with their selections, which I think are worth debating, as well as some original awards of my own to hand out. Read on to see the winners of the inaugural Botcies... (Get it? BOTCies?)

Player of the Year


Blake Griffin (Oklahoma)

Uh, like I'm going to argue with this? My only wish is that Michael Beasley had stuck around so Blake could have actually had some competition for the award.

Defensive Players of the Year


Blake Griffin (Oklahoma)

With all due respect to J.T. Tiller and very little due respect to Cole Aldrich, there was no more dominating presence in the paint this season than Blake Griffin. Not one week went by where I didn't drop my jaw at one of his blocks on ESPN's Gym Gems.

I don't really have anything against Tiller; I just don't like giving out co-awards very much because I think it's sort of a cop-out. As for Aldrich, honoring him ignores the fact that he got away with a ton of uncalled fouls in the process of accruing those defensive statistics, solely because his jersey said "Kansas." I refuse to ignore that fact.


J.T. Tiller (Missouri)

EDIT: All right, after some reflection, I decided to make this a co-award after all. What changed my mind? Well, I noticed Tiller was a unanimous selection to the all-defensive team. I figured if the 11 coaches not named Mike Anderson were that impressed with his defensive prowess, why shouldn't I be?

Newcomer of the Year


Denis Clemente (Kansas State)

Great pick by the Big 12. That said, it's not like there were a ton of options. Mario Little was really the only other transfer that was hyped coming into the season, and he didn't even come close to posting the sort of numbers or having the sort of impact Denis had.

I would just like to add that I predicted this award for Denis last summer. I felt like he would have even more of an impact than DeMarre Carroll did last season, and I was right. If you're into handicapping, my early favorite for Newcomer in 2009-10 is Curtis Kelly.

Freshman of the Year


Willie Warren (Oklahoma)

Also a solid pick. I don't know if he's one-and-done caliber, but there's no denying the kid was damned impressive.

Wally Judge will challenge for this award next season, Jayhawks. Better start getting used to the idea now...

Sixth Man of the Year


Matt Lawrence (Missouri)

Well, the Big 12 got this one half right. Matt Lawrence is probably the scariest spot-up shooter in the league not named Alan Voskuil, who I suppose is disqualified from this award since he is a starter. When I think of Lawrence, I think, "Thank God he's finally a senior!" Paul Velander should get an honorable mention, though.

But LaceDarius Dunn? Are you kidding me? I watched this kid very carefully after he lit us up in Manhattan for approximately 137 points, and let me tell you - it was a fluke. Dunn couldn't hit the broad side of a barn in any game I watched Baylor play after that, and the fact that he was the Bears' second-leading scorer and 3-point leader should tell you exactly why they finished 5-11. What a political pick. Hell, Fred Brown deserves this award more than Dunn.

The Darnell Jackson "Most Improved Senior" Overachievement Award


Darren Kent (Kansas State)

The first of my "original" Botcies, this award is named for Darnell Jackson, the Kansas player who didn't do very much until his senior year, when he was probably the best overall post player on a national championship team. No one other than Jayhawk fans saw that one coming.

There is no more deserving recipient of the inaugural Darnell Jackson Award than Darren Kent. When he signed his LOI, many Wildcat fans asked, "Who is this guy?" When Bob Huggins was hired, they were sure he would transfer. When he tried to dribble as a sophomore, they snickered. When he came in for Michael Beasley, they groaned.

Then came his senior year, and the awkward caterpillar metamorphosed into a graceful butterfly. He snagged rebounds, he shot jumpers, he banked off the glass, he played rugged defense, he broke his nose and played through the blood and the pain, he twisted his ankle and screamed at the trainers because they didn't get it re-taped fast enough so he could get back in and help his team win. Other than Denis Clemente, no player was more important to the Wildcats this season. White Tiger, you may never have your jersey retired, but know that you will still be missed.

The Aaron Bruce "Most Regressed Senior" Underachievement Award


Connor Atchley (Texas)

This award is named for the former Baylor guard who stunned the league as a freshman and basically got worse every season of his career. His senior year was by far his least productive, as he became something of an afterthought to younger, more athletic guards like Curtis Jerrells, Henry Dugat, Tweety Carter and LaceDarius Dunn.

I don't normally like to dump on players, but the degree to which Connor Atchley's game went to crap this season is so striking it deserves comment. After last season, he looked like he was poised for a breakout alongside talented posts like Damion James and Dexter Pittman, but he instead spent most of the season missing dunks, blowing defensive assignments and being out-shined by Gary Johnson and Clint Chapman. At times, he was almost an active liability to his team. Frankly, these descriptions are nice compared to some of the things I have seen Texas fans call him.

The Joey Graham "Tough Son of a Bitch" Awards


Blake Griffin (Oklahoma)

I know the concussion didn't look like much, but did you see how this guy played when he came back against Texas Tech? Throughout the season he was tripped, punched in the nuts, whacked in the face multiple times and generally beat up every damn game, but he never complained and he gave as good as he got. What a warrior.


Darren Kent (Kansas State)

Dude played through a broken nose with no mask at Ames. Enough said.

