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NCAA Basketball: Continental Tire Main Event Consolation

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Big XII (MBB) Week 2 Recap and Power Rankings

I will not apologize for the team in the top spot

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Intro

It was certainly an eventful week for the Big XII over the last 7 days. The top teams were tested for the first time. A trio of teams near the bottom of the league continued to struggle. Before we go any further, Baylor is still in the top spot and the Longhorns can pound sand. Baylor is better than UT right now and furthermore, the Bears haven’t even hit full stride yet. Here’s last week’s post. Let’s get to it.

Team of the Week: Texas. The Longhorns only played once this week but once was enough to impress me and likely much of the rest of the nation, dominating a legitimate Top 10 team in Gonzaga.

Player of the Week: LJ Cryer, Baylor. Cryer accumulated across the team’s 3 games this week a total of 67 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals on 56.5% FG and 50.0% 3P, capped off by his career-best game in the win over UCLA in Las Vegas.

1) Baylor Bears (Weekly Record: 2-1)

Game 1: Northern Colorado Bears

Score: BU: 95 UNC Bears: 62

By the Numbers:

+14 in turnover margin.

+8 in rebounding margin (9 offensive rebounds).

Held UNC to 21/56 (37.5%) from the field.

Standouts:

LJ Cryer: 20 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal in 32 minutes on 50.0% FG and 44.4% 3P.

Adam Flagler: 13 points, 2 rebounds, 10 assists, and 3 steals in 27 minutes on 50.0% FG and 42.9% 3P.

Dale Bonner: 12 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 6 steals in 23 minutes off the bench on 83.3% FG and 100.0% FT.

Takeaways:

This offense has so much balance (4 guys scored in double figures).

The defense is starting to put some of the pieces together.

Guys like Lohner, Ojianwuna, Bonner, and George bring great athleticism on both ends.

ODB Recap: Here

Game 2: Virginia Cavaliers

Score: BU: 79 UVA: 86

By the Numbers:

Outscored by 15 from the free throw line.

Allowed UVA to convert 9/14 (64.3%) from deep.

Had a 5+ minute field goal drought in the 2nd half.

Standouts:

Keyonte George: 20 points, 2 assists, and 2 steals in 27 minutes on 40.0% FG, 50.0% 3P, and 100.0% FT.

Adam Flagler: 15 points, 2 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals in 37 minutes on 35.7% FG, 50.0% 3P, and 100.0% FT.

LJ Cryer: 19 points and 4 assists in 31 minutes on 66.7% FG and 60.0% 3P.

Takeaways:

This loss is more about UVA being very good than Baylor being bad.

The rotation shortened considerably, with only 7 Bears getting double digit minutes.

Offensively, the team is still looking for a true alpha.

ODB Recap: Here

Game 3: UCLA Bruins

Score: BU: 80 UCLA: 75

By the Numbers:

Outscored the Bruins by 18 from beyond the arc.

Outscored the Bruins by 7 from the free throw line.

Outside of Flagler and Cryer, the rest of the starting lineup went 2/14 (14.3%) from the field.

Standouts:

LJ Cryer: 28 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals in 35 minutes on 55.6% FG, 50.0% 3P, and 100.0% FT.

Adam Flagler: 22 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal in 32 minutes on 46.7% FG, 50.0% 3P, and 100.0% FT.

Caleb Lohner: 9 points, 5 rebounds, and 1 assist in 22 minutes off the bench on 75.0% FG, 100.0% 3P, and 100.0% FT.

Takeaways:

No defense in America can hold down the duo of Cryer and Flagler for long.

George needs to work on his conditioning.

Ojianwuna appears to have tremendous upside as the backup big.

ODB Recap: Here

What’s Next: McNeese State (11/23)

Outlook

While the Bears didn’t exactly pass their first tests of the season with flying colors, coming up with a split in Vegas, but battling hard against an excellent UVA team and knocking off UCLA is still pretty darned impressive. The offense remains about as good as it gets in college basketball and the scariest part is that they haven’t even come close to playing to their full potential yet. Baylor is going to stay in the top spot at least for now, but the margin between them and the Longhorns has never been smaller.

