Big 12 Power Rankings: Week FivePosted by KoryCarpenter on December 10th, 2012
Kansas State jumps into the third spot in this week’s ranking and the top three teams remain at one loss for the year. Texas continues its free fall without Myck Kabongo, the middle of the pack teams played like middle of the pack teams this week, and Texas Tech and TCU are still looking up at the rest of the Big 12 from a deep, deep hole.
1) Kansas (7-1, 0-0)
Previous Ranking: 1
Last Week: W 90-54 vs. Colorado
This Week: Saturday vs. Belmont, 6:00 PM CST
- Rundown: The loss to Michigan State is getting further into the rear view as the Jayhawks have now won six in a row. They struggled 10 days ago against Oregon State but a week of practice seemed to help, and they ran Colorado out of the gym Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse. Finals are over this week, and these next few weeks of winter break are usually when Bill Self implements most of his offense and prepares his teams for their annual Big 12 title runs.
- They Could Use Help From: Freshman F Perry Ellis: Ellis is averaging 5.9 PPG and 3.6 RPG. He’s only a true freshman and expectations aren’t high this season, but another reliable scorer next to Jeff Withey would be a boost for a Kansas offense that has struggled at times.
2) Oklahoma State (7-1, 0-0)
Previous Ranking: 2
Last Week: W 61-49 vs. South Florida, W 62-42 vs. Missouri State
This Week: Sunday vs. Central Arkansas, 3:00 PM
- Rundown: Oklahoma State rebounded from its loss to Virginia Tech to beat South Florida and Missouri State last week, but the loss to the Hokies is a bit of a head-scratcher. Junior guard Markel Brown continues to impress, though, averaging 14.0 PPG and 4.9 RPG. The Cowboys should clean up with their next three games: Central Arkansas, Texas-San Antonio, and Tennessee Tech.
- They Could Use Help From: Senior G Jean-Paul Olukemi: With the additions of Le’Bryan Nash and Marcus Smart the last two seasons, it’s not shocking that Olukemi’s offensive numbers have dipped. But he’s capable of scoring at a better clip, and the Cowboy offense (158th in the country with 69.4 PPG) could certainly benefit from.
Last Week: W 65-62 vs. George Washington
This Week: Saturday vs. Gonzaga, 8:00 PM
- Rundown: The Wildcats could legitimately be anywhere from third to sixth on this list. Yes, they’re 7-1 on the year. They also haven’t beaten anybody worth a lick this season. Their 44.4 RPG should keep them in a number of games this season, but the offense is unreliable at best. Scores in the 60s against teams like Delaware and George Washington won’t translate well to the Big 12, no matter how down the conference is right now.
- They Could Use Help From: Senior F Jordan Henriquez: The senior looked to be on pace for about 10 PPG this season. Not only is he not at 10 PPG, he hasn’t scored double figures yet this season, and finished with a single bucket in 16 minutes in last week’s win over George Washington.
4) Baylor (5-3, 0-0)
Previous Ranking: 3
Last Week: L 74-70 at Northwestern
This Week: Wednesday vs. Lamar, 8:30 PM
- Rundown: Baylor’s season may have been summed up last week perfectly. Three days after ending Kentucky’s home court winning streak, the Bears turned around and lost to Northwestern at home. There’s too much talent on the roster for losses like that.
- The Could Use Help From: Senior G A.J. Walton: Point guard Pierre Jackson is one of the best players in the conference, but he needs help on the perimeter. Walton has the talent and experience to do that, but he’s averaging only 6.8 PPG.
5) Iowa State (7-3, 0-0)
Previous Ranking: 6
Last Week: W 83-72 vs. Florida Gulf Coast, L 80-71 at Iowa, W 93-65 vs. Nebraska-Omaha
This Week: Saturday vs. Drake (in Des Moines), 4:00 PM
- Rundown: The scoring (82.4 PPG) and rebounding (44.5 RPG) rank better than almost any team in the country, but the Cyclone defense has struggled at times this season. They’ve given up an average of 80 points in their losses to Cincinnati, UNLV, and Iowa.
