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NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Iowa State

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Big 12 Men’s Basketball Week 8 Recap and Power Rankings

The gloves have come off

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

I mentioned in last week’s post that going forward, these posts would look different. For the rest of the season, the posts will be divided into 2 parts: recap and power rankings.

Big 12 play is underway and every team wants to start strong and position themselves to compete in America’s toughest basketball conference.

Recap

Overview: The conference went 4-0 against its final non-conference foes before the end of the calendar year. Saturday saw all 10 teams open conference play. Home teams won 4/5 games and there were 3 games either decided in OT or by fewer than 5 points.

My Team of the Week: TCU. The Horned Frogs won both games on the week including a much needed comeback win over rival, Texas Tech.

My Player of the Week: Marcus Carr, Texas. He helped his team to a pair of wins behind his accumulation of 54 points, 2 rebounds, 6 assists, and 6 steals on 55/67/89 splits.

The Texas Longhorns defeated the Texas A&M Commerce Lions (KenPom: 298) 97-72

By the Numbers

  • Texas was +13 in rebounding margin (only 4 offensive boards allowed)
  • Texas was +6 in turnover margin (only 10 giveaways)
  • Texas assisted on 28/37 (75.7%) made field goals

Standouts

Marcus Carr (UT): 41 points, 1 rebound, 4 assists, and 2 steals in 30 minutes on 13/19 (68.4%) FG, 10/15 (66.7%) 3P, and 5/6 (83.3%) FT

Dillon Mitchell (UT): 16 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 block in 27 minutes on 8/9 (88.9%) FG

Timmy Allen (UT): 8 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, and 1 steal in 29 minutes on 3/7 (42.9%) FG, 0/1 (0.0%) 3P, and 2/3 (66.7%) FT

Takeaways

  1. If this Marcus Carr (UT) shows up, I’m not sure what an opposing defense is even supposed to do to try to slow him down
  2. Dillon Mitchell (UT) is starting to put the pieces together
  3. The Longhorns’ offense has flourished over their last few games

The Texas Tech Red Raiders defeated the South Carolina State Bulldogs (KenPom: 342) 110-71

By the Numbers

  • Tech was +17 in rebounding margin (11 offensive boards)
  • Tech outscored SCST by 30 points from deep
  • Tech held SCST to 27/67 (40.3%) from the field

Standouts

Kevin Obanor (TTU): 24 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal in 24 minutes on 6/10 (60.0%) FG, 5/8 (62.5%) 3P, and 7/8 (87.5%) FT

Daniel Batcho (TTU): 17 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, and 1 block in 23 minutes on 6/6 (100.0%) FG and 5/11 (45.5%) FT

De’Vion Harmon (TTU): 14 points, 1 rebound, 7 assists, and 1 steal in 26 minutes on 6/9 (66.7%) FG, 0/2 (0.0%) 3P, and 2/4 (50.0%) FT

NCAA Basketball: South Carolina State at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Takeaways

  1. Tech’s offense remains as hot as any in their program’s history, scoring in triple digits in a 3rd consecutive game
  2. The Raiders dominated the paint and capitalized on turnovers
  3. Everyone got theirs for Tech, with all 5 starters scoring in double figures

The Baylor Bears defeated the Nicholls State Colonels (KenPom: 226) 85-56

By the Numbers

  • Baylor was +11 in rebounding margin (13 offensive boards)
  • Baylor held Nicholls to 23/62 (37.1%) from the field
  • Baylor assisted on 19/25 (76.0%) made field goals

Standouts

Keyonte George (BU): 21 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals in 32 minutes on 5/13 (38.5%) FG, 4/6 (66.7%) 3P, and 7/8 (87.5%) FT

Adam Flagler (BU): 20 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals in 29 minutes on 7/17 (41.2%) FG, 4/9 (44.4%) 3P, and 2/4 (50.0%) FT

Joshua Ojianwuna (BU): 11 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 3 blocks in 20 minutes off the bench on 4/7 (57.1%) FG and 3/4 (75.0%) FT