2) Texas Longhorns (Weekly Record: 1-0)

Game 1: Gonzaga Bulldogs

Score: UT: 93 Gonzaga: 74

By the Numbers:

+10 in turnover margin.

After shooting 7/36 (19.4%) from deep in the first 2 games, the Horns were 13/33 (39.4%) from beyond the arc.

Texas’s highest scoring offensive performance of the Chris Beard Era.

Standouts:

Tyrese Hunter: 26 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal in 26 minutes on 64.3% FG, 62.5% 3P, and 100.0% FT.

Marcus Carr: 16 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, and 1 steal in 37 minutes on 41.7% FG, 44.4% 3P, and 50.0% FT.

Dillon Mitchell: 8 points, 9 rebounds, and 1 steal in 24 minutes on 80.0% FG.

Takeaways:

The Horns flat out wanted the win more than the Zags.

Atmosphere at the new Moody Center looked much more electric than what UT’s had in recent years.

This defense will guard you the entire length of the floor and if they hit shots on offense, you’re in big trouble.

What’s Next: Northern Arizona (11/21) and UT Rio Grande (11/26)

Outlook

The Longhorns remain firmly in the conversation as not only one of the best teams in the Big XII but in the entire nation. Their defense is legit and will cause problems for opponents all year long. If there’s a team that should make Baylor fans lose sleep at night, it’s this one.

3) Kansas Jayhawks (Weekly Record: 2-0)

Game 1: Duke Blue Devils

Score: KU: 69 Duke: 64

By the Numbers:

Assisted on 21/31 (67.7%) made field goals.

The 2 teams were a combined 6/40 (15.0%) on three-pointers.

-10 in rebounding margin (12 offensive rebounds).

Standouts:

Jalen Wilson: 25 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block in 38 minutes on 42.3% FG, 0.0% 3P, and 75.0% FT.

Kevin McCullar, Jr.: 12 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 2 blocks in 30 minutes on 50.0% FG, 50.0% 3P, and 0.0% FT.

Dajuan Harris, Jr.: 6 points, 4 rebounds, 10 assists, and 1 block in 35 minutes on 42.9% FG and 0.0% 3P.

Takeaways:

This team is at its best when it plays small lineups.

Rallied late behind a 15-5 closing run.

Dajuan Harris, Jr. looks like one of the most efficient offensive facilitators in the nation right now.

Game 2: Southern Utah Thunderbirds

Score: KU: 82 SUU: 76

By the Numbers:

Negative in both turnover margin and rebounding margin.

Held SUU to just 28/74 (37.8%) from the field.

Trailed the Thunderbirds with less than 13 minutes remaining.

Standouts:

Jalen Wilson: 33 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal in 34 minutes on 54.5% FG, 50.0% 3P, and 87.5% FT.

Gradey Dick: 18 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block in 29 minutes on 50.0% FG, 66.7% 3P, and 0.0% FT.

Dajuan Harris, Jr.: 14 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals, and 1 block in 36 minutes played on 54.5% FG, 0.0% 3P, and 50.0% FT.

Takeaways:

The lack of depth in this game was glaring. The bench was 2/8 from the field in 37 combined minutes.

Wilson is an absolute star. For Kansas to make serious noise this year, he’ll need to bring it almost every single night.

Kansas looked flat and clearly played down to their opponent.

What’s Next: NC State (11/23) in the Battle 4 Atlantis

Outlook

Kansas certainly cannot be dropped in these rankings after winning both their games this week, including an inspired comeback against a pretty good Duke team. Still, their struggles against Southern Utah may indicate that there’s some real separation between the Jayhawks and the pair of teams ahead of them.

4) Texas Tech Red Raiders (Weekly Record: 1-0)

Game 1: Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

Score: TTU: 64 La Tech: 55

By the Numbers:

Block Rate of 20.8% (!).

+9 in rebounding margin (7 offensive rebounds).

Assisted on 16/23 (69.6%) made field goals.

Standouts:

Devion Harmon: 15 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals, and 2 blocks in 37 minutes on 75.0% FG, 33.3% 3P, and 66.7% FT.

NCAA Basketball: Louisiana Tech at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Batcho: 9 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 blocks (!) in 30 minutes on 50.0% FG and 60.0% FT.

