Big 12 News

Starting 5: WVU’s Sean McNeil, KU’s Jalen Wilson Lead the Way

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma at West Virginia

West Virginia guard Sean McNeil leads off the Heartland College Sports Men’s Basketball Starting 5 for the games ending Feb. 13.

G Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State

Cunningham had a quality week, even if the Cowboys only went 1-1 for the week. Against Kansas early in the week, Cunningham poured in 26 points and had nine rebounds in the loss to the Jayhawks. Then, against Kansas State in a seven-point win, he only had 15 points. But Cunningham also had four rebounds and five assists.

READ MORE: 2021 NBA Draft’s Big 12 Prospects: Stay or Go?

G Andrew Jones, Texas

The Longhorns needed to get back on track, and they did so with a 2-0 week in which Jones led the way. Against Kansas State he dropped 24 points, along with three rebounds, and two assists. Then, against TCU, Jones had 19 points, along with four rebounds, and one assist. The guard crop in this conference is super-crowded, and Jones is a first-team level talent that might not get the honor this year.

READ MORE: Baylor ‘Unlikely’ to Make Up All Postponed Big 12 Games


G Sean McNeil, West Virginia

It’s tempting to double-up on Mountaineers this week, but McNeil’s spot starts in place of Taz Sherman were the most consistent performances of the week out of West Virginia. McNeil had 26 points in the win over Texas Tech, as he connected on five 3-pointers and led the team in scoring. Then, against Oklahoma, his hot hand from the arc rescued the Mountaineers in regulation, as he finished with 21 points, including five 3-pointers, most of which came in the second half.

READ MORE: Mountaineers, Sooners Move Up in Latest CBS Bracketology

G Austin Reaves, Oklahoma

Reaves only played one game this week, but goodness what a game. In 48 minutes of the Sooners’ double-overtime win over West Virginia, Reaves nearly had a triple-double — 28 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. Plus, he had the game-winning basked in the final minute of the second overtime.

READ MORE: Five Big 12 Teams Among NCAA’s Top 16 Seeds


F Jalen Wilson, Kansas

Wilson was a lead-pipe lock for the list this week. Why? Well, the Jayhawks has three games and Wilson had three double-doubles. He had 11 points and 11 rebounds against Oklahoma State, then 16 points and 11 rebounds against Iowa State, and he followed that with 22 points and 10 rebounds in the rematch with the Cyclones. Wilson has now scored double figures in five straight games since failing to score a point against TCU on Jan. 28.

READ MORE: Jayhawks’ Record Streak of 231 Weeks in AP Poll ends


F Gabe Osabuohein, West Virginia

Statistically, Osabuohein didn’t have a productive week. But this is a good time to highlight one of the league’s true ‘dirty work’ players. He’s a productive rebounder off the bench. He’s a quality defender. And, if you watched the latter stages of the game with Oklahoma, you KNOW Osabuohein is a big reason why that game went two overtimes. Sometimes, quality doesn’t come with stats.

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You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard. Send him a tweet with your question to be included in this week’s Big 12 Basketball Mailbag, which appears each Friday during the conference season.

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