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Baylor Basketball Picked Second in Big 12; Thoughts on League Vote

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Sic ‘Em!

NCAA Basketball: Texas Christian at Baylor Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor was picked second in the Big 12’s preseason poll. The Bears received one vote for first place.

The full poll is here:

I’ll have my usual 5,000+ word preview in about two weeks. Baylor’s ranking is understandable. The Bears return Jared Butler, Tristan Clark, Mark Vital, Freddie Gillespie, Devonte Bandoo and Matthew Mayer from last season’s fourth place team. They also add Davion Mitchell and MaCio Teague. They’re the second highest ranked Big 12 team in the Torvik rankings.

After Texas Tech’s loss to UTEP in an exhibition game, I’d move the Red Raiders down. Texas Tech played their best players major minutes in that effort. Yes, Chris Beard lost a lot two years ago and made the NCAA Championship game. But he’s not going to do that every season. Nobody on Texas Tech’s roster is going to make the leap Jarrett Culver made. Their new transfers won’t play defense like Tariq Owens or Matt Mooney. And they lack a big presence like Nori Odiase.

Kansas State is too low. The Wildcats will miss Barry Brown, Kamau Stokes and Dean Wade. But Wade missed a lot of last season, and Cartier Diarra and Xavier Sneed are one heck of a leading duo.

The coaches understood TCU will be bad. They lost nearly everyone from last season’s NIT squad. I’d be shocked if TCU finishes better than last.