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Big XII (MBB) Power Rankings and Award Leaderboards (January 24-30)

Bears 1

BU v KSU '22 | Twitter: @BaylorMBB

This past Saturday, we saw the Big XII lose its annual interconference challenge with the SEC 4-6 (thanks Kansas). This of course, included Baylor's loss to Alabama. While those games have no effect on the Big XII title race, they certainly don't help any of the Big XII's NCAA Tournament resumes. The home team won 9 of the 10 games (again, Kansas really crapped the bed) and the conference hasn't won the challenge since the 2018-19 season. There isn't a ton of movement in this week's Power Rankings, as we seem to be settling in to a pecking order that may stabilize somewhat as we approach the midway point of conference play. If you'd like to check out last week's post, you can find it here.

Big XII Team of the Week: Texas. After beating down TCU early in the week, the Longhorns took care of a solid Tennessee team in the Big XII-SEC Challenge.

Big XII Player of the Week: Izaiah Brockington, Iowa State. In 2 wins this week: 41 points and 8 rebounds on 50% from the field and 4/5 from deep.

Big XII Power Rankings

Baylor, Kansas, Texas Tech, Texas, Iowa State, Oklahoma, TCU, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Kansas State

1) #8 Baylor Bears (Prev: 1). Overall Record: 18-3. Weekly Record: 1-1. Conference Record: 6-2. B12 Position: 2. KenPom Rank: 2. NCAA NET Rank: 4. SOS (per KenPom): 25. Q1+Q2: 9-3. Q3+Q4: 9-0.

Game Notes: WIN. BU 74 v KSU 49. Back on track, back at home. It was good to have Jeremy Sochan back after his extended absence due to an ankle injury. He looked good on both ends with superb defensive footwork and also knocking down a couple of shots on offense (including a 3PFG). It was also something of a Dale Bonner coming out party. Bonner's role was increased due to the absence of James Akinjo (out with injury). He shined in all aspects (passing, scoring, ball handling, and defense). His emergence could be huge for Baylor even after Akinjo comes back. Kendall Brown has put together back-to-back solid performances, this time a double-double. Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua was great (he hit another three-pointer!) with a double-double. Great ball movement fueled the blowout. The Bears assisted on 72% of their made field goals.

Game Notes: LOSS. BU 78 @ Bama 87. Ouch. Baylor was once again shorthanded in this one. After James Akinjo had missed multiple games recently, this time LJ Cryer was the absent party as he seems to have reaggravated his foot that has caused him pain earlier. Plus, Akinjo was clearly not playing at 100%. Baylor's starting guards (Akinjo + Flagler): 24 points and 8 turnovers on 34% from the field. Alabama's starting guards (Shackelford + Quinerly): 39 points and 5 turnovers on 50% from the field. The Bears turned it over too much and also struggled on the glass. This loss was disappointing, but it doesn't hurt Baylor's resume too much and doesn't affect the Big XII standings at all.

Outlook: The Bears take on West Virginia tonight with a chance to bounce back against the slumping Mountaineers. Next weekend, they'll play the biggest game of the year to date, a showdown in Lawrence against the conference front-running Jayhawks. The Bears still control their own destiny in this conference which is of more importance at this point than anything else. If they are a 3 or 4-loss Big XII champion, they should undoubtedly be a 1 seed come Selection Sunday. First thing's first, they have to regain momentum against WVU and hopefully get healthy sooner rather than later.

2) #10 Kansas Jayhawks (Prev: 2). Overall Record: 17-3. Weekly Record: 1-1. Conference Record: 6-1. B12 Position: 1. KenPom Rank: 10. NCAA NET Rank: 9. SOS (per KenPom): 11. Q1+Q2: 10-3. Q3+Q4: 7-0.

