We’re back for the SportShift Media Big 12 power rankings as of January 19th. We thought we were starting to see teams rise to the top of the conference to battle with Baylor but Texas, Kansas, and Texas Tech all lost while West Virginia was idle due to COVID. Two other teams were inactive as well so we didn’t have much to talk about this week.
- Baylor (12-0, 5-0 in conference)
Texas Tech gave Baylor everything they had on Saturday but couldn’t pull off their second big upset of the week. Baylor was uncomfortable for the first time this season but talent prevailed as they took over in the last five minutes of the game to extend the game to an eight point win. One area of concern is that they struggled to take care of the basketball against the pressure of the Red Raiders. Jared Butler, the Big 12 preseason players of the year, was the main culprit with 7 of the team’s 16 turnovers. He did make up for it late with a big three with four minutes to go to push the lead to 7. Baylor made up for all their mistakes in that one by putting a beatdown on Kansas last night. The final score will not speak to how impressive Baylor handled them on both ends of the floor.
2. Texas (11-2, 5-1 in conference)
Texas remains at #2 in the rankings this week despite the loss to Texas Tech due to everyone else losing behind them as well. The Longhorns came out and looked like they would handle the Red Raiders and cruise to a victory. They led by 12 at one point in the first half and went into halftime with a 10 point lead. The second half was a completely a different game as Andrew Jones and Matt Coleman went into witness protection due to the Red Raider pressure defense. This team lives and dies by the guards so they can’t shy away against pressure.
3. Texas Tech (11-4, 4-3 in conference)
I’ve already talked about what Texas Tech was able to do to both Texas and Baylor but I have to eat my words a little bit when it comes to their top scorer Mac McClung. He showed that he has bought in on the defensive side and the rest of the team looked to come together on that end as they played their two best games of the season. He also leads the Big 12 in points per game. I would still like to see him attack more instead of settling for jumpshots but I have to take some time off from saying bad things about him.
4. Kansas (10-3, 4-2 in conference)
We didn’t see much on the defensive end from Kansas in their loss to Oklahoma State. They gave up 46 points in the first half. They showed again that they are trying to play inside out with McCormack. He had another good game with 24 points. They also lost last night to Baylor and they did an alright job competing in the second half but they didn’t have any answer for the depth that the Bears have. Jared Butler went out and put up 30 points with seven 3’s which was the big story but even when he wasn’t scoring it seemed like the Bears could get to any spot they wanted on the court. The disappearance of Jalen Wilson is concerning as he stays out of foul trouble for the most part and only manages four points in both games.
5. West Virginia (9-4, 2-3 in conference)
West Virginia was out of action this week due to COVID. They will resume on Saturday against Kansas State.
6. Oklahoma State (9-3, 3-3 in conference)
Oklahoma State has shown that they can compete with the top teams in the league if they can play at their speed. They are very quick and can score in bunches led by Cade Cunningham. This team would be so fun to watch in a year or two if they could stay together. Unfortunately, Cunningham is most likely a one and done and will be putting his shots up in an NBA arena next year. They also are on shutdown due to COVID that started on Saturday.
7. Oklahoma (7-4, 3-3 in conference)
Oklahoma should get back to playing games this week. They had the in state rivalry game against Oklahoma State cancelled as the Cowboys enter the protocol.
8. TCU (9-5, 2-4 in conference)
TCU is now on a three game losing streak and have not managed to reach 50 points in either of the last two games. Nembhard struggled again, only reaching 10 points and no one else on this team seems to be able to create for themselves.
9. Kansas State (5-9, 1-5 in conference)
I think next week I might just put Kansas State at 10a and Iowa State at 10b. The Wildcats have now lost four straight and haven’t put up much of a fight. I ripped on Davion Bradford a little bit last week for not being able to grab rebounds as a 7 footer but he had an alright game on Saturday against Texas. The big man ended with 14 points and 7 rebounds but the most impressive part was he played 26 minutes. He has to stay out of foul trouble for this team to have a chance.
10. Iowa State (2-7, 0-5 in conference)
Iowa State is also shut down due to COVID protocol which might be good for them to regroup and try to prepare to get their first Big 12 win next week.