Kevin Obanor: 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 1 assist in 35 minutes on 45.5% FG, 33.3% 3P, and 66.7% FT.

Takeaways:

Harmon could be emerging as the team’s do-it-all star, like Bryson Williams did a season ago.

Coach Adams leaned very heavily on his starters in this one.

Attack this defense in the paint at your own peril.

What’s Next: Creighton (11/21) in the Maui Invitational

Outlook

The Red Raiders remain within striking distance of the top teams in the conference. The defense looks great. They still haven’t faced anyone that they’d brag about a month from now, but that’ll change this week as they go up against potentially some of the best teams in the country.

5) Iowa State Cyclones (Weekly Record: 1-0)

Game 1: Milwaukee Panthers

Score: ISU: 68 Milwaukee: 53

By the Numbers:

+13 in turnover margin.

Led by as much as 24.

Converted just 6/28 (21.4%) 3P attempts.

Standouts:

Jaren Holmes: 19 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals in 36 minutes on 41.2% FG, 50.0% 3P, and 50.0% FT.

Aljaz Kunc: 10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, and 3 blocks in 32 minutes on 40.0% FG and 25.0% 3P.

Caleb Grill: 11 points, 1 rebounds, and 1 steal in 27 minutes 36.4% FG, 12.5% 3P, and 100.0% FT.

Takeaways:

The team needs to work on not letting their foot off the peddle and finishing strong against lesser opponents.

This squad will capitalize on seemingly every mistake their opponents make.

Second-chance opportunities may be propping up an otherwise subpar offense.

What’s Next: Villanova (11/24) in the Phil Knight Invitational

Outlook

The defense is forcing turnovers better than anyone else in the country and the team is also performing at a high level from a rebounding perspective. They’ll need to continue those trends as the level of competition ramps up. Per KenPom they have faced the easiest schedule of any team in America. They’ll be tested for the first time this week.

6) Kansas State Wildcats (Weekly Record: 1-0)

Game 1: Kansas City Roos

Score: KSU: 69 KC: 53

By the Numbers:

+8 in turnover margin.

Held the Roos to just 4/15 (26.7%) from deep.

Led by as much as 20.

Standouts:

Keyontae Johnson: 19 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals in 35 minutes on 66.7% FG%, 40.0% 3P, and 100.0% FT.

Cam Carter: 16 points and 3 rebounds in 35 minutes on 50.0% FG, 57.1% 3P, and 100.0% FT.

Desi Sills: 11 points, 2 rebounds, and 5 assists, in 25 minutes off the bench on 44.4% FG, 0.0% 3P, and 75.0% FT.

Takeaways:

Johnson can and will do just about anything and everything to help this team win.

The defense fueled the win by smothering KC’s guards.

Despite leading from the 15-minute mark of the 1st half on, KSU was never able to fully break open the game.

What’s Next: Rhode Island (11/21) in the Cayman Islands Classic

Outlook

In the early going, the Wildcats’ defense appears to be ahead of their offense. When it comes to offense, most of their scoring comes off good ball movement and selfless passing. Defensively they force a tremendous number of turnovers. Johnson looks like an All-Conference candidate and if he keeps up his production, the Wildcats will continue to win a lot of games.

7) West Virginia Mountaineers (Weekly Record: 2-0)

Game 1: Morehead State Eagles

Score: WVU: 75 Morehead: 57

By the Numbers:

+10 in turnover margin.

Did not take a 5+ point lead until the 1:39 mark of the 1st half.

Converted just 4/17 (23.5%) 3P attempts.

Standouts:

Tre Mitchell: 21 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals in 27 minutes on 80.0% FG, 0.0% 3P, and 100.0% FT.

Jimmy Bell, Jr.: 10 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks in 19 minutes on 75.0% FG and 66.7% FT.

Emmitt Matthews, Jr.: 9 points and 4 rebounds in 30 minutes on 50.0% FG, 33.3% 3P, and 100.0% FT.

Takeaways:

Smothering defense, no surprise.

Very little in the way of reliable perimeter shooting.

A lot of selfless guys on this team.

Game 2: Penn Quakers

Score: WVU: 92 Penn: 58

By the Numbers:

+11 in turnover margin.

Outscored the Quakers by 11 from the free-throw line.

