How does Big 12 Basketball look as conference play gets fully underway?
Knowing how chaotic the entire season was going to be for college hoops, Big 12 Basketball should consider themselves lucky for the most part. With the exception of the Iowa State Cyclones (6 games played), everyone else in the conference has played at least seven in the 2020-21 season. Considering that many teams are around Iowa State’s numbers, that’s a positive situation for the league at the moment.
Even more positive is the great play of the top half of the Big 12. In the preseason, there were five teams (Baylor, Kansas, West Virginia, Texas, and Tech Tech) that were ranked, good for 50% of the entire conference. And so far, each of those programs has done their part throughout the non-conference, with exception of the upcoming Big 12/SEC Challenge series in January.
As league play gets going fully (everyone has already played at least one Big 12 game), here’s an updated look at where every team stands.
Cyclones 2-4 (0-2)
The Cyclones have had a lot of unlucky situations so far, including several canceled games on their non-conference schedule. The one that wasn’t taken off was Iowa, where Luka Garza and company dropped over 100 points in a blowout over their rivals. It was part of a four-game losing streak in December, that included losses to both West Virginia and South Dakota State.
But the reason why Iowa State is dead last is that the fourth loss in that stretch came at home against Kansas State, who was the preseason consensus last-place team in the conference. As the lone team with a record under .500, it has to be a disappointing early result.
One bright spot for the team has been junior guard Rasir Bolton, averaging 15.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg, and 5.5 apg. He’s played at an all-conference level and grad transfer Jalen Coleman-Lands and forward Solomon Young have been double-digit contributors as well.
The Cyclones will need more production from the rest of the rotation, along with improved defense to have any hope of being competitive. They might not even up in last place in the standings but there looks to be a clear gap between Iowa State and the 8th best team in the Big 12 at the moment.