Big 12 Power Rankings: December 29th, 2017 Edition – Conference Reset

This is the 7th edition of my Big 12 Power Rankings. The Big 12 season tips off today. I seriously cannot wait. The debate over the “best” conference in the country is often confusing to me. Are we talking about the conference with the most teams who could win it all or the conference that has the highest number of good teams or the conference with the fewest amount of weak teams? We can’t debate this if we don’t know the guidelines of the debate. Nonetheless, there is no argument to this — the conference is clearly the deepest in the country.

This week’s post is going to be a bit different than weeks past. There’s only been six games involving Big 12 teams since last Thursday’s post, and only two of them really mattered: Texas/Alabama and Northwestern/Oklahoma. So there won’t be any game clips or in-depth breakdowns of things I’ve noticed in the last week. Instead, I’m going to use each team’s space as an opportunity to be both optimistic and pessimistic about that team based on a statistic or trend I’ve noticed so far this season. This is a good way to examine a major strength and weakness of each team as we forecast how this conference season will go.

It’s a reset as we head into conference play. The order of this week’s rankings are representative of what I think the conference standings will look like once the conference season is completed in early March. I will include a projected conference record for each team in their section.

All of my previous Power Rankings posts, as well as the season previews I wrote, can be found at this link. For any newcomers, below is a blurb I wrote in my first Power Rankings post this season. (If you’ve been here before, go ahead and skip ahead to the good stuff.) The below inset is what I’ve decided is essentially my mission statement for this weekly article. Give it a read if you’re new. Continue reading

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Big 12 Reset: Midseason Picks for Player of the Year, 1st Team, 2nd Team, and All-Freshman Team

Before the season started, I posted my predictions for all of the major Big 12 awards. Those predictions can be found here. I predicted Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, Coach of the Year, 1st and 2nd Team All-Conference, and All-Freshman Team. Let’s update these. A lot has changed in November and December (WHY HELLO THERE TRAE YOUNG), so there has been some movement in my predictions. Let’s dive in.

Player of the Year:

Preseason: Devonte’ Graham, SR Guard, Kansas
Now: Trae Young, FR Guard, Oklahoma

  Before the season, here is what I wrote on Graham:
“I think Graham is a legitimate candidate for National Player of the Year and 1st Team All-American. So many of the possessions that went to Frank Mason last year will now be going to Devonte’ Graham this season. He will be the team’s highest scorer, and probably their most efficient scorer, and his team will be the best team in the Big 12. He will be much more of a primary ball-handler this season, which will help him to generate even better stats. Enjoy The Apostrophe in his senior season in Lawrence.”
  Now, a lot of those things are true for Trae Young. Young is the frontrunner for National Play of the Year and will likely be a 1st Team All-American. He somehow leads the nation in both scoring and assists. His usage rate is incredibly high, but yet he is still efficient. And it’s not outrageous to say his team could be the best team in the Big 12. Young has been superb, and he’s the clear favorite for this award right now.
Continue reading

Big 12 Power Rankings: December 21st, 2017 Edition

Time for my 6th edition of my Big 12 Power Rankings this season at The Big 12 BasketBlog. We are only eight days away from the start of Big 12 play. Things are about to pick up significantly; get excited everyone.

I considered a major shuffle near the bottom of this week’s Power Rankings with teams currently ranked 7-10, but I decided to wait one more week. Those four teams at the bottom are incredibly close to me right now. I’d actually break up the Big 12 into these three tiers currently:
•  Tier 1
1. West Virginia
2. Kansas
•  Tier 2
3. TCU
4. Oklahoma
5. Texas Tech
6. Baylor
•  Tier 3
7. Texas
8. Kansas State
9. Iowa State
10. Oklahoma State

If you wanted to shuffle the teams around in any of those tiers, I wouldn’t argue with you. If you want to remove Tier 2 and just put the top six teams in one tier, I really wouldn’t argue with you. I think that would be fair. But I do think there is a clear delineation between those first six teams and the bottom four teams right now. That could change, but that’s how I see the league right now.