Takeaways

  1. In the absence of LJ Cryer (concussion protocol), Baylor’s backcourt still carried the day
  2. Langston Love (BU) is developing his confidence on the offensive end
  3. The Bears look like they are starting to tighten the screws defensively

The TCU Horned Frogs defeated the Central Arkansas Bears (KenPom: 331) 103-57

By the Numbers

  • TCU was +11 in rebounding margin (14 offensive boards)
  • TCU was +11 in turnover margin (21 takeaways)
  • TCU held UCA to 20/69 (29.0%) from the field

Standouts

Emanuel Miller (TCU): 20 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks in 25 minutes on 9/15 (60.0%) FG and 2/2 (100.0%) FT

NCAA Basketball: Central Arkansas at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Miles, Jr. (TCU): 21 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1 steal in 21 minutes on 5/8 (62.5%) FG, 0/2 (0.0%) 3P, and 11/13 (84.6%) FT

Damion Baugh (TCU): 13 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 steals in 27 minutes on 6/10 (60.0%) FG and 1/4 (25.0%) 3P

Takeaways

  1. Frogs dominated every facet of the game
  2. TCU’s offense is absolutely rolling right now
  3. Without Micah Peavy (lower-body injury), TCU leaned heavily on Miller, who delivered nicely

The TCU Horned Frogs defeated the Texas Tech Red Raiders 67-61

By the Numbers

  • TCU was +8 in turnover margin (23 takeaways)
  • TCU outscored Tech by 6 points from the free-throw line
  • TCU closed the game on a 23-9 run over the final 11 minutes

Standouts

Mike Miles, Jr. (TCU): 23 points, 3 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block in 33 minutes on 7/12 (58.3%) FG, 1/4 (25.0%) 3P, and 8/10 (80.0%) FT

Damion Baugh (TCU): 14 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals in 37 minutes on 6/13 (46.2%) FG, 0/2 (0.0%) 3P, and 2/2 (100.0%) FT

Emanuel Miller (TCU): 16 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, and 1 block in 33 minutes on 7/14 (50.0%) FG, 1/3 (33.3%) 3P, and 1/2 (50.0%) FT

De’Vion Harmon (TTU): 13 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 5 steals in 30 minutes on 4/14 (28.6%) FG, 2/6 (33.3%) 3P, and 3/6 (50.0%) FT

Takeaways

  1. Tech’s defense disappeared in the final quarter of the game
  2. After TCU came out swinging to start each half and eventually broke through for good
  3. The Raiders blew an 11-point halftime lead because of turnovers and poor free-throw shooting

The Iowa State Cyclones defeated the Baylor Bears 77-62

By the Numbers

  • Iowa State was +4 in turnover margin (19 takeaways)
  • The Cyclones outscored the Bears by 15 points from the 3P-line
  • Iowa State held Baylor to 20/53 (37.7%) from the field

Standouts

Gabe Kalscheur (ISU): 23 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, and 3 steals in 36 minutes on 7/13 (53.8%) FG, 5/9 (55.6%) 3P, and 4/5 (80.0%) FT

Caleb Grill (ISU): 18 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal in 37 minutes on 5/9 (55.6%) FG, 5/9 (55.6%) 3P, and 3/5 (60.0%) FT

Adam Flagler (BU): 20 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists in 35 minutes on 6/13 (46.2%) FG, 3/7 (42.9%) 3P, and 5/6 (83.3%) FT

Keyonte George (BU): 16 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist in 33 minutes on 5/18 (27.8%) FG, 2/9 (22.2%) 3P, and 4/5 (80.0%) FT

Takeaways

  1. Iowa State was the tougher and harder-working team
  2. The Cyclones 2nd half defensive adjustments completely neutralized Flagler’s impact
  3. Baylor needs to improve considerably on both ends of the floor to compete in this league this year