Game Notes: WIN. KU 94 @ TTU 91. Ochai Agbaji missed a FT in the final minute of regulation, "stepped" (he put his hand) on the baseline in the final minute of regulation, missed a potential game-winning buzzer beater, and missed an additional 3 FTs in the 2 OTs. Agbaji did have a career night with 37 points and 7 rebounds on 56% from the field and 7/12 (58%) from deep. This includes the game-tying, contested, three-pointer he hit with 7 seconds left in the 1st OT to get another 5 minutes of action. Agbaji is not just the best player on this team, he should be the heavy favorite at this point for conference player of the year and will be in the conversation for national player of the year.

Game Notes: LOSS. KU 62 v UK 80. Sheesh. It's not often that Kansas loses at home. It's far rarer that they get dominated in the Phog. The only home team to lose a game in the Big XII-SEC Challenge, KU was totally non-competitive. They trailed by 20 at halftime and were never able to make significant inroads at getting back in the game. For KU's defense, it was the highest opponent eFG% allowed since their loss earlier this season against Dayton. The Jayhawks had no answer for Keion Brooks Jr. who had a career-high 27 points on 56% from the field.

Outlook: Kansas will now go on the road to play the Cyclones before hosting the defending champs next weekend. Kansas remains the 2nd best team in the conference. The gap between the Jayhawks and the Red Raiders shrank this week and anything short of a sweep this week might see the Jayhawks drop out of the top 2 in these Power Rankings for the first time this season.

3) #14 Texas Tech Red Raiders (Prev: 3). Overall Record: 16-5. Weekly Record: 1-1. Conference Record: 5-3. B12 Position: T-3. KenPom Rank: 11. NCAA NET Rank: 11. SOS (per KenPom): 66. Q1+Q2: 7-5. Q3+Q4: 9-0.

Game Notes: LOSS. TTU 91 v KU 94. Heartbreak in the Phog. After trailing by as many as 12 with less than 8 minutes in regulation. TJ Shannon (a career 80% FT shooter) missed a free throw in the final minute of regulation but then knocked down 2 with under 15 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game. Kevin Obanor in the 1st overtime hit a three-pointer with about 2 minutes on the clock after having missed his last 11 3PFGs. Mylik Wilson (only in the game after Davion Warren fouled out) missed a FT with about 30 seconds left in the 1st OT. In the final minute of the 2nd OT, they got Bryson Williams the ball but he gave it up to Kevin McCullar who promptly turned it over. Williams had his best game as a Red Raider with 33 points and 5 boards on 73% from the field and 4/4 from deep. He was their best and, at times, their only offense. KU did a good job denying him the ball in the OTs and also getting the ball out of his hands and forcing others to make plays. The Guard duo of Shannon and McCullar were pitiful in this one, combining for 7 points on 9% from the field (0/9 from deep) in 80 combined minutes.

Game Notes: WIN. TTU 76 v Miss St 50. Following up on Tech's beatdown of Mississippi State in the Liberty Bowl in football, the Red Raiders also took the Bulldogs to task in basketball. Tech ended the 1st half on an 11-2 run the gave them a cushion they would never surrender. TTU got a strong performance from Adonis Arms who led the team with 16 points and 7 assists on 67% from the field. Tech's defense held the Bulldogs to their lowest scoring total since last February.

Outlook: The Red Raiders will play Texas and West Virginia this week. Texas Tech has now won 3 of their last 4 (the only loss being the double overtime marathon in Lawrence. Tech is favored by KenPom to win their next 4 games before their rematch with Baylor.

4) #23 Texas Longhorns (Prev: 4). Overall Record: 16-5. Weekly Record: 2-0. Conference Record: 5-3. B12 Position: T-3. KenPom Rank: 15. NCAA NET Rank: 17. SOS (per KenPom): 111. Q1+Q2: 5-5. Q3+Q4: 9-0.

Game Notes: WIN. UT 73 @ TCU 50. After 6 minutes of tightly contested ball, UT went on an 11-0 run to open up a lead that they were able to hold. The Longhorns built a 20-point lead by halftime, and it was comfortable for them from there on out. They assisted on 72% of their made FGs. It was a balanced attack for Texas, with 4 players scoring in double figures.