All of my previous Power Rankings posts, as well as the season previews I wrote, can be found at this link. For any newcomers, below is a blurb I wrote in my first Power Rankings post this season. (If you’ve been here before, go ahead and skip ahead to the good stuff.) The below inset is what I’ve decided is essentially my mission statement for this weekly article. Give it a read if you’re new. Continue reading

Big 12 Power Rankings: December 14th, 2017 Edition

Here is my fifth edition of my Big 12 Power Rankings this season. We’re currently in the midst of the slowest time in college basketball — the two weeks during finals and around the holidays. Each team in the Big 12 has only played one game since last week’s Power Rankings post came out on December 7th. It was the roughest week yet for the conference as a whole, as the league went 6-4 in the last seven days. We’re starting to see some potential concerns for some of these teams, which I’ll break down in this post.

All of my previous Power Rankings posts, as well as the season previews I wrote, can be found at this link. For any newcomers, below is a blurb I wrote in my first Power Rankings post this season. (If you’ve been here before, go ahead and skip ahead to the good stuff.) The below inset is what I’ve decided is essentially my mission statement for this weekly article. Give it a read if you’re new. Continue reading

Big 12 Power Rankings: December 7th, 2017 Edition

Today will be the fourth edition of my Big 12 Power Rankings since I’ve started this blog. Thanks to everyone who read last week. That post had by far the most views of any article I’ve written this season. Glad people are enjoying it; hopefully this week is no different. If you like what you read, feel free to share it on social media or your go-to team forums. It would be much appreciated.

All of my previous Power Rankings posts, as well as the season previews I wrote, can be found at this link. For any newcomers, below is a blurb I wrote in my first Power Rankings post this season. (If you’ve been here before, go ahead and skip ahead to the good stuff.) The below inset is what I’ve decided is essentially my mission statement for this weekly article.

“Two of my favorite basketball writers on the Internet are Zach Lowe and Luke Winn. I guess I should say “were” for one of those guys as Luke Winn was hired by the Toronto Raptors (!) in the summer of 2017 as Director of Prospect Strategy. Lowe covers the NBA and Winn did cover college basketball for Sports Illustrated. The best part about reading these guys is that you learn something new about basketball, whether it’s a team or a player, every time that you read their stuff. They inform you in intelligent ways without relying on the standard hot take-isms or journalistic tropes. They notice things about teams or players while watching games and then show it to their readers, whether through game clips or data-based analysis, and they do it in a way that is digestible and thought-provoking.

I do not have the talent that these two guys have, but my goal is to provide you with a similar look at the Big 12 every week with my weekly Big 12 Power Rankings post. I will rank the teams 1 through 10, but that’s not really what matters here (but feel free to let me know if your team should obviously be ranked 5th instead of 6th). What I want to provide are statistics, analysis, game clips, or just random observations that I’ve made that help you to learn more about a team or a player on that team. And sometimes, I just might include a funny anecdote or item about a team if there’s a slow week. Some weeks, I’ll write more about some teams than other teams. The bigger the game or a week a school has, the more likely I am to go a little deeper on them. Everyone will get their fair share in the end. Just like Lowe and Winn, I want to inform you and give you thought-provoking and compelling analysis on the Big 12 that you’re not getting anywhere else on the Internet. Alright, let’s jump in.”


Before I get into each team, let’s just talk real quick about how good the Big 12 has been in this first month of the season. The league is currently 69-12. That’s a winning percentage of 85%, which is the best in the nation for any conference. Continue reading

Big 12 Power Rankings: November 30th, 2017 Edition

Welcome to the third edition of the Big 12 Power Rankings here at The Big 12 Basketblog. If you haven’t read either of my first two Power Rankings posts, or the season previews I did on each Big 12 teams, you can find any of those posts at this link. Because this blog is still fairly new, I’m going to include what I’ve essentially termed my mission statement for this weekly article yet again. The two paragraphs below were the intro for my first Power Rankings post, and I’ll keep including this for a bit. So if you’ve been here before, just go ahead and skip past the below inset.

“Two of my favorite basketball writers on the Internet are Zach Lowe and Luke Winn. I guess I should say “were” for one of those guys as Luke Winn was hired by the Toronto Raptors (!) in the summer of 2017 as Director of Prospect Strategy. Lowe covers the NBA and Winn did cover college basketball for Sports Illustrated. The best part about reading these guys is that you learn something new about basketball, whether it’s a team or a player, every time that you read their stuff. They inform you in intelligent ways without relying on the standard hot take-isms or journalistic tropes. They notice things about teams or players while watching games and then show it to their readers, whether through game clips or data-based analysis, and they do it in a way that is digestible and thought-provoking.

