Last week we looked at the 10 starting point guards in the Big 12. You can find that post here. This time around, we’ll be taking a peak at the league’s shooting guards. As was said last week, distinguishing between point guards, shooting guards, and small forwards isn’t always easy. I’ve done my best. The common theme from last week is that the guard play in this conference is elite.
LJ Cryer: Baylor
Last season, Cryer was the team’s leading scorer despite coming off the bench before he suffered a season-ending injury. Coming into this season, we knew he’d be a regular starter for the first time in his collegiate career. While Flagler and George were seeing their names on national award watchlists, Cryer might actually be the best pure scorer on this team. That’d put him high in the running for the best pure scorer in the conference and even the nation. He ranks in the top 10 in the conference in scoring, FG%, made three-pointers, and offensive rating (per sports-reference.com).
Watch: @LjCryer drops 26 points (8-12 FG, 8-11 3 PT) in #Baylor's win over #WVU. I think @jalenbridgess had a point here #SicEm https://t.co/vVDVByWnuH pic.twitter.com/eDRdmbEbBs— Parker Rehm (@parker_rehm) February 14, 2023
Stats: 14.4 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 2.1 APG, and 0.6 SPG in 22 games played (all starts; 31.1 MPG) on 45.7% FG, 40.2% 3P, and 87.2% FT.
Erik Stevenson: West Virginia
Stevenson is a fifth-year senior in his first season with the Mountaineers who are the 4th team he’s played for at the collegiate level. He’s previously played for the Wichita State Shockers, Washington Huskies, and South Carolina Gamecocks. Coming into the season, he was the team’s most experienced and well-traveled player. He was also the team’s best volume 3P shooter and a guy with a long frame who could handle Coach Huggin’s physical style of play. He is having his career-best season as a shooter and scorer. He has the 3rd highest usage rate of any Big 12 player this season (per sports-reference.com) and is top 10 in scoring and 3P shooting.
Stats: 13.8 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 2.4 APG, and 1.0 SPG in 26 games played (all starts; 24.3 MPG) on 43.2% FG, 37.8% 3P, and 77.9% FT.
Tyrese Hunter: Texas
Since we discussed Hunter in the Intra-Conference Transfer Report Cards a few weeks ago, he has been surpassed in scoring by teammates Sir’Jabari Rice and Timmy Allen. Hunter, who won the Big 12 Rookie of the Year Award last season with Iowa State, is now 4th on the team in scoring and steals. He has been a major disappointment for Horns fans who hoped that he’d be a conference player of the year candidate. His overall scoring efficiency is up slightly and he’s taking a lot more threes this year as compared to last season. He hasn’t been terrible, but he also hasn’t lived up to the hype.
Stats: 10.1 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.7 APG, and 0.8 SPG in 25 games played (all starts; 29.4 MPG) on 38.1% FG, 30.9% 3P, and 79.2% FT.
Pop Isaacs: Texas Tech
Isaacs is a true freshman who has exceeded all expectations thus far this year. He has missed the last 6 games with an ankle injury but is reportedly nearing his return and should slide right back into the starting lineup once he’s cleared to play. I totally underestimated this guy when evaluating Tech in the preseason, but he has been a solid 3P shooter and secondary ball handler. Among the freshmen in the Big 12, Isaacs is 3rd in scoring behind only the phenoms Gradey Dick (discussed later herein) and Keyonte George (will be discussed in the SF edition of this series). He’s been very good (especially by true freshman standards) and the Red Raiders should be eagerly anticipating his return from injury.
Stats: 11.6 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 2.8 APG, and 1.2 SPG in 19 games played (all starts; 28.8 MPG) on 36.3% FG, 37.0% 3P, and 86.8% FT.
Gradey Dick: Kansas
Dick is a true freshman who was a McDonald’s All-American, a 5-star prospect, and a guy whom everyone expected would only spend a single season in college before heading to the NBA. He has lived up to the hype. He is an elite scorer who can knock down shots from just about any spot on the floor. He’s a long, lanky, off-ball guard who is lethal on catch-and-shoot threes and has also made an impact cutting and finishing near the rim. Dick leads the Big 12 in made three-pointers in addition to being top 10 in the conference in scoring, steals, and win shares (per sports-reference.com).
