BIG 12 Basketball Week One Review

West Virginia forward Derek Culver shoots a hook shot over a Western Kentucky defender during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Nov. 27, 2020 in SIoux Falls, S.D. (AP Photo/Josh Jurgens)

Week One of college basketball is in the books and it was everything we were looking forward to. We kicked things off with over 100 games on opening night. In the Big 12, expectations were high with five of the ten teams in the preseason top 25. Only one of the ten teams, Oklahoma, did not play this week. They are set to open their season on Wednesday against Florida.

Baylor started the week having to adjust on the fly after finding out Scott Drew tested positive for COVID. They were still able to travel to Mohegan Sun in Connecticut and get two games in. They missed out on an opportunity to face two good teams in Arizona State and Villanova to see just where their team is at. They still showed that they would not be slipped up by worse competition like some of the teams in the top 10 did. They beat Louisiana Lafayette and Washington by an average of 32 points. The two headed monster led the way but the Bears showed that they are one of the deepest teams in the country. Five players, including two off the bench, are averaging double digit points through the first two games. This week, we get some great matchups that will help determine who takes the early lead for top team in the country. Baylor will take on #8 Illinois on Wednesday followed by a top two matchup with #1 Gonzaga on Friday.

A team that may find their way into the top 10 when the ranking are released later today is the West Virginia Mountaineers. They got to take home hardware after getting three wins in the Bad Boy Mower Crossover Classic. This team is built to win rock fights every single night. As the season develops, the energy on the defensive end will increase. The offense still isn’t as improved as what Bob Huggins talked about before the season. However, if Derek Culver continues to dominate on the block, Sean McNeil and Taz Sherman continue to shoot well, and McBride can be the closer, this team has a lot of potential. The three wins they got this week were against probable tournament teams with a lot of upper classman talent. Bob Huggins will put his team to the test Wednesday night. Huggins was able to call ESPN to get him a game against #1 Gonzaga.

Gonzaga must be the bell of the ball. All the top teams want to take on the Zags to test where they are at during this weird season. Kansas opened up with them Wednesday night and lossed 102-90. Although an early season isn’t something the Jayhawks want, a lot can be taken from scoring 90 points against a top team. We weren’t sure going in who would score points after the departure of Devan Dotson and Udoka Azuibuike. With Kansas, it is just plug and replace in the backcourt. Miles Garrett showed he can be a reliable two way player with 22 points and 2 threes. Ochai Agbaji also showed that he can be the robin to Garrett’s batman, scoring 17 points in the Loss to Gonzaga and 18 points to St Joe’s. The one area that will need to improve for this team is front court play. Gonzaga was able to do pretty much whatever they wanted on the offensive end. Kansas will take on #10 Kentucky on Tuesday.

For anyone that spent Sunday watching basketball instead of football, you may have watched Texas Tech lose to the Houston Cougars. Chris Beard shouldn’t be worried. That was a matchup against two high level teams. We could see these two teams meet again late in the tournament in March. There aren’t too many times this team will only score 19 points in a half. As long as Beard can get this team to shoot a better percentage from deep, they’ll be fine. Mac McClung was impressive, they just need others to step up around him.

I talked in my season preview about Cade Cunningham. He will most likely be selected first overall in next year’s draft. He looked very good in his first two games as a college athlete. This team won’t win many games this season with not a lot of experience, but Cunningham is set to score 20 points in almost every game. Expect to see a lot of highlights in this weekly thread.

To end the week one recap, let’s look at my power rankings:

  1. Baylor Bears (2-0)
  2. West Virginia Mountaineers (3-0)
  3. Kansas Jayhawks (2-1)
  4. Texas Longhorns (1-0)
  5. TCU Horned Frogs (3-0)
  6. Texas Tech Red Raiders (2-1)
  7. Oklahoma State Cowboys (2-0)
  8. Iowa State Cyclones (1-0)
  9. Oklahoma Sooners (0-0)
  10. Kansas State Wildcats (0-2)

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