I do not have the talent that these two guys have, but my goal is to provide you with a similar look at the Big 12 every week with my weekly Big 12 Power Rankings post. I will rank the teams 1 through 10, but that’s not really what matters here (but feel free to let me know if your team should obviously be ranked 5th instead of 6th). What I want to provide are statistics, analysis, game clips, or just random observations that I’ve made that help you to learn more about a team or a player on that team. And sometimes, I just might include a funny anecdote or item about a team if there’s a slow week. Some weeks, I’ll write more about some teams than other teams. The bigger the game or a week a school has, the more likely I am to go a little deeper on them. Everyone will get their fair share in the end. Just like Lowe and Winn, I want to inform you and give you thought-provoking and compelling analysis on the Big 12 that you’re not getting anywhere else on the Internet. Alright, let’s jump in.”


As per usual, here’s a breakdown on the key Kenpom statistics and metrics that will be shown for each team every week. These will always be shown right below the header for each team. Ken Pomeroy’s blog post explaining these metrics can be read here. Continue reading

Big 12 Power Rankings: November 23rd, 2017 Edition

Welcome to the Feast Week Edition of the Big 12 Power Rankings. For anyone who is new here, and didn’t read last week’s Power Rankings, hello! First, here’s a link to those Power Rankings. There are some good nuggets in there looking back at the first week of college basketball action. Second, below is the intro I wrote in last week’s rankings. It includes what I guess I could call the mission statement for this weekly post. Give it a read before you dive into this week’s rankings.

“Two of my favorite basketball writers on the Internet are Zach Lowe and Luke Winn. I guess I should say “were” for one of those guys as Luke Winn was hired by the Toronto Raptors (!) in the summer of 2017 as Director of Prospect Strategy. Lowe covers the NBA and Winn did cover college basketball for Sports Illustrated. The best part about reading these guys is that you learn something new about basketball, whether it’s a team or a player, every time that you read their stuff. They inform you in intelligent ways without relying on the standard hot take-isms or journalistic tropes. They notice things about teams or players while watching games and then show it to their readers, whether through game clips or data-based analysis, and they do it in a way that is digestible and thought-provoking.

I do not have the talent that these two guys have, but my goal is to provide you with a similar look at the Big 12 every week with my weekly Big 12 Power Rankings post. I will rank the teams 1 through 10, but that’s not really what matters here (but feel free to let me know if your team should obviously be ranked 5th instead of 6th). What I want to provide are statistics, analysis, game clips, or just random observations that I’ve made that help you to learn more about a team or a player on that team. And sometimes, I just might include a funny anecdote or item about a team if there’s a slow week. Some weeks, I’ll write more about some teams than other teams. The bigger the game or a week a school has, the more likely I am to go a little deeper on them. Everyone will get their fair share in the end. Just like Lowe and Winn, I want to inform you and give you thought-provoking and compelling analysis on the Big 12 that you’re not getting anywhere else on the Internet. Alright, let’s jump in.”

Four Big 12 teams have played in holiday tournaments so far this season, and three have come home with the trophy. Iowa State won the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, Baylor won the Hall of Fame Classic, and Texas Tech won the Hall of Fame Tip-Off. (I’m not sure who decides who has priority in calling their Hall of Fame holiday tournament Classic or Tip-Off, but one of you, maybe change your name?). Oklahoma State finished 3rd in the Legends Classic. Starting today, we’ll get to see five more Big 12 teams play in these tournaments, which should help us learn a lot more about those five squads. The teams and their tournaments are as follows:
•  West Virginia: Advocare Invitational — Thursday, Friday, Sunday in Orlando, FL
•  TCU: Emerald Coast Classic — Friday, Saturday in Destin, FL
•  Oklahoma: PK80 Invitational — Thursday, Friday, Sunday in Portland, OR
•  Texas: PK80 Invitational — Thursday, Friday, Sunday in Portland, OR
•  Kansas State: Las Vegas Invitational — Thursday, Friday in Las Vegas, NV Continue reading