Gradey Dick went to work last night.— SLAM University (@slam_university) February 15, 2023
Stats: 14.9 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 1.7 APG, and 1.6 SPG in 25 games played (all starts; 32.0 MPG) on 45.7% FG, 42.7% 3P, and 84.5% FT.
John-Michael Wright: Oklahoma State
The senior transfer from High Point, where he was 1st team All-Big South in the past couple of seasons, came in with a reputation as a high-volume scorer who rebounds well for his size and can handle some secondary ball-handling responsibility. This year has not gone the way Wright probably drew it up. He is averaging career lows in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, and efficiency. He is the Cowboys’ best 3P shooter and 4th leading scorer. Still, compared to the standard set by the other highly productive shooting guards in the Big 12, Wright is in the bottom tier of starters at his position in the league.
Stats: 9.8 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.7 APG, and 1.0 SPG in 26 games played (all starts; 28.8 MPG) on 39.7% FG, 38.3% 3P, and 79.5% FT.
Cam Carter: Kansas State
A transfer from Mississippi State, Carter came into this season a bit of a wild card, having not played much in his freshman year in the SEC. The coaching staff has been very high on the talent and intangibles of Carter from the beginning. The results have been underwhelming thus far. Despite starting every game, he is 6th on the team in scoring and has the lowest FG% of any Wildcat on the season. Carter’s biggest impact can be felt on the defensive end, where he hounds opponents on the perimeter.
Stats: 6.2 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.4 APG, and 0.9 SPG in 26 games played (all starts; 26.0 MPG) on 36.3% FG, 33.3% 3P, and 76.0% FT.
Milos Uzan: Oklahoma
Uzan is a true freshman, the top player coming out of Nevada last year. After coming off the bench the first 8 games of the season, Uzan entered the starting lineup and has done fairly well since. As a starter, he’s averaging 8.0 PPG, 3.4 RPG, and 3.2 APG on 46/35/67 splits. He has been a serviceable backcourt companion for Grant Sherfield. He’s 2nd on the team in assists and steals. The offense should develop in time.
Stats: 6.6 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 2.8 APG, and 0.8 SPG in 26 games played (18 starts; 27.2 MPG) on 47.0% FG, 36.0% 3P, and 77.8% FT.
Jaren Holmes: Iowa State
Holmes came into the season with high expectations after his 3 great seasons with St. Bonaventure. Like many transfers in the Big 12, Holmes’s efficiencies have taken a bit of a hit due to the tougher competition he’s facing this season. He is the team’s leading scorer and 2nd leader in assists. His defense has been good and he currently has the 5th highest usage rate in the Big 12.
Stats: 13.6 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 3.3 APG, and 1.1 SPG in 25 games played (all starts; 31.4 MPG) on 40.7% FG, 37.4% 3P, and 67.9% FT.
Mike Miles, Jr.: TCU
The junior guard was picked by the league’s coaches as the preseason player of the year. To say that expectations for Miles were sky-high coming in would be an understatement. So far, he has lived up to the hype. He has missed a decent chunk of time due to injury, but other than that, he’s been phenomenal. His FG% jumped from 38.2% last year to 53.2% now. He’s in the top 10 in the league in scoring, assists, and eFG%. Getting him healthy before the end of the season would be a massive and much-needed boost for a struggling TCU team that has lost 4 straight games.
Mike Miles Jr. led #11 TCU to another win last night.— SLAM University (@slam_university) January 25, 2023
Stats: 18.1 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 3.0 APG, and 1.4 SPG in 18 games played (17 starts; 30.1 MPG) on 53.2% FG, 31.3% 3P, and 73.1% FT.
It should surprise absolutely no one that the starting shooting guards of the best conference in the country are pretty good. Frankly, they are excellent. Five of the top 15 scorers in the conference are on this list. Thankfully for the Bears, Baylor has the best backcourt in America and that includes the electric LJ Cryer who has been really heating up lately. Sic Em!