Held Penn to just 21/60 (35.0%) from the field.

Standouts:

Erik Stevenson: 21 points and 1 steal in 16 minutes on 88.9% FG, 100.0% 3P, and 50.0% FT.

NCAA Basketball: Pennsylvania at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Kedrian Johnson: 11 points, 2 rebounds, and 3 assists in 18 minutes on 60.0% FG, 33.3% 3P, and 66.7% FT.

Joe Toussaint: 11 points, 2 rebounds, and 5 assists in 20 minutes on 50.0% FG and 60.0% 3P.

Takeaways:

Carelessness with the ball will kill you against this defense.

A nice bounce-back game from a 3P shooting perspective.

Joe Toussaint remains out of the starting lineup…for some reason.

What’s Next: Purdue (11/24) in the Phil Knight Legacy Tournament

Outlook

The defense has thus far been very good, which isn’t surprising. What is surprising is how effective the offense has been. The Mountaineers have gotten strong contributions from a variety of players early on and it’ll be interesting to see how WVU does against high-level competition this week.

8) Oklahoma Sooners (Weekly Record: 2-0)

Game 1: UNC Wilmington Seahawks

Score: OU: 74 UNCW: 53

By the Numbers:

+9 in rebounding margin (offensive rebound).

Assisted on 19/26 (73.1%) made field goals.

Held UNCW to 2/21 (9.5%) from the field.

Standouts:

Joe Bamisile: 15 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, and 3 blocks in 15 minutes off the bench on 52.5% FG, 60.0% 3P, and 100.0% FT.

Grant Sherfield: 15 points, 3 rebounds, and 6 assists in 31 minutes on 38.5% FG, 28.6% 3P, and 75.0% FT.

NCAA Basketball: NC-Wilmington at Oklahoma Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Tanner Groves: 7 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 block in 25 minutes on 66.7% FG, 50.0% 3P, and 50.0% FT.

Takeaways:

For the first time in the young season, OU looked dominant from the opening tip.

Jalen Hill has been wildly inconsistent from game-to-game.

The guard rotation is starting to figure it out.

Game 2: South Alabama Jaguars

Score: OU: 64 USA: 60

By the Numbers:

Defense held South Alabama scoreless over the final 5:18 of the game.

+16 in rebounding margin (10 offensive rebounds).

Assisted on 16/24 (66.7%) made field goals.

Standouts:

Tanner Groves: 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists in 31 minutes on 75.0% 2P, 0.0% 3P, and 75.0% FT.

Grant Sherfield: 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 8 assists in 37 minutes on 40.0% FG, 100.0% 3P, and 100.0% FT.

Jacob Groves: 9 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, and 1 block in 22 minutes on 57.1% FG and 33.3% 3P.

Takeaways:

After nearly dying by the three (started 2/16 [12.5%]), they were saved by a late three-pointer from Jacob Groves.

This team needs to develop some reliable depth pieces, and fast.

Tanner must learn when to say when. He was 0/10 from deep. At some point, he’s gotta stop shooting those.

What’s Next: Nebraska (11/24) in the ESPN Events Invitational

Outlook

It’s hard to know what exactly to make of the Sooners at this point. The transfer guard, Sherfield, has been superb and is arguably the main reason why the team has won 3 in a row. Still, the offense with turnovers and with 3P shooting. Defensively, they have done a good job limiting their opponents, but the level of competition has yet to really take off. They have a lot questions still in need of answering.

9) Texas Christian Horned Frogs (Weekly Record: 1-1)

Game 1: Northwestern State Demons

Score: TCU: 63 NWST: 64

By the Numbers:

Made just 21/59 (35.6%) field goals including going 2/21 (9.5%) from deep.

Scored just 2 points in the final 4:44 of the game.

Missed 8 free throws.

Standouts:

Micah Peavy: 10 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 block in 27 minutes on 50.0% FG and 0.0% 3P.

Eddie Lampkin: 5 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal in 24 minutes on 33.3% FG and 75.0% FT.

Jakobe Coles: 8 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal in 16 minutes off the bench on 57.1% FG and 0.0% 3P.

Takeaways:

This team NEEDS Mike Miles, Jr. (injured). Without him, they should feel uneasy about virtually every matchup on their schedule.