The Kansas Jayhawks defeated the Oklahoma State Cowboys 69-67

By the Numbers

  • Kansas trailed by as many as 15 points
  • KU had its best 3P shooting game of the season, going 11/23 (47.8%) from deep
  • Oklahoma State had 22 points off turnovers (compared to just 7 for KU)

Standouts

Jalen Wilson (KU): 20 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 block in 36 minutes on 7/17 (41.2%) FG, 3/8 (37.5%) 3P, and 3/5 (60.0%) FT

Dajuan Harris, Jr. (KU): 6 points, 3 rebounds, 9 assists, and 1 steal in 33 minutes on 2/6 (33.3%) FG and 2/2 (100.0%) 3P

Bryce Thompson (OSU): 23 points, 1 rebound, and 1 assist in 29 minutes on 7/13 (53.8%) FG, 7/10 (70.0%) 3P, and 2/2 (100.0%) FT

John Michael-Wright (OSU): 19 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal in 33 minutes on 6/15 (40.0%) FG, 4/9 (44.4%) 3P, and 3/4 (75.0%) FT

Takeaways

  1. The Jayhawks never got discouraged by the deficit and kept chipping away to get it closer
  2. Oklahoma State didn’t quit even after blowing the big lead, the fought to the bitter end
  3. KU’s defense and homecourt advantage showed up in the final few defensive possessions of the game

The Texas Longhorns defeated the Oklahoma Sooners 70-69

By the Numbers

  • Texas was +4 in turnover margin (just 11 giveaways)
  • The Horns outscored the Sooners by 7 points from the free-throw line
  • OU had a 7+ minutes field goal drought in the 2nd half

Standouts

Timmy Allen (UT): 13 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals in 33 minutes on 6/15 (40.0%) FG and 1/2 (50.0%) 3P

Sir’Jabari Rice (UT): 11 points and 7 rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench on 2/7 (28.6%) FG, 0/3 (0.0%) 3P, and 7/7 (100.0%) FT

Grant Sherfield (OU): 22 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal in 36 minutes on 9/19 (47.4%) FG, 1/7 (14.3%) 3P, and 3/4 (75.0%) FT

Jacob Groves (OU): 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals in 34 minutes on 6/13 (46.2%) FG and 5/9 (55.6%) 3P

Takeaways

  1. Rice’s (UT) 2nd half performance and late-game free-throw shooting made all the difference for Texas
  2. The Longhorns had superior depth, outscoring OU 27-5 in bench points
  3. Texas was the more effective team, attacking the rim

The Kansas State Wildcats defeated the West Virginia Mountaineers in overtime 82-76

By the Numbers

  • KSU was +9 in turnover margin (20 takeaways)
  • West Virginia was +14 in rebounding margin (21 offensive boards)
  • WVU opened the game on a 17-3 run over the first 8 minutes of the game

Standouts

Markquis Nowell (KSU): 23 points, 3 rebounds, 10 assists, and 7 steals in 43 minutes on 6/14 (42.9%) FG, 1/5 (20.0%) 3P, and 10/13 (76.9%) FT

Twitter: @KStateMBB

Keyontae Johnson (KSU): 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists in 34 minutes on 6/13 (46.2%) FG, 0/3 (0.0%) 3P, and 6/9 (66.7%) FT

Abayomi Iyiola (KSU): 14 points, 8 rebounds, and 1 block in 22 minutes on 6/7 (85.7%) FG and 2/2 (100.0%) FT

Tre Mitchell (WVU): 16 points, 13 rebounds, and 2 assists in 41 minutes on 5/12 (41.7%) FG, 2/4 (50.0%) 3P, and 4/4 (100.0%) FT

Takeaways

  1. The game could not have started worse for the Wildcats who could not score, rebound, or defend the paint in the early going
  2. Iyiola (KSU) got the Cats going eventually in his first career start, playing for the injured starting center
  3. As good as Johnson has been, Nowell is the straw that stirs the drink in Manhattan

Power Rankings

1) Kansas Jayhawks (Weekly Record: 1-0)

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma State at Kansas Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Player to Watch: Kevin McCullar, Forward. Last 5 Games: 14.0 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 1.6 APG, 3.8 SPG, and 0.8 BPG on 51/38/91 splits

Stat to Know: The Jayhawks are 3rd in the Big 12 in fastbreak points per game, averaging 14.6 points in transition per contest (good for 33rd nationally)

What’s Next: Texas Tech (1/3) and West Virginia (1/7)

Outlook: The Jayhawks have now won 32 consecutive conference openers and 14 straight home games. They’ve also won back-to-back games when trailing by 15 points at halftime (the last one being against UNC in the national title game). It wasn’t the most impressive win for Kansas but great teams find a way to win games like that.

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

Syndication: The Oklahoman BRYAN TERRY/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY NETWORK

Player to Watch: Marcus Carr, Guard. Last 5 Games: 23.2 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 3.6 APG, and 1.8 SPG on 54/62/84 splits

Stat to Know: The Horns lead the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.58 (good for 11th nationally)

What’s Next: KSU (1/3) and OSU (1/7)

Outlook: The Longhorns are very balanced and talented. They are not, however, unbeatable. Oklahoma showed some of the weaknesses of this Texas team. Still, concerns over the quality of coaching may have been quieted somewhat on Saturday. Poorly coached teams lose that game, especially on the road. Texas is going to be a tough matchup for everyone in the conference this year.

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

Player to Watch: Nae’Qwan Tomlin, Forward. Last 6 Games: 15.5 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 2.0 SPG, and 1.0 BPG on 55/38/57 splits

Stat to Know: The Wildcats lead all Big 12 teams in assists per game at 18.5 (good for 9th nationally)

What’s Next: Texas (1/3) and Baylor (1/7)

Outlook: The Wildcats keep it rolling. They displayed tremendous toughness and mental fortitude, shaking off a miserable start against a good WVU team. I firmly believe that virtually everyone is still underrating this squad that has a defense capable of forcing a lot of turnovers and an offense powered by a pair of explosive star players (Nowell and Johnson).

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

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Player to Watch: Keyonte George, Guard. Last 6 Games: 17.0 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 3.0 APG, and 1.2 SPG on 36/35/86 splits

Stat to Know: Baylor makes more three-pointers than anyone in the Big 12, averaging 9.5 per game (good for 27th nationally)

What’s Next: TCU (1/4) and KSU (1/7)

Outlook: The bad news is that the Bears have not lived up to the hype or preseason expectations thus far. They have been lacking in focus and effort in a few games and are making a lot of mental mistakes right now. They aren’t healthy and need to improve if they want to compete in the conference and make noise in March. The good news is that they are as talented as anyone in the conference and should, as most young teams do, get better as the season goes along. I’m not completely hitting the panic button just yet.

5) TCU Horned Frogs (Weekly Record: 2-0)

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Player to Watch: Emanuel Miller, Forward. Last 3 Games: 19.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.7 SPG, and 1.3 BPG on 58/60/57 splits

Stat to Know: TCU leads all Big 12 teams this season in offensive rebounds per game, averaging 13.4 per contest (good for 20th nationally)

What’s Next: Baylor (1/4) and Iowa State (1/7)

Outlook: The Frogs pulled one out against a tough Tech team on Saturday. Still, they trailed for about 75% of that game. Their defense came up big and their star trio of Miles, Baugh, and Miller are playing great ball right now. They’ve won 10 in a row and are now 3-1 in games decided by 6 or fewer points.

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

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Player to Watch: Gabe Kalscheur, Guard. Last 4 Games: 15.3 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 2.3 APG, and 2.8 SPG on 49/37/83 splits

Stat to Know: The Cyclones force more turnovers per game than anyone in the Big 12, creating 20.8 takeaways per contest (good for 2nd nationally)

What’s Next: Oklahoma (1/4) and TCU (1/7)

Outlook: The Cyclones are as good as it gets defensively in this league. They turn you over and take advantage on the other end. Their offense has looked much improved in the 3 games since their embarrassing loss to Iowa. If Kalscheur, Grill, and Holmes can find some consistency on that end of the floor, they’ll be one of the more dangerous teams in the conference.

7) Texas Tech Red Raiders (Weekly Record: 1-1)

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Player to Watch: De’Vion Harmon, Guard. Last 5 Games: 15.6 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 4.4 APG, and 2.8

Stat to Know: The Red Raiders lead all Big 12 teams in free-throw attempts per game at 23.1 (good for 25th nationally)

What’s Next: Kansas (1/3) and Oklahoma (1/7)

Outlook: The Raiders are excellent on the defensive end, as they have been all season. The offense remains a little bit of a question mark. They turn it over too much. That’s been a concern the entire season and cost them the TCU game on Saturday. Harmon is playing well but he, Isaacs, and Tyson are pretty streaky and not consistent enough. They also will need Obanor to play much better than he did against the Frogs.

8) West Virginia Mountaineers (Weekly Record: 0-1)

Twitter: @WVUhoops

Player to Watch: Tre Mitchell, Center. Last 8 Games: 14.4 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 2.4 APG, and 0.6 SPG on 51/38/88 splits

Stat to Know: The Mountaineers are tied with Tech for the lead among Big 12 teams in made free-throws at 213 on the season (good for 24th nationally)

What’s Next: OSU (1/2) and Kansas (1/7)

Outlook: The Mountaineers are a good team, but I remain unconvinced that they are a great one. They’ll likely be highly competitive in the Big 12 this year but this is not a championship-caliber defense. Further, I don’t trust their guard play nearly as much as I do the teams ahead of them in these power rankings.

9) Oklahoma Sooners (Weekly Record: 0-1)

Syndication: The Oklahoman BRYAN TERRY/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY NETWORK

Player to Watch: Grant Sherfield, Guard. Last 6 Games: 21.5 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 2.3 APG, and 1.0 SPG on 53/58/84 splits

Stat to Know: The Sooners have the best team eFG% among Big 12 teams at 57.3% (good for 9th nationally)

What’s Next: Iowa State (1/4) and Texas Tech (1/7)

Outlook: It took some time but the offense is alive in Norman. In their first 5 games of the season, they averaged 64.8 PPG on 46.8% FG. In their last 8 games, they are averaging 71.6 PPG on 52.4% FG. Don’t be deceived by the fact that they score the fewest points in the conference, they are now among the more efficient offenses in the league. They just so happen to run the slowest offense in the conference and one of the slowest tempos in the nation. The lingering concern is the lack of depth and relatively high turnover rate. They are close though and will likely win a good share of games in conference play this season.

10) Oklahoma State Cowboys (Weekly Record: 0-1)

NCAA Basketball: Texas A&M CC at Oklahoma State Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Player to Watch: Bryce Thompson, Guard. Last 5 Games: 15.2 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 3.8 APG, and 0.8 SPG on 44/54/67 splits

Stat to Know: The Cowboys lead the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense, allowing opponents to make just 36.8% of shots from the field (good for 9th nationally)

What’s Next: West Virginia (1/2) and Texas (1/7)

Outlook: The Pokes remain one of the better defensive teams in the conference. Their stingy D nearly helped them pull off the upset in Lawrence on Saturday. Their offense came up short though, shooting just 7/25 (28.0%) from the field in the 2nd half. If Avery Anderson III can only manage 2 points in 32 minutes of playing time, it could be a very long season for Oklahoma State.

Conclusion

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

A Sugar Bowl win for the football team aside, 2022 certainly wasn’t the year for the Bears that 2021 was. It had some ups and downs, but probably more downs than ups. Thank goodness that the calendar has now flipped, and the Baylor Men’s Basketball team can write its own story in 2023. There’s a lot of basketball left to be played and I continue to believe that this team has the potential to do great things this year. Buckle up because things are only going to get crazier as we go along. Have a great week everyone. Sic Em!

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

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