Game Notes: WIN. UT 52 v Tenn 51. The Longhorns did everything in their power to blow this game. Despite holding a 17-point 2nd half lead, they allowed a 16-1 run to close the game. They only scored a single point in the final 5 and a half minutes of the game. Then they got lucky that a good shooter (Tennessee's Josiah-Jordan James) missed a wide-open, would-be game-winner as the clock wound down. Courtney Ramey was the only offensive bright spot, with a season-high 18 points on 60% from the field.

Outlook: Texas would greatly benefit from going on a bit of a streak as they'll face 2 quality opponents this week, Iowa State and Texas Tech. The Longhorns have now won 3-straight for the first time since the start of conference play. If this team starts to put the pieces together, they could be very dangerous. They have yet to play any of the top 3 teams in the conference this season, meaning that they control their destiny for competing for a Big XII championship.

Cyclone 1

ISU v Mizzou '22 | Twitter: @CycloneMBB

5) #20 Iowa State Cyclones (Prev: 7). Overall Record: 16-5. Weekly Record: 2-0. Conference Record: 3-5. B12 Position: T-6. KenPom Rank: 24. NCAA NET Rank: 25. SOS (per KenPom): 51. Q1+Q2: 7-5. Q3+Q4: 9-0.

Game Notes: WIN. ISU 84 @ OSU 81. After struggling mightily from deep in the 2 previous games (both losses, where ISU went a combined 8/52 [15%] from beyond the arc), the Cyclones heated up from the perimeter, going 12/28 (43%) on three-pointers in the game. This was due in no small part to the efforts of Caleb Grill who went 5/7 (71%) from deep, coming off the bench. The usual duo for ISU of Tyrese Hunter and Isaiah Brockington were great, combining for 44 points, 6 boards, and 5 assists on 51% from the field. Brockington's game-tying jumper with 22 seconds left was in the face of incredible defense. The final points of the game came from Tre Jackson who made 2 FTs with 11 seconds left in OT (he hadn't attempted a single free throw all season). Fun Fact: This snapped a 24-game losing streak in conference road games, a streak that lasted nearly 3 years.

Game Notes: WIN. ISU 67 v Mizzou 50. The Cyclones beat up on the hapless Tigers. Former Big 8 conference members, met in this decidedly uneven mismatch. It was ISU's best defensive performance since their win over Texas Tech near the beginning on conference play. The usual suspects, Tyrese Hunter and Izaiah Brockington, led the way for Iowa State, combining for 29 points 10 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals on 50% from the field. The Cyclones won the turnover battle and also utilized great ball movement (they assisted on 67% of their made field goals).

Outlook: The Cyclones will get a shot at revenge as they host Kansas this week before travelling to Austin next weekend. ISU remains the best defense in the conference at turning opponents over. This gives them a shot to beat just about anyone. Their lack of offensive consistency could prevent them from finishing in the top third of the conference.

6) Oklahoma Sooners (Prev: 6). Overall Record: 13-8. Weekly Record: 1-1. Conference Record: 3-5. B12 Position: T-6. KenPom Rank: 29. NCAA NET Rank: 34. SOS (per KenPom): 18. Q1+Q2: 5-7. Q3+Q4: 8-1.

Game Notes: WIN. OU 72 @ WVU 62. The Sooners were able to snap their 4-game losing streak. Jacob Groves joined his brother in the starting lineup for the first time on the season. Fun fact: This was the first time OU had started a pair of brothers since 2009 (Blake and Taylor Griffin). This duo combined for 33 points on 76% from the field. Starting PG, Jordan Goldwire, fouled out with more than 2 minutes remaining in the game (immediately before the Sooner lead was cut to 6 points). As a result, freshman Bijan Cortes came into the game. Cortes had a sequence with about 45 seconds left where he hit 2 clutch FTs, stole the inbound, scored a layup (making it a 10-point lead), and then secured the final defensive rebound of the game. The Sooners got the job done at the FT line where they went 21/22 (95%).

