Written by: Joe Ryan
Every week here at Wingspan we will have updated blogs about the ACC, BIG 12 and the SEC. We will provide standings, games to watch, award races projections and more. Make sure you keep on checking our site http://www.wingspansports.com for me information about all things sports.
So, let’s dive into this LOADED conference, probably the best conference in America at this point in time. People like to say that the league can’t be that tough because Kansas has won the conference 13 straight years. But those people must be taking crazy pills or don’t actually watch the Big 12. It is a battle day in and day out. There are no easy games whatsoever, and each team battles each others tooth and nail. The best part about the Big 12? There are only 10 teams, so that means it’s a round robin schedule. If you go to someones building and lose, you’re going to get your revenge when they come to your building. That’s what makes the Big 12 so special.
So far in this early season, this conference has been a monster and there are a few teams that have really caught my eye and that have stood out against the rest. Those teams include: West Virginia, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and TCU.
Spoiler: There just not very good.
TCU, West Virginia, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma have all the intangibles to win this conference. They have veteran leadership, athletic freshman and every one of these teams are deep, in which they can play 10 guys in a game. That’s what separates these teams from Kansas.
Now, this conference doesn’t bolster all the top picks in this NBA draft. Sure, they’re are two that stand out, Mo Bamba from Texas and Trae Young from Oklahoma should both go in the top 7 in next years draft. But even though that this conference doesn’t have as many top picks like other conference bolster, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some solid pros in this conference. Devonte Graham, Lagerald Vick, Svi and Billy Preston should all be drafted out of Kansas, whether it be in the late first round or in the second round. Jevon Carter is one of the best players in the nation and one of the best players in West Virginia history. He is a great on ball defender and scores when he has too. Will he be a pro? Probably not. He has a chance to impress at the NBA Summer League and a team might take a chance on him because he is such a great defender and teams might drool over that, as the NBA is turning into a Point Guard heavy league.
However, the two names I would keep an eye on this Big 12 season in Keenan Evans from Texas Tech and Jeffery Carroll from Oklahoma State. Both these guys have yet to appear on NBA mock drafts and I’m confused as to why. They score in bunched, they play great defense, they have the length for their respective positions and they have great floor vision and Basketball IQ. I expect these two to find themselves on draft boards by the end of the season, and be 2nd round picks. I think whoever drafts these two, are getting absolute steals in the second round as they’re getting two guys who are NBA ready and can contribute to a contending team right away.
So, lets get into the BIG 12 standings and then I’ll give my Power Rankings of the BIG 12 right after that.
|#18 Texas Tech||2-0||—||1.000||13-1||.929||W7|
|#6 West Virginia||2-0||—||1.000||13-1||.929||W13|
So those are the standings to today’s date. Here are my Power Rankings after watching these teams play all the time:
- Texas Tech
- West Virginia
- Kansas State
- Oklahoma State
- Iowa State
So, not much different here from the standings but the standings are pretty indicative as to how the teams are playing. Everyone loves to get caught up in the Oklahoma, Trae Young buzz, and rightfully so, but Keenan Evans and Texas Tech, in my opinion, is the best team in this conference.
Games to watch this week:
Saturday — January 6th
Kansas State @ Texas Tech (non televised which is garbage) 4 PM EST
Iowa State @ Oklahoma State (ESPNU) 4 PM EST
Sneaky good match-up even though both are on the bottom of BIG 12. You can watch Jeffery Carroll take over this game.
(7) Oklahoma @ (6) West Virginia (ESPN2) 7:15 PM EST
Probably the best game of the entire College Basketball Saturday slate. 6 vs. 7. Winner is atop of BIG 12. Also, this game can determine how NBA ready Trae Young is. Can he play well and get his stats against that press?
(10) Kansas @ (16) TCU (ESPN@) 9;15 PM EST
Both teams have a loss already in the BIG 12. Can we say this is a must win for each team?
BIG 12 Player of the Year Rankings:
- Trae Young
- Jevon Carter
- Devonte Graham
- Keenan Evans
- Mo Bamba
Coach of the Year Rankings:
- Chris Beard
- Lon Kruger
- Bob Huggins