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

Advertisements

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

Bracketology: Pre-Holidays Edition – December 19, 2017

We’re approaching the time of the year where there will be a holiday break for most teams — this is especially true in the Big 12. After Saturday, December 23, there will be no Big 12 games until the following Friday, when conference play commences. This feels like the perfect window for a Bracketology update.

One important development since my last Bracketology post is that the NCAA has revealed some of their new logic in selecting teams for this year’s tournament. No longer will we see the historical Top 25, Top 50, Top 100 wins. Now, the committee has placed more importance on road/neutral games and have created “quadrants” to properly place these games. Straight from the linked article above from the NCAA website, here is how the quadrants will be bucketed:
  Quadrant 1: Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75
  Quadrant 2: Home 31-75; Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135
  Quadrant 3: Home 76-160; Neutral 101-200; Away 136-240
  Quadrant 4: Home 161-plus; Neutral 201-plus; Away 241-plus

Continue reading

December 15th, 2017: Game Predictions (Let’s Gamble!)

You can tell that college football is basically over and that college basketball dominating ESPN programming is upon us with the Saturday slate in college basketball today. It’s a great schedule throughout all of college basketball, but there’s some especially good matchups in the Big 12 today:
      •  Oklahoma at Wichita State
      •  Oklahoma State vs. Florida State
      •  Northern Iowa vs. Iowa State
      •  Kansas at Nebraska

Those are some fun non-conference December games, which are not always guaranteed, especially in this odd time period with finals weeks ending, the holidays upcoming, and conference play less than two weeks away. Enjoy today, it’s a fun lineup.

Before I dive into my picks for today, let’s review how I’m currently doing with my picks. Here were my picks from last night (click image to expand in new tab). 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

December 5th, 2017: Game Predictions (Let’s Gamble!)

What a great night in the Big 12. I tweeted this out earlier today.

Yesterday, I wrote about how December can be an odd time for college basketball. There’s random games on random nights, often against low-quality competition. That is not the case tonight. We’ve got four GREAT games tonight. I’m going to dive into all four in greater detail below, but first, let’s take a look at how I did against the spread last night.

Rough. A real rough night. I went 1-5 on the night and 0-2 in the Big 12. I’m now at .500 for Big 12 picks ATS and under .500 for the season overall. I gotta say, the late three by Northern Illinois against Iowa State to cut it from 17 to 14 in garbage time is why no one should gamble ever (click image to open in new tab). Continue reading