- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. SMU coach Larry Brown said on our ESPNU College Basketball podcast Thursday that he was going to open up his practices. He has nothing to hide. Kentucky has had a practice shown on ESPNU last season. Indiana’s practice Friday is slated for ESPNU and Duke’s practice at Fort Bragg on Monday will be on ESPNU. But no school is taking the transparency to another level like Oklahoma. Coach Lon Kruger signed off on the Sooners live-streaming all of its preseason practices beginning with Friday’s at 5 p.m. CT. The Sooners do need a gimmick or two to generate consistent fan interest on a football-crazed campus. But this could be a model for others to follow. Kruger is using the technology to interact with the fan base, possibly recruit and more than anything allow anyone interested to see how a team develops.
2. Prior to Yahoo Sports’ report on a potential extra benefit for Myck Kabongo, Texas coach Rick Barnes responded to a question Wednesday about who is his team’s biggest sleeper so far. Barnes said Texas fans will get enjoy Ioannis Papapetrou. The 6-8 forward, who Barnes said is already nicknamed “Big Papi,’’ has been one of the most impressive players in preseason workouts. When asked what the team’s identity would be he said the squad’s team chemistry. He said this group gets along exceptionally well.
3. I can’t argue with Kansas and Baylor being predicted 1-2 in the Big 12. But the Oklahoma State pick at No. 3 by the coaches puts a lot of faith in freshman Marcus Smart being a game changer in the league. I probably would have put the Cowboys behind Texas, Kansas State and West Virginia until OSU can prove it is a top three Big 12 school. West Virginia is the Big 12 sleeper. The Mountaineers may go down as the school that succeeds the most in both major sports -- football and men’s basketball -- among any of the other high-profile schools moving in this recent era of alignment.