After watching each of the Big 12 games for Week 8 of the league season (ending Jan. 18), here is the Heartland College Sports Men’s Basketball Starting 5.
JARED BUTLER, G, BAYLOR
It’s hard to imagine Baylor’s terrific season without the sophomore guard and it’s hard to imagine this past week without him, either. Against Iowa State he had 19 points and 5 assists in that victory. Then, against Oklahoma State, Butler had 17 points and 6 assists as the Bears slid by the Cowboys. At this point. Butler is a contender for All-Big 12 First Team honors and Most Outstanding Player.
BRADY MANEK, F, OKLAHOMA
Manek went off against TCU, scoring 31 points and 9 rebounds in the 20-point win over the Horned Frogs. Manek hit seven 3-pointers in that game. But, in the week’s first game, despite the loss to Kansas, Manek had 10 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. He’s been a consistent presence all season for the Sooners at forward.
KYLER EDWARDS, G, TEXAS TECH
True freshman Jahmi’us Ramsey has been struggling a bit lately, but Edwards, stepped up. Against Kansas State he had a career-high 24 points, including three 3-pointers, in that victory for the Red Raiders. He continued that against Iowa State, scoring 22 points, including five 3-pointers, in that victory. The great part is Edwards’ 3-point shooting isn’t sucking opportunities away from Davide Moretti. Ramsey’s production should inevitably turn up and that’s when Edwards’ surge makes this team that much better.
CARTIER DIARRA, G, KANSAS STATE
The Wildcats went 1-for-2 for the week and Diarra had a highly-productive week. In the loss to Texas Tech he scored 19 points. He also dished out two assists. In the win over West Virginia, Diarra had 25 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. The Wildcats need more of this every night from the guard.
UDOKA AZUBUIKE, C, KANSAS
With Devon Dotson out against Oklahoma, the Jayhawks had to lean more on Azubuike, and he delivered with 16 points and 14 rebounds in the victory over the Sooners. Then, on the road at Texas, Dotson returned and Azubuike still rolled, scoring 17 points and grabbing 9 rebounds in the 9-point win.
THE SIXTH MAN
DEVONTE BANDOO, G, BANDOO
Bandoo’s 16-point performance off the bench against Oklahoma State, one that included four 3-pointers, was probably the most important bench performance of the week, as he helped the Bears remain undefeated in the Big 12 in a game where the Cowboys pushed the Bears into the final minute.
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