College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, January 16, 2010
Oklahoma State has a pretty good basketball team. At 13-4, they've established themselves as a contender in the Big 12. The problem for the Cowboys, however, is that there are a lot of good teams in the conference, such as Baylor, the team they visited on Saturday. After a closely-contested first half, from which the Cowboys emerged ahead, 40-39, Baylor took control in the latter stages, thanks to a 25-point effort from the Bears' leading scorer, LaceDarius Dunn, propelling Baylor to a harder-than-it-looked, 83-70 win.
Dunn, who is averaging 19.1 points per game this season, hit 9 of 17 shots overall, including 4 of his 9 three-point attempts. He also grabbed 9 rebounds, as the #22 Bears improved to 14-2, and 2-1 in the conference, along with Kansas State, Oklahoma and Missouri. That foursome trails Kansas (2-0) and Texas (3-0) in one of the nation's most loaded conferences. With anywhere from 6 to 8 teams likely to head to the Big Dance, wins over other contenders - give Baylor one here - will be an important determinant weighing on the final selections. Baylor appears to be headed that way.
NOTABLE: There was no lack of Top 25 action on Saturday, including a huge 72-67 overtime victory for #1 Texas, who hosted the Aggies from Texas A&M. Forward Damion James scored 26 points, including seven in overtime to keep the Longhorns unbeaten at 17-0.
Now that Ohio State has a healthy Evan Turner back playing full time, they've managed to even their conference record at 3-3 and should be a force - barring injuries -for the rest of the Big Ten season. After dispatching Purdue on Tuesday, the Buckeyes hosted #13 Wisconsin, defeating the Badgers by a 60-51 score. The 14-5 Buckeyes are making plenty of noise in the crowded Big Ten, where Purdue, which had been undefeated heading into conference action, has now lost three straight, their latest a 72-64 beat-down at Northwestern.
#12 North Carolina is in danger of dropping out of the Top 25 after dropping two straight, including Saturday's 73-71 loss to Georgia Tech. The Tar Heels are 12-6, and 1-2 in the ACC.