Big 12 Power Rankings: Week NinePosted by KoryCarpenter on January 7th, 2013
After things slowed down around the holidays, the schedule picked up this week and we found out a lot about the teams in the Big 12. Kansas is beatable but resilient after rallying to take care of Temple in Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas State’s upset of Florida last month is starting to look less like a fluke. Oklahoma State’s upset of North Carolina State in November is, however, beginning to look like a fluke. Baylor showed it has the talent to compete for a top spot in the standings, while Texas still looks lost without Myck Kabongo. And oh yeah, TCU is as bad we thought.
1) Kansas (12-1, 0-0 Big 12)
Previous Ranking: 1
Last Week: W 69-62 vs. Temple
This Week: Wednesday vs Iowa State, 6:00 PM CST, Saturday at Texas Tech, 3:00 PM
- Rundown: Every year, Kansas seems to have one close call at home in the non-conference season. Saturday was no different as Temple took the lead late in the second half before the Jayhawks rallied to win, 69-62.
- Player Stepping Up: Senior G Travis Releford: Releford is the best perimeter defender on the roster and has been great offensively lately, shooting over 80% from the field and averaging 13.7 points per game in the last four games.
2) Kansas State (12-2, 1-0)
Previous Ranking: 3
Last Week: W 70-50 vs. South Dakota, W 73-67 vs. Oklahoma State
This Week: Saturday at West Virginia, 12:30 PM
- Rundown: It is still to early to make any bold statements, but Saturday’s win over Oklahoma State brought the Wildcats into the discussion for second best team in the Big 12.
- Player Stepping Up: Senior G Rodney McGruder: He leads the team in scoring with 14.7 points per game and had 28 points in the big win over OSU over the weekend.
3) Oklahoma State (10-3, 0-1)
Previous Ranking 2
Last Week: L 69-68 vs. Gonzaga, L 73-67 vs. Kansas State
This Week: Wednesday vs. TCU, 7:00 PM, Saturday at Oklahoma, 2:00 PM
- Rundown: Losing in Bramlage Coliseum is not the end of the world so it certainly isn’t time to panic if you are Oklahoma State. But Kansas State looks to be for real so the margin for error for the Cowboys certainly shrunk on Saturday afternoon.
- Player Stepping Up: Junior G Markel Brown: The preseason hype was reserved for the duo of Le’Bryan Nash and Marcus Smart, but Markel Brown is quietly leading the team with 14.5 points per game. He kept the Cowboys in the game against Kansas State Saturday with 19 points and five rebounds.
4) Baylor (9-4, 1-0)
Previous Ranking: 4
Last Week: W 86-79 vs. Texas
This Week: Tuesday at Texas Tech, 6:00 PM, Saturday vs. TCU, 5:00 PM
- Rundown: The Bears picked up a much needed overtime win against Texas over the weekend and should improve to 3-0 shortly after facing Texas Tech and TCU this week.
- Player Stepping Up: Senior G Pierre Jackson: Jackson was picked as the preseason Big 12 Player of the Year and has been steady all season. He is averaging 19.9 points per game and finished with 24 against the Longhorns on Saturday.
5) Iowa State (10-3, 0-0)
Previous Ranking: 5
Last Week: W 80-70 vs. Yale
This Week: Wednesday at Kansas, 6:00 PM, Saturday vs. Texas, 1:00 PM
- Rundown: We probably will not know how good the Cyclones are until Wednesday night when they face Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse. They lost to the two ranked teams they have faced (Cincinnati and UNLV) and have not looked impressive lately against lesser competition. They beat Yale by 10, UMKC by 15, and Drake by nine in their last three games.
- Player Stepping Up: Senior G Will Clyburn: Clyburn had a busy stat line against Yale, finishing with 17 points, six rebounds, four assists, and adding a block and a steal. He leads the Cyclones with 14.1 points per game and is second with 7.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game.
6) Oklahoma (10-3, 1-0)
Previous Ranking: 7
Last Week: W 72-42 vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, W at West Virginia 67-57
This Week: Saturday vs. Oklahoma State, 2:00 PM
- Rundown: Oklahoma beat West Virginia on Saturday for the second time this season, this time in Morgantown to the tune of 67-57. The Sooners did enough in the non-conference portion of the schedule to set themselves up for an NCAA Tournament bid if they don’t collapse the next two months.
- Player Stepping Up: Senior F Romero Osby: He leads the team with 13.2 points and 6.5 rebounds per game and had 21 points and nine rebounds in the win over West Virginia Saturday.
7) Texas (8-6, 0-1)
Previous Ranking: 6
Last Week: L at Baylor, 86-79
This Week: Wednesday vs. West Virginia, 8:00 PM
- Rundown: The Longhorns have now lost two games by three points total and two games in overtime this season after dropping Saturday’s game to Baylor. They needed sophomore guard Myck Kabongo back yesterday, and it does not look they will stay afloat until he returns next month.
- Player Stepping Up: Freshman G Javan Felix: He is not well known outside of Texas, but Felix is doing his best to fill in for the suspended Kabongo with 6.6 assists per game.
8) West Virginia (7-6, 0-1)
Previous Ranking: 8
Last Week: L 67-57 vs. Oklahoma
This Week: Wednesday at Texas, 8:00 PM, Saturday vs. Kansas State, 12:30 PM
- Rundown: Compared to expectations, it is hard to imagine a worse inaugural season in the Big 12 for West Virginia. With two losses already to Oklahoma, there doesn’t look to be many conference wins up for grabs.
- Player Stepping Up: Sophomore G Juwan Staten: Bob Huggins talked about Staten, a transfer from Dayton, a lot during Big 12 Media Day in October. He hasn’t disappointed, leading the team in points (11.0) and assists per game (3.2).
9) Texas Tech (8-4, 1,0)
Previous Ranking: 9
Last Week: W 70-56 vs. Florida A&M, W 62-53 at TCU
This Week: Tuesday vs. Baylor, 6:00 PM, Saturday vs. Kansas, 3:00 PM
- Rundown: The long wait is over. Texas Tech is not the worst team in the Big 12, only the second worst. The Red Raiders beat TCU by nine over the weekend in a game dozens of fans eagerly awaited.
- Player Stepping Up: Junior F Jaye Crockett: Crockett led the Red Raiders in scoring against TCU with 13 points and he leads the team for the season with 15 points per game. He has scored in double figures in 10 of 12 games this season.
10) TCU (9-5, 0-1)
Previous Ranking: 10
Last Week: L 62-53 vs. Texas Tech
This Week: Wednesday at Oklahoma State, 7:00 PM, Saturday at Baylor, 5:00 PM
- Rundown: TCU probably had two chances to win a conference game this season. Their best chance, a home game against Texas Tech, happened to be a nine-point loss on Saturday. The next two months might not be pretty.
- Player Stepping Up: Sophomore G Kyan Anderson: If the Horned Frogs pull an upset or two in the Big 12, Anderson will be the reason. He is averaging 12.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game to lead the team.