- They Could Use Help From: Senior G Chris Babb: Babb was one of the returning guards who was supposed to help ease the transition from Royce White to another class of transfers. His scoring is roughly the same as last season (7.8 PPG to 8.1 PPG) but his rebounding has dropped from 4.1 RPG to 2.6 RPG.
6) Oklahoma (6-2, 0-0)
Previous Ranking: 7
Last Week: L at Arkansas, 81-78
This Week: Saturday vs. Texas A&M, 1:00 PM
- Rundown: Other than beating a bad West Virginia team, the Sooners have beaten five patsies with losses to Gonzaga and Arkansas. Saturday’s game against Texas A&M will give us a better read on Lon Kruger’s team.
- They Could Use Help From: Senior G Sam Grooms: Grooms played nearly 32 MPG last season while averaging 6.7 PPG. His minutes have decreased significantly this season (17.1 MPG) and his offensive numbers reflect that, as he’s averaging just 2.3 PPG.
7) West Virginia (4-3, 0-0)
Previous Ranking: 8
Last Week: W 69-59 vs. Marshall, W 68-67 vs. Virginia Tech
This Week: Tuesday at Duquesne, 6:00 PM, Saturday vs. Michigan, 7:00 PM
- The Rundown: The Mountaineers need to keep winning if they want a chance at another NCAA Tournament invite. If they can go 4-1 before starting conference play (can’t expect them to beat No.3 Michigan) and beat Purdue on January 19, 11 conference wins would give them 20 on the season and put them in a good spot to go dancing.
- They Could Use Help From: Junior C Aaric Murray: Yes, Murray is averaging 10.4 PPG and 7.4 RPG, and yes, this is his first season against regular power conference competition after transferring from La Salle. But he was one of the main reasons the Mountaineers were supposed to be successful this season. He’s been inconsistent at times and it has hurt his team, especially against Oklahoma and Davidson.
8) Texas (5-4, 0-0)
Previous Ranking: 5
Last Week: L 64-61 vs. Georgetown, L 65-63 vs UCLA
This Week: Saturday vs. Texas State, 7:00 PM
- Rundown: Down by three against UCLA Saturday with 25 seconds left and the ball, there was plenty of time for a quick two points. If nothing else, there was plenty of time to draw up a good play for a three-point attempt. The Longhorns dribbled, and dribbled, and dribbled, finally getting an easy two with six seconds left. All I could think of was, “Yep, that looks like a play Texas would run.”
- They Could Use Help From: Sophomore G Myck Kabongo. This allegedly illegal trip taken by Kabongo happened in the spring. It’s now December 10. Is that not enough time to make a ruling? Let him play, rule him ineligible (although I’d rather watch him play). But do something, NCAA. Anything.
9) Texas Tech (5-1, 0-0)
Previous Ranking: 9
Last Week: W vs. Northern Kentucky, 75-69
This Week: Sunday vs. McNeese State, 5:00 PM
- The Rundown: The Red Raiders should get comfortable in the No. 9 spot. As bad as West Virginia and Texas have been, they should have no problems taking care of Texas Tech twice this season. They were dismantled last weekend against Arizona and struggled to beat Northern Kentucky last week. But at least they’re better than TCU.
- They Could Use Help From: Sophomore F Jordan Tolbert: Tolbert’s scoring (8.5 PPG) is down from last season when he averaged 11.8 PPG. His rebounding isn’t awful at 5.6 RPG, but his experience is a rare commodity on this Texas Tech team and he could be doing more this season.
10) TCU (6-4, 0-0)
Previous Ranking: 10
Last Week: L 54-48 vs. Houston, L 50-49 at Tulsa
This Week: Off
- The Rundown: TCU’s offense is one of the worst in the country. They score just 54.5 PPG and they have been held under 50 points in five games this season. They just lost to first-year coach Danny Manning at Tulsa, and have only a few more wins left on the schedule before they begin their first Big 12 season.
- They Could Use Help From: Senior F Garlon Green: He’s the team’s second leading scorer (8.6 PPG), but Green is having his worst offensive season since 2009-10 as a freshman.