Big 12 Basketball Predictions, Projected Standings

Projected Big 12 Standings

 

Team

Record

Outlook

1

 Kansas Jayhawks
Kansas

15-3

Kansas has strong-armed all 10 teams on its slate since suffering a 67-64 loss to Michigan State in the Champions Classic. Bank on those bullying tendencies to spill over into Big 12 play, where no other team measures up. Bill Self doesn’t rebuild; he reloads. He’s won eight straight Big 12 regular season titles and in two months will make it nine.

2

Kansas State Wildcats
Kansas State

12-6

This was an easy team to overlook heading into the season, coaching change and all. Without the sustained success of their in-state rival, the bells and whistles accompanying Baylor or the renewed expectations for Oklahoma State, the Wildcats skated largely unnoticed in the preseason. Not anymore. Bruce Weber has picked up where Frank Martin left off, running one of the stingiest defenses in the nation.

3

Oklahoma State Cowboys
Oklahoma State

12-6

One super freshman is causing an awful lot of diffusion in Stillwater. Marcus Smart’s sheer presence has the Cowboys excelling at an area of the game  they didn’t want to be bothered with last year: defense. Travis Ford’s group ranks in the Top 10 nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency, a major improvement from last year’s team which finished outside the Top 10. Can OSU overcome its limitations in size and depth to make that improvement relevant?

4

Baylor Bears
Baylor

11-7

The Bears match up vis-a-vis Kansas in the talent department. Stark differences in coaching, specifically Scott Drew’s tenuous commitment to defense, explain the drop-off in results. Cory Jefferson’s emergence has helped overcome Brady Heslip’s cold shooting and freshman Isaiah Austin has been as good as advertised. Will the jelly-like defense pull its oar?

5

Texas Longhorns
Texas

10-8

The good news: Myck Kabongo is not lost forever. The bad: He’s out for far too long. Stout defensively yet again, the Longhorns are wasting their efforts with more offensive clutter. Texas can’t shoot from outside (30-percent from 3-point range as a team) and Cameron Ridley’s painstaking development has rendered scoring inside a struggle as well. Jonathan Holmes has made long strides since opening night. Rick Barnes will need his talented sophomore forward to be a catalyst. Julien Lewis and Sheldon McClellan need help.

6

Oklahoma Sooners
Oklahoma

9-9

 Lon Kruger has an army of experienced frontcourt talent at his disposal, even if Andrew Fitzgerald’s regression has tainted the outlook. The OU head coach could, however, use a point guard to mesh one of his most talented rosters to date. Who knew Sam Grooms would be missed so much?

7

West Virginia Mountaineers
West Virginia

7-11

Since the program reached an Appalachian high by reaching the 2010 Final Four, Morgantown has suffered through a steady decline on the hardwood. A new season in 2012-13, another opportunity for the Mountaineers to sink further. Bob Huggins knew replacing Kevin Jones and Truck Bryant was daunting enough. Attempting to do so with senior leader Deniz Kilicli off to such a heinous start, he’ll tell you, is darn near impossible.

8

Iowa State Cyclones
Iowa State

7-11

The ceiling in Aimes is higher than this designation would suggest. Former JuCo and Utah transfer Will Clyburn is the real deal, Tyrus McGee is a much improved scorer and freshman Georges Niang has surprised even his coaches with how smoothly he’s transitioned to the college game. The Cyclones have six double-figure-caliber scorers to headline one of Fred Hoiberg’s deepest teams yet. Hoiberg can only hope his latest Michigan State transfer (Korie Lucious) works out as well as his first (Chris Allen).

9

TCU Horned Frogs
Texas Christian

3-15

So maybe TCU has seen better times. It’s hard, after all, to do worse than the 31 points the Hornfrogs hung on Northwestern while shooting 26-percent from the floor. TCU sports the worst offense of any high-major program in the nation. Heck, few mid-majors have done worse than the Hornfrogs’ 308th-ranked offensive efficiency rating.

10

Texas Tech Red Raiders
Texas Tech

3-15

TCU is on the schedule–twice–so conference wins are available for the Red Raiders. If you’re going to lose a lot, as this team will, it’s better to do so without the tyrannical, morally bankrupt head coach who drove last year’s bunch into the ground while sullying the program’s reputation.

Awards and Honors

Player of the Year

Pierre Jackson

G

Baylor Bears

Rookie of the Year

Ben McLemore

G

Kansas Jayhawks

Coach of the Year

Bill Self

HC

Kansas Jayhawks

Sixth Man of the Year

Phil Forte

G

Oklahoma State Cowboys

Defensive POY

Jeff Withey

C

Kansas Jayhawks

First-Team All-Big 12

Player

Team

Pos.

Year

Pierre Jackson

Baylor

PG

Senior

Ben McLemore

Kansas

SG

Freshman

Rodney McGruder

Kansas State

SG

Senior

Cory Jefferson

Baylor

PF

Junior

Jeff Withey

Kansas

C

Senior

Second-Team All-Big 12

Player

Team

Pos.

Year

Marcus Smart

Oklahoma State

PG/SG

Freshman

Will Clyburn

Iowa State

SG

Senior

Jaye Crockett

Texas Tech

SF

Junior

Romero Osby

Oklahoma

PF

Senior

Isaiah Austin

Baylor

C

Freshman

Topics: Basketball, Baylor Bears, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, TCU Horned Frogs, Texas Longhorns, Texas Tech Red Raiders, West Virginia Mountaineers

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