After reviewing each of the Big 12 games for Week 8 of the league season (ending Feb. 22), here is the Heartland College Sports Men’s Basketball Starting 5.
UDOKA AZUBUIKE, C, KANSAS
He was a lock after that huge game against Baylor on Saturday — 23 points, 17 rebounds and 3 blocks. I’ve been impressed by Azubuike’s development this year. He finally has the athleticism and stamina to be more than a guy that dunks the basketball. That will help Kansas down the stretch of this season. Against Iowa State on Monday he had 13 points and 7 rebounds. In games in which Azubuike has a double-double Kansas is 18-1.
JARED BUTLER, G, BAYLOR
Baylor played without MaCio Teague against Oklahoma early in the week and while Teague returned on Saturday against Kansas, he wasn’t quite 100 percent. Fortunately Butler was. Against OU Butler had 22 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists, and then he had 19 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists against Kansas. I have a hard time seeing him not making an All-Big 12 First Team at this point.
CAMERON MCGRIFF, F, OKLAHOMA STATE
McGriff’s play has really picked up the past couple of weeks. Against West Virginia he was OSU’s only significant production, scoring 19 points and grabbing 5 rebounds. In the Bedlam game against OU, which turned out to be an OSU win, he scored 28 points and had 7 rebounds. Great numbers and a great week from the senior.
COURTNEY RAMEY, G, TEXAS
Texas needed two wins this past week and the Longhorns got them. Ramey helped fuel both of those victories. Against TCU he had 16 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists, and then against Kansas State he poured in 26 points (including four 3-pointers), while grabbing 6 rebounds and dishing out 2 assists. Ramey has been Texas’ most consistent guard all season.
JAHMI’US RAMSEY, G, TEXAS TECH
The potential NBA Draft selection played like one this week, as he had 17 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists against Kansas State in the mid-week game and then had 25 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists in the weekend game with Iowa State. Ramsey remains Texas Tech’s leading scorer at 16.3 points per game. He has scored in double figures each of his last eight games.
THE SIXTH MAN
WILL BAKER, C, TEXAS
It was the bench game of the week in the Big 12, as the freshman center came off the pine against TCU and poured in 20 points, including four 3-pointers, in the win over the Horned Frogs. Where has that been all season? Who knows. But Texas absolutely needed it that night.
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