Five Tiny Tidbits On: The Big 12 Conference

Thought we were done previewing things? How could you think that, with your NCAA Basketball Tournament office pool a mere five months away? You've got to start studying now if you want to avoid eternal shame. So who's with me? Let's Gooo! (Please send contributions to ).

1. Walker, Kansas Ranger. Bill Walker, Kansas State's No. 7 recruit, had an accelerated program to finish high school a year early. He will be eligible to play on December 17, before Big 12 play begins. Add in Cartier Martin, the Big 12's leading scorer last season, and there is reason for optimism. Of course it took the Wildcats three overtimes to beat Washburn in an exhibition game this past weekend. — (Thanks to Travis Hudson).

2. San Francisco Values. Bobby Knight often snags players from the Bay Area (Dean Garrett attended City College of San Francisco), and his current team is no exception. Sophomore forward Rogdrick Craig (Portola Valley) is the son of former 49ers running back Roger Craig, and freshman forward Decensae White is from Serra High in San Mateo, which also produced Barry Bonds and Tom Brady.

3. Hey You Guys!. The Missouri men's basketball web site includes full-body profile photos of all of their players, many of them posing in dramatic, intimidating fashion. This one, of junior Nick Berardini, is not one of those.

4. Penny For Your Thoughts. Baylor's Djibril Abdoulaye Thiam, whose nickname is Penny, is from Dakar, Senegal. Both of his parents played for Senegalese national basketball teams.

5. Hail Ceasar. Iowa State senior guard Chris Ceasar, a health and human performance major, has a gospel hip-hop group called GIFTED (Going In Faith To Eternal Deliverance). Also, can anyone explain why the Iowa State Cyclones logo is a tornado with a Cardinal trapped in the vortex?

Tomorrow: The Big Ten