Coach of the Year


Mike Anderson (Missouri)

Yeah, yeah, Self's a great coach, but it's not like he replaced all those starters with scrubs, people. Kansas is a program that reloads with top talent, and the Jayhawks returned one of the best guards and the only true center in the league. They were picked 3rd and they finished 1st by virtue of a concussion.

It's my opinion that Mike Anderson got screwed. It's a simple matter of numbers: Missouri was picked 7th and finished 3rd, and but for an upset loss Saturday would have finished 2nd. They were one of only two teams to beat the conference champion. Missouri is not a program that reloads with top talent, and Anderson deserves Coach of the Year for making them play like a program that does.

Honorable mention goes to Frank Martin, who could have earned it outright had he finished 10-6 again. That Baylor loss still sticks in my craw, though. K-State was picked 8th and finished tied for 4th, which ties Missouri for the most overachievement this season.

Most Underachieving Coach of the Year


Scott Drew (Baylor)

Baylor lost only Aaron Bruce (who, as I pointed out earlier, was playing so poorly as a senior that he wasn't much of a loss) and returned the entire rest of its team, while adding talented freshman Quincy Acy. The Bears were picked to tie Kansas for 3rd and they finished 9th. They lost to Iowa State and Texas Tech. They lost 10 of their last 12 games. They will be lucky to receive a bid to the NIT.

Considering there is apparently quite a lot of grumbling among the other 11 coaching staffs that Baylor is still playing fast and loose with the rules, despite being only five years removed from one of the worst scandals in sports history, you would think such shady tactics and so many talented and experienced guards would produce more than a 5-11 record. Coach Drew, congratulations on one of the worst coaching jobs I have seen in a long time. I hope John Wall and Latavious Williams answer your next phone call with raucous peals of laughter.

All-Big 12 First Team

CraigBrackins DeMarreCarroll DenisClemente SherronCollins BlakeGriffin
Craig Brackins DeMarre Carroll Denis Clemente Sherron Collins Blake Griffin
Iowa State Missouri Kansas State Kansas Oklahoma

I put a lot of thought into this, and I think it's justified. First, I don't think any one team deserves two entries on this list, not even the champions. Second, I truly don't think Aldrich is that special, and in a normal year for bigs in the Big 12 he wouldn't have the kind of numbers he had this season. He's a good player, but not a great player. That screams 2nd team to me.

Denis Clemente tied the game-high for points set by Michael Beasley (44). He led his team in scoring. He made clutch shots all season long. Most of all, when the team was reeling, he put them on his back and became the leader they needed. The team took on his personality. It was simply electric to watch.

Thus, the top four seeds are represented by their best player, and Brackins, the best pure talent in the league not named Griffin, rounds out the 1st team. Please note that four of the five play in the North - more ammo for North defenders against the ignorant national media.

All-Big 12 Second Team

AJAbrams ColeAldrich ByronEaton DamionJames WillieWarren
A.J. Abrams Cole Aldrich Byron Eaton Damion James Willie Warren
Texas Kansas Oklahoma State Texas Oklahoma

Aldrich switches places with Clemente, and Eaton replaces Anderson. I watched Oklahoma State a lot this year, and although Anderson was definitely their top scorer, Eaton is why that team won six of its last seven and is poised for an NCAA berth under a first-year coach. He saved his best for last, and frankly should have been an honorable mention for the Darnell Jackson Award.

All-Big 12 Third Team

JamesAnderson JoshCarter AdeDagunduro CoryHiggins LeoLyons
James Anderson Josh Carter Ade Dagunduro Cory Higgins Leo Lyons
Oklahoma State Texas A&M Nebraska Colorado Missouri

I basically agree with the Big 12 when you get this low, except that I don't think Jerrells warrants any kind of consideration. No one on that crappy team does, frankly.

My honorable mentions would go to Ryan Anderson (Nebraska), Chinemelu Elonu (Texas A&M), Taylor Griffin (Oklahoma), Gary Johnson (Texas), Keiton Page (Oklahoma State), Jacob Pullen (Kansas State), Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas), J.T. Tiller (Missouri) and Alan Voskuil (Texas Tech).

All-Big 12 Defensive Team

ColeAldrich BlakeGriffin TerrelHarris DominiqueSutton JTTiller
Cole Aldrich Blake Griffin Terrel Harris Dominique Sutton J.T. Tiller
Kansas Oklahoma Oklahoma State Kansas State Missouri

I will admit that Sutton is a bit of a homer pick, but he's a defensive specialist who has proven his worth many times over. As a freshman, he shut down Brandon Rush by himself. I was a little surprised he didn't even get an honorable mention. Mason and Roland being on there sort of struck me as a "you're not really good enough to even get honorable mention All-Big 12, so we'll give you this cookie instead" consolation prize.

P.S. I thought about Darren Kent, too, since he pretty much shut down Craig Brackins whenever he was assigned to him, which is not something I have seen many players do this year, but I've seen Darren have a few too many defensive breakdowns to go through with it.

