Kansas head coach Bill Self knows a thing or two about winning the Big 12, having done it for eight consecutive years.
On Saturday, Self told LJWorld.com, that Oklahoma State had the best roster in the Big 12. “When you mention schools, my Alma mater … I think Oklahoma State is going to be terrific. I think on paper they have the best team,” Self said.
So, why would Self call one of Kansas’ Big 12 rivals, potentially the best team in their conference? Maybe for added motivation. Or maybe, just to face the facts looking ahead to the 2012-13 season.
Self knows the Big 12 through and through, having graduated from Oklahoma State and having continuously found success in Lawrence.
While some may find it hard to believe that Oklahoma State is the “best team on paper” in the conference, Self may be onto something and in looking ahead, it is probably best that the Kansas head man knows the threat that the Cowboys could pose this upcoming season.
Head coach Travis Ford is now entering his fifth season in Stillwater. Having qualified for the NCAA Tournament in each of his first two seasons, Ford and the Cowboys have missed the Big Dance in each of the past two years. Yet now, this roster may be able threaten, just like Self is pointing out.
The return of sophomore LeBryan Nash, who very well could be one of the top players in the Big 12 this season, headlines a particularly young, yet talented Oklahoma State squad. Cezar Guerrero, Markel Brown, and Jean-Paul Olukemi all return, while incoming freshman Kamari Murphy and Phil Forte could also see impact minutes.
However, the overall edge that could push Oklahoma State past expectations in 2012-13, could be that of 6-foot-4 freshman Marcus Smart, who continues to get praise from college coaches despite only just now entering the collegiate level.
Only time will tell if Oklahoma State can live up to, not only their own expectations, but now those observed by Self.
More than likely, Ford does have one of his most talented teams in any of the past four years he has spent in Stillwater.
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