Game Notes: LOSS. OU 68 @ Aub 86. Palindrome game. The final score is not at all indicative of how competitive this game was for the bulk of the contest. The Sooners were throttled on the boards and also lost the turnover battle. This team cannot afford to take so many three-pointers. In Oklahoma's 13 wins: 3PA% of 38.6%. In OU's 8 losses: 3PA% of 41.4%. This is one of the best 2P% teams in the nation (4th nationally). When they fall in love with the three-pointer their offensive efficiency takes a nosedive. Jordan Goldwire had a surprisingly good game. He had 19 points, 4 assists, 3 steals, and just 1 turnover on 60% from the field. Over his previous 6 games he was averaging 7.2 PPG, 2.0 APG, 1.0 SPG, and 3.0 TO/G on 42% from the field. Getting him going would be huge for this team.

Outlook: Oklahoma needs to get back on track this week as they'll face TCU and OSU. The Sooners are capable of competing with just about anyone in the conference but if they want to go dancing this March, they'll need to be able to finish strong and win close games.

7) Texas Christian Horned Frogs (Prev: 5). Overall Record: 14-4. Weekly Record: 1-1. Conference Record: 3-3. B12 Position: 5. KenPom Rank: 50. NCAA NET Rank: 52. SOS (per KenPom): 74. Q1+Q2: 5-4. Q3+Q4: 9-0.

Game Notes: LOSS. TCU 50 @ UT 73. The Horned Frogs had an opportunity to prove themselves and build their resume. They didn't get it done. Instead, they got embarrassed at home by their unranked (at the time), in-state rivals. TCU was badly outrebounded in the game. They also couldn't buy a basket from the perimeter. Their 3P% (2/16 [12.5%]) was the worst in a game since 2016.

Game Notes: WIN. TCU 77 v LSU 68. Much like their orange-clad "rivals", TCU did their darnedest to blow their big lead. The Horned Frogs were up by 14 with about 15 minutes left in the game but saw the Tigers cut that lead to just a single point with just under 10 minutes remaining. A trio of Frogs carried the day for Coach Dixon's squad, Chuck O'Bannon Jr., Mike Miles, and Davion Baugh. That trio combined for 52 points, 18 rebounds, 10 assists, and 3 steals on 51% from the field. It was TCU's most efficient game offensively since the start of conference play and the worst defensive performance for LSU of the year.

Outlook: The Horned Frogs have lost 2 of their last 3 conference games and will look to get back on track this week against Oklahoma and Kansas State (both teams they have already beaten this year). If they want to seize on the momentum of their win over LSU, they'll need to be better from the perimeter. Over their last 3 games, TCU is 11/49 (22%) from deep.

8) Oklahoma State Cowboys (Prev: 8). Overall Record: 10-10. Weekly Record: 0-2. Conference Record: 3-5. B12 Position: T-6. KenPom Rank: 52. NCAA NET Rank: 59. SOS (per KenPom): 5. Q1+Q2: 4-8. Q3+Q4: 6-2.

Game Notes: LOSS. OSU 81 v ISU 84. It was a career night for starting PG Avery Anderson III who had 34 points, 5 assists, and 2 steals on 56% from the field. He did have a bad turnover in the closing seconds of regulation, an obvious push-off that denied the Cowboys a chance to hit a game winner. Anderson also missed a go-ahead layup late in overtime. The layup attempt was virtually uncontested and resulted in offensive basket interference by Moussa Cisse.

Game Notes: LOSS. OSU 71 @ Fla 82. Despite leading in the 1st half by as much as 16, the Cowboys fell apart on both ends in the 2nd half as the Gators rallied past them. The Gators were led by Senior guard, Tyree Appleby who had a season-high 21 points on 50% from the field. The Pokes got surprisingly good production from their 4-guard starting lineup. The offense went 7/23 (30%) from the field in the 2nd half including 1/8 from beyond the arc.

Outlook: The Pokes will face Kansas State and Oklahoma this week. They have lost 3 in a row. After their somewhat respectable 6-1 start to the season, they have gone 4-9 since then. It appears that the only "meaningful" accomplishment this OSU team may have this year is beating a shorthanded Baylor team in Waco. Congrats on that, I guess.

