Here are three thoughts on the Big 12 Conference men’s and women’s basketball games on Thursday, as there was just one game across the conference.
So what happened? Baylor squared off with Texas in a Top 25 women’s matchup as each tried to stay in the Big 12 race. Meanwhile, there are some injury updates on the men’s side and a link to our latest basketball podcast.
Here are three thoughts on the day.
The Big 12’s Injury Bug
There were two big injury pieces of news on Thursday.
First, Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton Jr. revealed that guard Bryce Thompson tore his labrum in Tuesday’s loss to Kansas. Thompson will have surgery and he’s expected to miss significant time.
Thompson suffered the injury as he fell to the floor on his shoulder while driving to the basket.
While reports have Thompson missing significant time, that sounds optimistic. Johns Hopkins medicine writes that there are several types of labrum tears. If Thompson is to have surgery, he may need four to six weeks to reattach to the bone and another four to six weeks to get strong.
Thompson was averaging 11.9 points before the injury.
Second, The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported that Texas Tech guard Chance McMillian was responding well to treatment for a leg injury that he suffered late against TCU on Tuesday. Coach Grant McCasland said he anticipated McMillian being “100%” for Saturday’s game with Cincinnati.
That’s good news for the Red Raiders, as he’s averaging 10.4 points this season. But he’s had huge games off the bench in each of Tech’s last three games, including 27 points against Oklahoma.
As for Kansas guard Kevin McCullar Jr., no news on his injury since he sat out Tuesday’s game with Oklahoma State. His status is worth watching as the Jayhawks prepare to host Houston on Saturday in the biggest game of the day in the Big 12.
Sunday’s Coming In Austin
Texas defeated Baylor, 67-55, on Thursday, setting up a showdown with Kansas State on Sunday that could shake up the Big 12 women’s race further.
Texas got Madison Booker back and she led with 22 points. Forward Aaliyah Moore added 18 points, even after suffering a minor injury in the third quarter, while Taylor Jones added 12 points and eight rebounds. Jones will be pivotal on Sunday as the forward could control the paint with Ayoka Lee out for Kansas State.
Texas is now 7-3 in Big 12 play, two games back of 9-1 Kansas State and 1.5 games behind 8-1 Oklahoma. Now, project ahead a bit. Oklahoma faces Oklahoma State on Saturday. Let’s say OU wins. Kansas State is in Austin to face Texas. Let’s say Texas wins.
Well, then we have a really interesting race. OU would be in the lead, with K-State a half-game back and Texas holding steady and still in the race. That doesn’t take into account West Virginia, which only has two losses so far. If the Mountaineers keep winning, they remain in this race, too.
As for Baylor, Thursday was its fourth loss in league play. Sarah Andrews led with 11 points. The Bears may be out of the race for the regular-season title, but the Bears can still exert some influence over the race for the top four seeds at the Big 12 Tournament, which carries a double bye.
We’re nearing a point where it’s possible that one of three teams — Baylor, Oklahoma and Texas — won’t get a double-bye.
Big 12 Podcast
Pete Mundo and I talked about Big 12 basketball on Thursday. We talked for 25 minutes, including taking some questions from viewers on YouTube live and breaking down the camera angle at the new Foster Pavilion. We picked our best games of the mid-week and talked in-depth about the upcoming Houston-Kansas game.
Check out the video version of the podcast below.
We’ve got a lot coming up on Saturday. Thirteen games on the men’s and women’s schedule, with a Sunday showdown on the women’s side between Kansas State and Texas.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.