Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 11Posted by KoryCarpenter on January 21st, 2013
It was a slow week in the Big 12 last week, as all 10 favorites won and only three games were competitive late in the second half. There should be more excitement this week, however, as Bruce Weber has his Wildcats climbing in the national polls to #11 as Tuesday’s big match-up with #3 Kansas draws near. The winner will have sole possession of first place. As the double-round robin schedule starts to take effect, we should see more separation in the middle of the conference this week as teams are make their rounds. As of now, five teams are within a game of first place. Here’s where we stand heading into Week 11:
1) Kansas (16-1, 4-0 Big 12)
Previous Ranking: 1
Last Week: W 61-44 vs Baylor, W 64-59 at Texas
This Week: Tuesday at Kansas State, 7:00 PM CST, Saturday vs Oklahoma, 3:00 PM
- Rundown: Kansas had one of the most dominant defensive performances in its win against Baylor last Monday, holding the Bears to 23.2% shooting. But the offense has struggled lately. The Jayhawks shot 37.7% against Baylor (3-of-14 from three-point range) and 39.2% against Texas (3-of-11 from deep).
- Noteworthy Stat: Jeff Withey’s 78 blocks more than double the 36 of Baylor’s Cory Jefferson, who sits in second place. Withey also leads the country with 3.3 blocks per foul.
2) Kansas State (15-2, 4-0 Big 12)
Previous Ranking: 2
Last Week: W 67-54 at TCU, W 69-60 vs Oklahoma
This Week: Tuesday vs Kansas, 7:00 PM, Saturday at Iowa State, 12:45 PM
- Rundown: We will know a lot more about Kansas State in a week. With a home game against Kansas on Tuesday and a tough road trip to Iowa State on Saturday, they have the chance to claim first place in the conference and silence any critics. They could also fall back into the middle of the pack with the cluster of teams behind the Jayhawks.
- Noteworthy Stat: Junior guard Will Spradling leads the Big 12 with a 3:1 Assist to Turnover ratio. He has committed only three turnovers in the last five games.
3) Baylor (12-5, 3-1 Big 12)
Previous Ranking: 4
Last Week: L 61-44 at Kansas, W 107-38 vs Hardin-Simmons
This Week: Today vs Oklahoma State, 4:30 PM, Saturday at TCU, 3:00 PM
- Rundown: Baylor has been winning more consistently as of late, but three of their last wins against Division I opponents have been TCU, Texas Tech, and Texas in overtime. They are third on our list because they have more talent than any team not named Kansas. Whether they eventually play up to that level is still in question.
- Noteworthy Stat: A lack of identity? Aside from the glorified scrimmage on Saturday, Baylor averaged 47.5 PPG in their previous two conference games. In the four games prior? 81.7 PPG.
4) Iowa State (13-4, 3-1 Big 12)
Previous Ranking: 5
Last Week: W 69-67 vs West Virginia, W 63-50 at TCU
This Week: Wednesday at Texas Tech, 8:00 PM, Saturday vs Kansas State, 12:45 PM
- Rundown: KenPom loves the Cyclones’ offense this season, ranking them 15th in the nation in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, highest in the Big 12. The defense has been less impressive, barely cracking the top 100 in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency at #99. An NCAA Tournament bid seems inevitable, but their seed could maybe be anywhere from #4 to #12, potentially.
- Noteworthy Stat: Junior forward Melvin Ejim leads the Big 12 in RPG (9.7), offensive RPG (3.3), and Defensive Rebound Percentage (26.2%).
5) Oklahoma (12-4, 3-1 Big 12)
Previous Ranking: 6
Last Week: W 81-63 vs Texas Tech, L 69-60 at Kansas State
This Week: Tonight vs Texas, 8:30 PM, Saturday at Kansas, 3:00 PM
- Rundown: Lon Kruger would get my vote for Big 12 Coach of the Year if the season ended today. The Sooners are already on the verge of passing last year’s total of 15 wins and look to have a good chance at making the NCAA Tournament, thanks to a defense that hasn’t given up 70 points since December 4.
- Noteworthy Stat: Senior forward Romero Osby leads the Sooners with 13.6 PPG in 24.6 MPG. Adjusted to a full game, and he leads the Big 12 with 22.5 points per 40 minutes.
6) Oklahoma State (12-4, 2-2 Big 12)
Previous Ranking: 3
Last Week: W 79-45 vs Texas Tech
This Week: Today at Baylor, 4:30 PM, Saturday vs West Virginia, 12:00 PM
- Rundown: The Cowboys don’t have much room for error heading into today’s game against Baylor in Waco. They’ve lost three out of five and are currently sixth in the conference standings. A win over Baylor would put them back in that mix of teams behind Kansas, however.
- Noteworthy Stat: The Cowboys have struggled the last month and have failed to live up to expectations so far this season, but they’re still getting love from Pomeroy, where they currently sit at #17 overall despite their record.
7) Texas (8-9, 0-4 Big 12)
Previous Ranking: 7
Last Week: L 64-59 vs Kansas
This Week: Tonight at Oklahoma, 8:30 PM, Saturday vs Texas Tech, 7:00 PM
- Rundown: There have been more and more reports about Rick Barnes possibly losing control of his team, and while Myck Kabongo will return in less than a month, there probably won’t be enough time for him to make a big impact on the Longhorns this season. If Kabongo returns to next year’s team, though, Texas could be pretty good as all of the underclassmen mature.
- Noteworthy Stat: Rick Barnes started conference play 0-3 for the first time in his 15 seasons at Texas. He followed that up with another loss, and the Longhorns could be 0-5 by the end of the night.
8) West Virginia (8-9, 1-3 Big 12)
Previous Ranking: 8
Last Week: L 69-67 at Iowa State, L 79-52 at Purdue
This Week: Wednesday vs TCU, 6:30 PM, Saturday at Oklahoma State, 12:00 PM
- Rundown:Nobody could have predicted this rough of a season for the Mountaineers, whose offense has been atrocious all year. Gary Browne and Jabarie Hinds, two players expected to help West Virginia compete in the Big 12, are shooting 30.8% and 33.8% from the field, respectively.
- Noteworthy Stat: It isn’t just Browne and Hinds that are struggling to score. The Mountaineers are #322 in the country with a team shooting percentage of 39.1 %, a dreadful mark.
9) Texas Tech (8-8, 1-4 Big 12)
Previous Ranking: 9
Last Week: L 81-63 at Oklahoma, L 79-45 at Oklahoma State
This Week: Wednesday vs Iowa State, 8:00 PM, Saturday at Texas, 7:00 PM
- Rundown: Texas Tech doesn’t play TCU again until March 2, so they might be in the midst of a 14-game losing streak. Upsets happen and any team can get hot and steal a win somewhere, but other than TCU, there might not be a worse power-conference team than the Red Raiders, whose best non-conference win might be an argument between North Carolina A&T and Prairie View A&M.
- Noteworthy Stat: In their four conference losses, Texas Tech is averaging only 50.5 PPG.
10) TCU (9-9, 0-5 Big 12)
Previous Ranking: 10
Last Week: L 67-54 vs Kansas State, L 63-50 vs Iowa State
This Week: Wednesday at West Virginia, 6:30 PM, Saturday vs Baylor, 3:00 PM
- Rundown: An 0-18 record seems impossible, but I don’t see another win on the Horned Frogs schedule. With a good coach in Trent Johnson on the sideline and four-star recruit Karviar Shepherd on his way to campus, things look to be improving. Just not this season.
- Noteworthy Stat: The Horned Frogs are 0-5 in conference play for the first time since 2002, when they still played in Conference USA.