They blew a 12-point 2nd half lead behind terrible offensive execution.

A strong rebounding game can only do so much to save an otherwise pitiful performance.

Game 2: Louisiana Monroe Warhawks

Score: TCU: 95 ULM: 60

By the Numbers:

+14 in rebounding margin (12 offensive boards).

Assisted on 22/34 (64.7%) made field goals.

Most points scored in a winning effort since 2019.

Standouts:

Emanuel Miller: 16 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks in 23 minutes on 66.7% FG, 100.0% 3P, and 100.0% FT.

JaKobe Coles: 15 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 3 blocks in 22 minutes off the bench on 54.5% FG, 50.0% 3P, and 100.0% FT.

Shahada Wells: 8 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists, and 1 steal in 28 minutes on 50.0% FG and 66.7% 3P.

Takeaways:

For the first time, the Frogs looked like a team that might’ve been deserving of being ranked in the Preseason AP Poll.

The offense displayed good balance and ball movement in the absence of Miles.

This team is capable of bullying less opponents down low.

What’s Next: California (11/25) in the Emerald Coast Classic

Outlook

After barely beating a pair of bad teams in the first week of the season, TCU finally tasted defeat in truly embarrassing fashion, losing to one of the worst teams in Division I basketball. They bounced back nicely against ULM, but time will tell how competitive the Horned Frogs will be a month or 2 from now. They’ll surely look forward to getting starter Damion Baugh (suspension) back before the end of the month. If Mike Miles, Jr. comes back healthy sooner rather than later, they should be fine.

10) Oklahoma State Cowboys (Weekly Record: 1-1)

Game 1: UCF Knights

Score: OSU: 56 UCF: 60

By the Numbers:

Assisted on 13/17 (76.5%) made field goals.

Converted just 2/20 (10.0%) 3P attempts.

Led by as much as 17.

Standouts:

Moussa Cisse: 14 points, 14 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 6 blocks in 34 minutes on 66.7% FG and 50.0% FT.

Kalib Boone: 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists in 14 minutes on 42.9% FG and 100.0% FT.

Avery Anderson III: 12 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block in 42 minutes on 14.3% FG, 0.0% 3P, and 83.3% FT.

Takeaways:

Just like last year, inefficient guard play is haunting this team. The team’s 4 primary guards were 5/33 (15.2%) from the field in 135 combined minutes.

The strength of this team is its starting front court who are big and physical.

Good free-throw shooting is the only reason this one went to OT.

Game 2: DePaul Blue Demons

Score: OSU: 82 DePaul: 78

By the Numbers:

+11 in rebounding margin (14 offensive boards).

Held the Blue Demons to just 22/57 (38.6%) from the field.

Led by as much as 18.

Standouts:

Kalib Boone: 17 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals in 24 minutes on 63.6% FG and 100.0% FT.

Avery Anderson III: 16 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals in 30 minutes on 44.4% FG, 33.3% 3P, and 77.8% FT.

Tyreek Smith: 11 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 block in 18 minutes off the bench on 80.0% FG and 50.0% FT.

Takeaways:

Just as in the UCF loss, OSU doesn’t know how to handle prosperity and finish off teams.

This team doesn’t appear to have any reliable 3P shooters right now.

The starting backcourt had another rough game from an efficiency standpoint. They were 9/32 (28.1%) from the field in 92 combined minutes.

What’s Next: Tulsa (11/25) and Prairie View A&M (11/27)

Outlook

The Pokes now have the most losses in the conference in addition to having some severely underwhelming wins. This backcourt is quite simply not efficient enough for the team to be considered a true contender against high level competition. They’ll win some games behind their strong frontcourt. This week should present 2 winnable games. They need to win both.

Conclusion

NCAA Basketball: Continental Tire Main Event Consolation Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

It is Feast Week which means that every day this week there should be some fantastic matchups around the college basketball landscape. I’d imagine that there could be some significant movement in next week’s power rankings. From me and everyone at Our Daily Bears, I hope you have a happy and safe Thanksgiving that’s full of family, food, and some good shooty hoops.

Stats courtesy of sports-reference.com; kenpom.com; 247sports.com; espn.com; maxreps.com; cbbanalytics.com; and/or shotquality.com.

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