9) West Virginia Mountaineers (Prev: 9). Overall Record: 13-7. Weekly Record: 0-2. Conference Record: 2-5. B12 Position: 9. KenPom Rank: 64. NCAA NET Rank: 64. SOS (per KenPom): 21. Q1+Q2: 4-7. Q3+Q4: 9-0.

Game Notes: LOSS. WVU 62 v OU 72. Hosting a slumping Oklahoma team, WVU extended their own losing streak. They were outrebounded which has been a problem for this team all year. They had uncharacteristically bad performances from their star, guard duo of Taz Sherman and Sean McNeil who were a combined 5/18 (27%) from the field. That duo averages over 32 PPG on 43% from the field this season.

Game Notes: LOSS. WVU 68 @ Ark 77. Couldn't they have at least scored one more point? The Mountaineers were somewhat competitive in this one despite trailing wire-to-wire. WVU had few answers defensively for Arkansas's backcourt duo of JD Notae and Au'Diese Toney, who combined for 34 points, 7 boards, and 5 assists on 75% from the field. The Mountaineers got pounded in the paint. Over 78% of the Razorbacks' made FGs came in the painted area. West Virginia was also slaughtered on the glass (they had a -18 rebounding disadvantage).

Outlook: The Mountaineers will host Texas Tech and next weekend after facing Baylor to start the week. Having lost 5-in-a-row, this team seems to be in freefall right now. They haven't done anything particularly well since the start of Big XII play. Fun Fact: West Virginia's current losing streak is their longest since 2019 and the program will seek to avoid its longest losing streak since 2013 this week against Baylor.

10) Kansas State Wildcats (Prev: 10). Overall Record: 10-10. Weekly Record: 0-2. Conference Record: 2-6. B12 Position: 10. KenPom Rank: 73. NCAA NET Rank: 76. SOS (per KenPom): 22. Q1+Q2: 3-10. Q3+Q4: 7-0.

Game Notes: LOSS. KSU 49 @ BU 74. Coming off their devastating loss to Kansas on Saturday (a game that they led by 17 at home), the Wildcats suffered their worst loss of the season (as measured by margin of defeat). In their first 5 conference losses, the average margin of defeat was 4.8 points. The entire offense struggled early offensively. Not a single player went to halftime with more than a single made FG. Much of the credit for this belongs to Baylor's defense. KSU went to halftime shooting 7/26 (27%) from the field and 2/13 (15%) from deep. Nijel Pack (coming off a career-high 35-point performance against Kansas) was cold early but warmed up somewhat late. Pack scored 8 of his 13 points in a quick burst in the final 10 minutes of the game after the result had already been effectively decided. Pack and Marquis Nowell (who scored all 11 of his points in the 2nd half) combined for a modest 24 points on 39% from the field. The rest of the team had 25 points 27% from the field.

Game Notes: LOSS. KSU 56 @ Ole Miss 67. The Rebels took the lead about 7 minutes into the game and led the rest of the way. The Wildcats lost most significant statistical categories including rebounding, turnovers, and FG%. Mark Smith was the lone bright spot for KSU, leading the team with 20 points, 16 rebounds, and 2 steals on 43% from the field.

Outlook: The Wildcats will take on TCU and Oklahoma State this week. This team has now lost 7 of their last 9. They need to turn things around in a big way in February if they want a realistic shot at making the NCAA tournament. The alarming thing for this squad right now the team's 3P shooting. They lead the Big XII (since the start of conference play) in reliance on three-pointers (over 38% of their points come from beyond the arc). The problem lies in relying so heavily on the deep ball whilst struggling so much from there. Over their last 2 games, KSU is 16/59 (27%) from deep.

Big XII Award Leaderboards

Coach of the Year Leaderboard:

1) Mark Adams, Texas Tech. The Red Raiders may have lost at the Phog, but this team is as legit as it gets in the Big XII.

2) Scott Drew, Baylor. The loss to Alabama notwithstanding, Baylor looked great against KSU and is in position to repeat as Big XII champs.

3) TJ Otzelberger, Iowa State. The Cyclones got 2 much needed wins last week.

