After watching each of the Big 12 games for Week 9 of the league season (Feb. 25-March 2), here is the Heartland College Sports Men’s Basketball Starting 5.
DEDRIC LAWSON, F, KANSAS
Kansas needed to win two games to keep any hope of a share of the Big 12 regular-season title alive, and the Jayhawks did it. Lawson, their star forward was at the center of both games. He had double-doubles in both games, including a 20-point, 15-rebound, 5-assist outing against Oklahoma State on Saturday in a road game the Jayhawks had to win. They had won two road games in league play to that point.
JARRETT CULVER, G, TEXAS TECH
Culver had a fine week for Texas Tech, which won both games to remain at the top of the Big 12. Culver had 19 points and 10 rebounds in a win over Oklahoma State that stretched into overtime. Then, on Saturday against TCU, he touched each of the “Big 5” stats, as I like to call them — 15 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 steals and a block. The Red Raiders have lessened their need for Culver to handle the ball every time, but he’s no less important to their ability to win.
JASE FEBRES, G, TEXAS
Febres dropped 23 points against Baylor, including seven 3-pointers, in that loss. Febres remained red-hot, scoring 26 points, including eight 3-pointers, in a win over Iowa State. He may be a one-trick pony right now, but it’s a helluva trick. He’s actually increased his 3-pointers made in each of his last five games, from one to eight. Terrific stuff. Febres overshadowed Courtney Ramey, who had a double-double against Baylor and 18 points against Iowa State, which made this a hard choice.
DEAN WADE, F, KANSAS STATE
Yes, Wade didn’t have a great start to the week against Kansas (just 8 points). But none of the Wildcats had a good game that evening. Against Baylor on Saturday, a game the Wildcats had to win after Texas Tech beat TCU, Wade came up like a senior. He scored 20 points, had 4 rebounds, an assist and a steal in the six-point win over the Bears. If the Wildcats want to keep winning, Wade has to come up big.
DEREK CULVER, F, WEST VIRGINIA and LINDY WATERS III, F, OKLAHOMA STATE
Yeah, it’s a cop-out. But I just couldn’t decide. Culver had a mammoth evening in three overtimes — 22 points and 21 rebounds, including double-digit defensive rebounds. When you talk about the future in Morgantown, the talk starts with Culver. Waters had a huge game against Texas Tech — 26 points in an overtime loss. He hit four 3-pointers in the final minute of regulation to force overtime.
THE SIXTH MAN
DEVONTE BANDOO, G, BAYLOR
Baylor rebounded from a 19-point deficit to force overtime against Texas and then rallied from six points down in overtime to win. Part of that was due to Bandoo, who came off the bench in that game to score 18 points.
**Sign up here for our HCS weekly e-mails for a chance to win FREE Heartland College Sports and Big 12 team gear!!**