We’re back for the SportShift Media Big 12 power rankings as of January 12th. Things are up in the air after the first three. Let me know what your thoughts are where teams should be ranked.
- Baylor (11-0, 4-0 in conference)
Baylor is the top team in this league and is getting everyone’s best shot for the upset attempt. They have still not had a Big 12 game finish within single digits and the contributions are coming from everywhere. Ten different players have reached double digits in a game this year so it is difficult to game plan for. They rank in the top 5 in both offensive efficiency and defensive efficiency. Someone might hand them a loss this year, but right now, I don’t know how it’s going to happen.
2. Texas (10-1, 4-0 in conference)
The Longhorns escaped against Iowa State on Tuesday in a bit of a lookahead game sandwiched in between Kansas and West Virginia. The guards looked very good against the Mountaineers, combining for 48 points. Kai Jones also added 10 points off the bench to help lead them to victory. I thought one of the more impressive parts of the win was the defensive effort by Jericho Sims and Greg Brown. Derek Culver had a good game but they made him work for every point. He had a lot of possessions catching the ball far away from the block and had four turnovers. Brown also added 12 points on the offensive end. He might want to hold off on the three point attempts but the rest of his game looks good.
3. Kansas (10-2, 4-1 in conference)
Kansas was stuck in a battle this week against Oklahoma on Saturday even though they were without Brady Manek and Jalen Hill. David McCormack had a pretty good week, leading the team in points. The more impressive part is the rebounds and blocks that he contributed to help hold the Sooners to only 58 points.I don’t think that is the method for this team to consistently win games in the league but they’ve shown they can play a few different styles. He managed to stay out of foul trouble in both games but they need to find some depth if he can’t stay in games.
4. West Virginia (9-4, 2-3 in conference)
West Virginia gave Texas a great fight in the game of the week last week. Two missed free throws and an Andrew Jones three gave the Longhorns the win 72-70. This team looks a lot different without Oscar Tshiebwe but I think it is a better brand of basketball. The only issue going against them is that in order to score consistently, Taz Sherman has to be on the floor. He struggled mightily on the defensive end keeping in front of the Texas guards. There are a lot of good guards in the conference that may just be able to blow by him. It was announced yesterday that the Mountaineers are going through some COVID issues so we’ll have to wait for awhile to see them back in action.
5. Texas Tech (10-3, 3-2 in conference)
I’ve been out on Texas Tech for awhile now. They still sit at 15th in the rankings so this may come back to haunt me, but I don’t think they are talented enough to compete against the top teams in the conference. They had a two win week last week but it was against the bottom two in the conference. I will change my tune if they can compete on Wednesday against Texas. I think whichever guard gets the pleasure of having Mac McClung guard him has a big night.
6. Oklahoma State (8-3, 2-3 in conference)
Oklahoma State almost had a two win week with an upset over a top 15 team. They came out and dominated the new look West Virginia team for the first 29 minutes of the game on the way to a 19 point lead. Foul trouble and turnovers were the demise for the Cowboys but you saw a lot of good things on the offensive team to be excited about this young team.
7. Oklahoma (6-4, 2-3 in conference)
Oklahoma is having some COVID issues with several players missing the Kansas game. They will also miss the TCU game so we’ll put a pin on this team until we can see everybody back at full health.
8. TCU (9-4, 2-3 in conference)
A two loss week usually slides you down the rankings but I will give some credit where its due. The Horned Frogs did have to go up against two top ten teams. The concerning part was that they didn’t put up much of a fight at all. They got beat by 29 to Kansas and 18 to Baylor, both at home. R.J. Nembhard is an electric player but he was held in check, only scoring 14 points in each game.
9. Kansas State (5-8, 1-4 in conference)
They are losers of three straight and still have not had to take on Kansas, Texas, or West Virginia. I still think this is the worst team in the conference but the win over Iowa State boosts them into this spot. They rank 320th in the country in rebounding. It baffles me that their 7’0 center only had one rebound in their loss to Oklahoma State. Their leading rebounder this year is their guard, DaJuan Gordon.
10. Iowa State (2-7, 0-5 in conference)
Iowa State is the only remaining team without a win in conference play so they find their way into the bottom spot in the rankings. Their most recent loss came to a struggling Texas Tech team that came into Ames, Iowa and thumped the Cyclones 91-64. Of 350 Division I basketball teams, they sit at 324th in rebounds. One bright spot is they are efficient on offense when they don’t turn the ball over. They sit at second in the league in field goal percentage. They’ll have a chance to get out of the hole tomorrow night when they travel to take on Kansas State.