4) Porter Moser, Oklahoma. Despite the loss at Auburn, Moser's squad is still exceeding preseason expectations and is in position to make the Tourney.

Agbaji

Ochai Agbaji, Kansas | Twitter: @KUHoops

Player of the Year Leaderboard:

1) Ochai Agbaji, Kansas. Last 7 games: 22.1 PPG and 5.6 RPG on 49% from the field and 48% from deep.

2) Taz Sherman, West Virginia. Last 4 games: 16.3 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, and 1.8 SPG on 39% from the field and 33% from deep.

3) Izaiah Brockington, Iowa State. Last 7 games: 16.7 PPG and 6.6 RPG on 48% from the field and 42% from deep.

4) Bryson Williams, Texas Tech. Last 5 games: 18.4 PPG and 3.6 RPG on 60% from the field and 56% from deep.

Defensive Player of the Year Leaderboard:

1) Matthew Mayer, Baylor. League leader in defensive rating and block%.

2) Tyrese Hunter, Iowa State. League leader in steals and 3rd in defensive win shares.

3) Kevin McCullar, Texas Tech. Naismith DPOY Watchlist. 5th in the league in defensive rating.

4) Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, Baylor. Apologies to Flo Thamba who just as easily could've made this list (and had been on it for the last few weeks), but JTT made the Naismith DPOY Watchlist. 4th in the league in defensive rating and 1st in DReb%.

Sixth Man of the Year Leaderboard:

1) LJ Cryer, Baylor. 3 starts in 18 games played. 21.0 points per 40 minutes on 48% from the field and 46% from deep.

2) Malik Curry, West Virginia. 0 starts in 20 games played. 18.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 2.0 steals per 40 minutes on 45% from the field.

3) Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, Baylor. 0 starts in 21 games played. 15.0 points and 13.8 rebounds per 40 minutes on 66% from the field.

4) Aljaz Kunc, Iowa State. 0 starts in 21 games played. 11.7 points and 7.3 rebounds per 40 minutes on 51% from the field and 50% from deep.

Freshman of the Year Leaderboard:

1) Tyrese Hunter, Iowa State. Last 7 games: 12.6 PPG, 4.4 APG, and 2.3 SPG on 46% from the field.

2) Kendall Brown, Baylor. Last 3 games: 10.0 PPG, 8.0 RPG, and 2.0 APG on 56% from the field.

3) Jeremy Sochan, Baylor. Last 6 games: 9.2 PPG, 5.5 RPG, and 1.2 SPG on 57% from the field.

4) Bijan Cortes, Oklahoma. Last 2 games: 3.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 1.5 APG, and 1.5 SPG.

Newcomer of the Year Leaderboard:

1) Izaiah Brockington, Iowa State. See Player of the Year stats above.

2) Bryson Williams, Texas Tech. See Player of the Year stats above.

3) Timmy Allen, Texas. Last 4 games: 12.8 PPG, 7.0 RPG, and 1.5 SPG on 56% from the field.

4) James Akinjo, Baylor. Last 8 games: 15.0 PPG, 5.1 APG, and 2.3 SPG on 43% from the field and 32% from deep.

Bears 2

BU v KSU '22 | Twitter: @BaylorMBB

Upcoming Big XII Games Worth Monitoring

Last week's predictions: 2-2; I had Baylor winning last Tuesday by 7, they won by 25; I had Kansas winning last Monday by 2, they won by 3; I had Baylor winning last Saturday by 4, they lost by 9; and I had Kansas winning last Saturday by 6, they won by 18.

a) West Virginia @ Baylor. Monday, January 31, 2022, at 8:00 PM CT on ESPN. Prediction: Baylor by 8.

b) Kansas @ Iowa State, Tuesday, February 1, 2022, at 6:00 PM CT on ESPN. Prediction: Kansas by 4.

c) Texas @ Texas Tech. Tuesday, February 1, 2022, at 8:00 PM CT on ESPN. Prediction: TTU by 5.

d) Baylor @ Kansas. Saturday, February 5, 2022, at 3:00 PM CT on ESPN. Prediction: Baylor by 1.

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