All-Big 12 Freshman Team

QuincyAcy KeitonPage JamarSamuels TyshawnTaylor WillieWarren
Quincy Acy Keiton Page Jamar Samuels Tyshawn Taylor Willie Warren
Baylor Oklahoma State Kansas State Kansas Oklahoma

I'm of the opinion that an All-Rookie team is weak. Clemente was already honored as Newcomer of the Year and 2nd Team by the Big 12, so he's covered. If Zaire Taylor wasn't good enough to be on the top three teams, why should he get a special spot here?

So, the Botcy policy will be to limit this team to true and redshirt freshmen. These are the future stars of the league, except maybe Warren, who may not be back next season.

Acy was the only Baylor player to truly impress me this season, so I included him to throw Baylor a bone after I have thoroughly dissed them in this entry up to this point. That said, it was a dead heat between him and Marcus Morris. Page is going to be a thorn in everyone's side for the next three years. Samuels - despite being unpolished, undersized, inexperienced and inconsistent - was K-State's 4th leading scorer, its blocks leader and one of its leading rebounders, as well as an instant energy guy off the bench. He will be a star player in the near future. Taylor was a pleasant surprise, and provided the Jayhawks the third scorer that Mario Little could never quite consistently be due to injuries.


Obviously, R serves only as a tiebreaker, so it is only listed when there is a split between P and S.

Results are plugged into this wonderful tool to generate the predicted records and seed order.

Predicted Outcomes

3-2 (.600)
61 Tech
73 Baylor
67 I-State
75 Texas
61 Oklahoma
53 K-State
51 Missouri
56 Nebraska
61 A&M
72 O-State
4-1 (.800)
63 Texas
78 Oklahoma
71 K-State
87 Kansas
53 Nebraska
65 I-State
62 Colorado
107 Missouri
73 Baylor
84 A&M
6-0 (1.000)
92 O-State
98 Baylor (OT)
73 Kansas
56 Colorado
46 I-State
77 Missouri
51 K-State
73 Nebraska
69 Oklahoma
63 A&M
71 Texas
49 Tech
3-2 (.600)
53 A&M
73 Kansas
55 Colorado
63 Tech
83 Baylor
65 K-State
97 Missouri
95 O-State
61 Nebraska
72 Oklahoma
5-1 (.833)
77 K-State
75 Colorado (OT)
82 Kansas
67 I-State
86 Tech
97 Missouri
76 O-State
74 Nebraska (OT)
76 Baylor
95 Oklahoma
58 A&M
67 Texas
3-3 (.500)
89 Oklahoma
81 O-State
78 Texas
72 Baylor
49 I-State
55 Colorado
72 Missouri
88 K-State
68 Kansas
62 Nebraska
70 Tech
79 A&M
4-2 (.667)
78 Oklahoma
68 I-State
85 K-State
81 Texas (OT)
61 Colorado
66 Kansas
72 Baylor
89 Missouri
82 Nebraska
69 Tech
64 O-State
76 A&M
4-2 (.667)
75 Kansas
65 Baylor
50 I-State
65 K-State
55 Nebraska
53 Colorado
69 Missouri
65 Texas
80 Tech
81 O-State
71 A&M
77 Oklahoma
4-2 (.667)
72 Colorado
77 Oklahoma
82 Missouri
68 I-State
65 K-State
60 A&M
67 O-State
78 Kansas
55 Texas
58 Nebraska
76 Baylor
83 Tech
5-0 (1.000)
60 Kansas
62 Missouri
74 O-State
99 Texas
78 Oklahoma
63 Baylor
42 Colorado
70 I-State
73 Tech
85 K-State
6-0 (1.000)
68 A&M
72 Baylor
85 Texas
76 Colorado (OT)
67 I-State
86 O-State
85 Kansas
74 K-State
47 Nebraska
70 Missouri
74 Tech
95 Oklahoma
3-1 (.750)
66 Texas
81 A&M
55 I-State
72 Kansas
41 Colorado
46 Nebraska
92 O-State
82 Tech
6-0 (1.000)
66 Missouri
53 Colorado
50 K-State
46 I-State
53 Nebraska
70 Kansas
74 Baylor
84 O-State
79 A&M
73 Tech
68 Oklahoma
73 Texas
3-3 (.500)
87 Kansas
78 Oklahoma
62 Baylor
71 I-State
57 A&M
55 Nebraska
76 O-State
55 Colorado
74 K-State
94 Missouri
81 Tech
87 Texas
6-0 (1.000)
57 Colorado
75 Baylor
69 I-State
87 A&M
72 Nebraska
77 K-State
59 Texas
68 O-State
78 Oklahoma
63 Tech
65 Missouri
90 Kansas
5-1 (.833)
57 Baylor
73 Texas
71 K-State
77 O-State
72 A&M
66 Colorado
65 Kansas
84 Tech
64 Oklahoma
73 Missouri
61 I-State
77 Nebraska
4-2 (.667)
76 Tech
78 I-State
64 Colorado
76 K-State
73 Texas
83 Kansas
86 Missouri
96 A&M
66 Nebraska
62 Baylor
78 O-State
82 Oklahoma