Each Big 12 basketball program has at least one player primed to take a huge step forward in 2020-21. Here are breakout players to watch for next season.
The mass amount of annual roster turnover that occurs in college basketball these days naturally lends itself to more opportunities for players to make a name for themselves, and Big 12 basketball has been at the centerpiece of that over the past few seasons.
Last year, Baylor rose to elite status on the back of breakout performances from almost everyone on their roster. Devon Dotson stepped up to lead Kansas to another conference title and No. 1 national ranking when the season abruptly ended. Oklahoma benefited from Kristian Doolittle’s improvement as well.
In some cases, breakout seasons are the product of an offseason of intense work and improvement. Dayton’s Obi Toppin and Iowa’s Luka Garza were the poster children for this breakout method last year as they both won National Player of the Year awards for their efforts. The other, of course, is when a player takes advantage of a new opportunity presented to them, normally when a player ahead of them in the rotation leaves for elsewhere.
The Big 12 is expected to be the toughest conference in the country next season with Kansas, Baylor, Texas Tech, and West Virginia all entering the year with legitimate Final Four aspirations. Those teams – and many more – will be improved thanks to an influx of new talent, but they are also counting on some current players stepping up and becoming stars.
Here are potential breakout players for each team in the Big 12 that could shape the conference race heading into the 2020-21 season: