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NCAA Basketball: Arkansas at Baylor

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

It Just Means More to the Big 12

Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

The format for this week’s post is substantially different from what it’s been in recent weeks. If you like it or absolutely hate it, let me know in the comments. If you want to check out last week’s post, it can be found here.

Overview: Home teams went 9-1 on the week. Ranked teams went 5-4 against lower ranked or unranked opponents. The conference went 7-3, winning the final ever Big 12-SEC Challenge.

My Team of the Week: Baylor. The Bears have the longest active winning streak in the conference and have been trending very much in the right direction after their tough start to conference play.

My Player of the Week: Erik Stevenson, West Virginia. Stevenson helped his team to a pair of wins on the week behind his accumulation of 47 points, 16 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals on 45/47/81 splits.

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

Game 1: The Wildcats were defeated by the Iowa State Cyclones 80-76. Telling Stat: ISU outscored the Cats 25-13 in points off turnovers. Standout Player: Markquis Nowell (23 points, 2 rebounds, 9 assists, and 3 steals on 35/80/88 splits).

Game 2: The Wildcats defeated the Florida Gators 64-50. Telling Stat: KSU’s defense held the Gators to just 18-58 (31.0%) from the field. Standout Player: Markquis Nowell (13 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 steals on 44/50/60 splits).

NCAA Basketball: Florida at Kansas State William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Player to Watch: Markquis Nowell, Guard. Last 9 Games: 21 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 8.1 APG, and 2.8 SPG on 44/44/88 splits.

Stat to Know: The Wildcats lead the Big 12 in eFG% in conference play.

What’s Next: Kansas (1/31) and Texas (2/4)

Outlook

The Wildcats fell out of 1st place in the conference standings by virtue of their loss last week to Iowa State. Still, the Cats bounced back nicely against Florida and are still in a great position to continue competing near the top of the conference. Nowell and Johnson remain among the best duos in college basketball.

2) Baylor Bears (Weekly Record: 2-0)

Game 1: The Bears defeated the Kansas Jayhawks 75-69. Telling Stat: BU outscored KU 16-4 in second-chance points. Standout Player: LJ Cryer (22 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists on 50/45/50 splits).

Game 2: The Bears defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks 67-64. Telling Stat: BU outscored the Razorbacks by 15 points from the free-throw line. Standout Player: Keyonte George (24 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal on 40/40/100 splits).

Player to Watch: LJ Cryer, Guard. Last 6 Games: 15.8 PPG, 2.0 RPG, and 1.7 APG on 50/55/79 splits.

Stat to Know: Baylor’s offense has the lowest Turnover Rate in the Big 12 in conference play (per KenPom).

What’s Next: Texas (1/30) and Texas Tech (2/4)

Outlook

Despite boasting the longest active winning streak in the conference, the Bears’ last few wins have been anything but pretty. The team has shot just 35.8% from the field over their last 3 games but has stepped up their level of play big time on the defensive end. This offense will not struggle for long and once the shots start falling again, this team should be as dangerous as any in the conference or the country.

3) TCU Horned Frogs (Weekly Record: 1-1)

Game 1: The Horned Frogs defeated the Oklahoma Sooners 79-52. Telling Stat: The Frogs outscored OU 25-8 in fastbreak points. Standout Player: Mike Miles, Jr. (23 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals on 67/50/100 splits).

Game 2: TCU was defeated in overtime by the Mississippi State Bulldogs 81-74. Telling Stat: The Frogs’ star, Mike Miles, Jr. left with a knee injury early in the game and was unable to return (Eddie Lampkin also did not play). Standout Player: Damion Baugh (19 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists on 35/22/71 splits).

Player to Watch: Damion Baugh, Guard. Last 7 Games: 13.3 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 4.9 APG, and 1.4 SPG on 43/30/73 splits.

Stat to Know: TCU is 2nd the Big 12 in average margin of victory in league play.

What’s Next: West Virginia (1/31) and Oklahoma State (2/4)

Outlook

Despite the loss on Saturday in OT, TCU has been crushing it in their last couple of conference games (beating KU and OU by a combined 50 points). The ongoing availability (or lack thereof) of Mike Miles, Jr. and Eddie Lampkin will go a long way toward determining if TCU can hang around near the top of the conference or if they’ll see some of their flaws start to catch up to them.

4) Iowa State Cyclones (Weekly Record: 1-1)

Game 1: Iowa State defeated the Kansas State Wildcats 80-76. Telling Stat: The Cyclones outscored KSU 17-7 in second-chance points. Standout Player: Jaren Holmes (23 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block on 72/67/83 splits).

Game 2: The Cyclones were defeated by the Missouri Tigers 78-61. Telling Stat: The Tigers outscored ISU by 24 points from beyond the arc. Standout Player: Jaren Holmes (19 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal on 50/50/25 splits).

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Player to Watch: Jaren Holmes, Guard. Last 4 Games: 17.8 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 4.5 APG, and 0.8 SPG on 49/43/72 splits.

Stat to Know: The Cyclones lead the Big 12 in turnover margin in conference play.

What’s Next: Texas Tech (1/30) and Kansas (2/4)

Outlook

The Cyclones currently sit in the top spot in the conference standings (they presently own the head-to-head tiebreakers over both the Wildcats and the Longhorns with whom they are tied). Their win over KSU last week was impressive. Still, they got spanked by an unranked Missouri team over the weekend and the uncertain health status of star guard, Caleb Grill, casts serious doubt on the ability of ISU to stay in the top spot for much longer.

5) Texas Longhorns (Weekly Record: 1-1)

Game 1: The Longhorns defeated the Oklahoma State Cowboys 89-75. Telling Stat: The Longhorns outscored OSU 16-4 in second-chance points. Standout Player: Marcus Carr (21 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals on 63/100/71 splits).

Game 2: Texas was defeated by the Tennessee Volunteers 81-71. Telling Stat: The Vols outscored UT 40-28 in the paint. Standout Player: Sir’Jabari Rice (21 points and 1 assist on 50/33/50 splits).

NCAA Basketball: Texas at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Player to Watch: Sir’Jabari Rice, Guard. Last 6 Games: 12.8 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.5 APG, and 0.8 SPG on 44/33/79 splits.

Stat to Know: Texas gives up more three-pointers than any other team in the Big 12 since the start of league play.

What’s Next: Baylor (1/30) and Kansas State (2/4)

Outlook

The Horns have won 5 of their last 6 conference games. They are tied for 1st place in the league standings. The next 8 days will go a long way in determining the course of the rest of the season for Texas. As of now, they are middle-of-the-pack in many statistical areas but have the talent to play better going forward.

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

Game 1: The Jayhawks were defeated by the Baylor Bears 75-69. Telling Stat: The Jayhawks were outscored 19-8 in points on turnovers. Standout Player: Jalen Wilson (23 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 block on 63/43/NA splits).

Game 2: Kansas defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 77-68. Telling Stat: The Jayhawks outscored UK 11-0 in second-chance points. Standout Player: Jalen Wilson (22 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals on 50/67/100 splits).

Player to Watch: KJ Adams, Jr., Center. Last 6 Games: 13.2 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 0.7 SPG, and 0.8 BPG on 61/NA/70 splits.

Stat to Know: Kansas is 2nd in the Big 12 in rebounding in conference play.

What’s Next: Kansas State (1/31) and Iowa State (2/4)

Outlook

The Jayhawks avoided a 4-game losing streak by winning on Saturday. They still need to end the conference losing streak. KU is in a great position to climb back up the standings (and the rankings) after struggling mightily over their last week and change of play. They’ll continue to rely on their star duo of Wilson and Dick.

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

Game 1: The Mountaineers defeated Texas Tech Red Raiders 76-61. Telling Stat: WVU outscored Tech by 21 points from deep. Standout Player: Joe Toussaint (22 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 steals on 44/33/86 splits).

Game 2: West Virginia defeated the Auburn Tigers 80-77. Telling Stat: The Mountaineers were outscored by 13 points in the 2nd half. Standout Player: Erik Stevenson (31 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal on 59/70/80 splits).

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

Player to Watch: Joe Toussaint, Guard. Last 6 Games: 12.5 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 1.8 APG, and 1.3 SPG on 41/33/71 splits.

Stat to Know: WVU ranks 9th in the Big 12 in Assist-to-Turnover Ratio since the start of conference play.

What’s Next: TCU (1/31) and Oklahoma (2/4)

Outlook

The Mountaineers have won 2 of their last 3 conference games after starting league play 0-5. Their defense is far from where Bob Huggins wants it to be. That said, if Stevenson can stay hot, they’ll continue to be competitive pretty much every night going forward.

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

Game 1: The Cowboys lost to the Texas Longhorns 89-75. Telling Stat: The Pokes were outscored 20-11 in points off turnovers. Standout Player: Kalib Boone (18 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 blocks on 89/NA/100 splits).

Game 2: OSU defeated the Ole Miss Rebels 82-60. Telling Stat: The Pokes outscored the Rebels by 13 points from the free-throw line. Standout Player: Kalib Boone (18 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 block on 100/NA/75 splits).

Player to Watch: Kalib Boone, Forward. Last 7 Games: 15.9 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 2.4 BPG on 68/NA/81 splits.

Stat to Know: The Cowboys’ defense has held opponents to the lowest team FG% of any Big 12 defense in conference play.

What’s Next: Oklahoma (2/1) and TCU (2/4)

Outlook

The Pokes have seemingly been treading water lately in conference play. They are 3-1 at home and 0-4 on the road since the start of the Big 12 slate. If they cannot find a way to win some games away from home, they’ll likely do well to just stay on the bubble as Selection Sunday starts to draw near.

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

Game 1: The Sooners were defeated by the TCU Horned Frogs 79-52. Telling Stat: The Sooners were outscored 16-2 by TCU in points off turnovers. Standout Player: Sam Godwin (9 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, and 4 blocks on 50/NA/100 splits).

Game 2: Oklahoma defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide 93-69. Telling Stat: The Sooners shot 57% from the field while holding the Tide to just 38% from the floor. Standout Player: Grant Sherfield (30 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, and 1 steal on 55/80/100 splits).

Syndication: The Oklahoman NATHAN J. FISH/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY NETWORK

Player to Watch: Grant Sherfield, Guard. Last 6 Games: 17.5 PPG, 2.3 RPG, and 3.0 APG on 42/36/85 splits.

Stat to Know: Oklahoma is the worst offensive rebounding team in the Big 12 in conference play.

What’s Next: Oklahoma State (2/1) and West Virginia (2/4)

Outlook

The Sooners absolutely shocked a lot of people on Saturday. They entered that game on a 3-game losing streak, going up against the No. 2 ranked team in America. They were expected by many to get blown out of the water. Instead they were the ones who sent a message to the rest of the nation that perhaps they are not ready to go quietly into the night. They showed a tremendous amount of pride and fight on Saturday. If they can carry that into the rest of Big 12 play, they could find themselves on the right side of the bubble in March.

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

Game 1: Tech was defeated by the West Virginia Mountaineers 76-61. Telling Stat: Despite leading by as many as 10 points, the Raiders shot just 36% from the field in the 2nd half. Standout Player: Kevin Obanor (20 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals on 54/17/100 splits).

Game 2: The Red Raiders defeated the LSU Tigers 76-68. Telling Stat: Tech’s defense held LSU to just 37% from the field in the game. Standout Player: Kevin Obanor (22 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 block on 53/50/60 splits).

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Louisiana State Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

Player to Watch: Kevin Obanor, Forward. Last 3 Games: 17.0 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 1.0 APG, and 1.0 SPG on 48/28/53 splits.

Stat to Know: Texas Tech is the worst 3P shooting team in the Big 12 in conference play.

What’s Next: Iowa State (1/30) and Baylor (2/4)

Outlook

The Red Raiders may have the tiniest sliver of hope after beating LSU and ending their 8-game losing streak on Saturday. They still need to get into the win column in conference play and that won’t be easy to do. If Obanor keeps playing well, it should give Tech a chance to compete, but they are in a crucial stretch right now.

Conclusion

We’re done with the non-conference stuff until March Madness. We’ll cross the midway point of conference play this week. 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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