Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 13Posted by KoryCarpenter on February 4th, 2013
It was another wild week in the Big 12, starting last Monday with West Virginia’s near-upset of Kansas in Morgantown and ending with the ever-inconsistent Oklahoma State Cowboys dropping 85 points in a rare win in Allen Fieldhouse. It helped push the Cowboys back up the standings while Baylor, who dropped both of its games last week, fell three spots to #5. We still have six projected teams in the NCAA Tournament as of now — Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Baylor, and Iowa State — and the big wins by OSU and ISU look to have pushed them off the bubble for now. Here’s where we stand this week:
1) Kansas (19-2, 7-1 Big 12)
Previous Ranking: 1
Projected NCAA Seed: #1
Last Week: W 61-56 at West Virginia, L 85-80 vs Oklahoma State
This Week: Wednesday at TCU, 8:00 PM, Saturday at Oklahoma, 3:00 PM
- Rundown: The Jayhawks were due for a loss after winning 18 straight games and walking a tightrope most of January. It finally came on Saturday against Oklahoma State. It also ended the Jayhawks’ 33-game home winning streak and 16-game home winning streak against Oklahoma State, dating back to 1989. Turnovers — especially at the point guard position — have been a problem for KU of late, and Saturday was no different. Elijah Johnson committed four turnovers, including a last-second mishap that prevented Ben McLemore from doing his best Mario Chalmers impersonation.
- Player Stepping Up: Freshman G Ben McLemore: He has scored in double figures every game in 2013 and had 23 in Saturday’s loss. He is shooting an impressive 50% from the field and 45.5% from three-point range.
2)Kansas State (17-4, 6-2)
Previous Ranking: 2
Projected NCAA Seed: #6
Last Week: W 83-57 vs Texas, W 52-50 at Oklahoma
This Week: Tuesday at Texas Tech, 7:00 PM, Saturday vs Iowa State, 5:00 PM
- Rundown: It hasn’t always been the case, but Saturday’s win over Oklahoma in Norman was big for the Wildcats. They have won 10 out of 12 and sit just one game behind Kansas in the Big 12 standings, thanks to Angel Rodriguez’s two free throws with 5.6 seconds left to give them the 52-50 win. It was a rare win in a game where leading scorer Rodney McGruder, who finished with seven points, was quiet offensively.
- Player Stepping Up: Junior G Will Spradling: Spradling averages 8.5 PPG, but has scored in double figures in three of his last five games. He had 15 in the first meeting with Oklahoma and had 12 points in Saturday’s win while shooting 62.5%.
3) Oklahoma State (15-5, 5-3)
Previous Ranking: 6
Projected NCAA Seed: #10
Last Week: W 78-76 vs Iowa State, W 85-80 at Kansas
This Week: Wednesday vs Baylor, 6:00 PM, Saturday at Texas, 12:45 PM
- Rundown: The Cowboys now have wins over a pair of top-10 teams this season (they defeated then-#6 North Carolina State on November 18), and they look to be comfortably in the NCAA Tournament. They’ll most certainly look back on losses to Virginia Tech and Oklahoma with regrets, but they’ve won four out of five thanks to great guard play as of late.
- Player Stepping Up: Freshman G Marcus Smart: Smart had 25 points, nine rebounds, and three assists in the 85-80 win over Kansas on Saturday. He also had 21 points and seven assists earlier in the week in a two-point win over Iowa State.
4) Iowa State ( 15-6, 5-3)
Previous Ranking: 4
Projected NCAA Seed: #11
Last Week: L 78-76 at Oklahoma State, W 79-71 vs Baylor
This Week: Monday vs Oklahoma, 6:00 PM, Saturday at Kansas State, 5:00 PM
- Rundown: “Hilton Magic” led to another Cyclones win Saturday, this time against Baylor. Iowa State was awful from three-point range (4-of-24) and didn’t shoot particularly well (42.4%) but they forced 15 Baylor turnovers and remain unbeaten at home this season.
- Player Stepping Up: Senior G Will Clyburn: Head coach Fred Hoiberg had plenty of great things to say about the Utah transfer before the season, but he couldn’t have thought Clyburn would be this good. He had 28 points and 10 rebounds — his sixth double-double of the season — against Baylor and is averaging 15 PPG and 7.3 RPG.
5) Baylor (14-7, 5-3)
Previous Ranking: 2
Projected NCAA Seed: #9
Last Week: L 74-71 vs Oklahoma, L 79-71 at Iowa State
This Week: Wednesday at Oklahoma State, 6:00 PM, Saturday vs Texas Tech, 3:00 PM
- Rundown: A week ago as winners of six out of seven games, the Bears looked to be building momentum in the Big 12. Consecutive losses to Oklahoma and Iowa State later, they’re back in the cluster of teams in the middle of the pack with a road game at Oklahoma State on Wednesday. In last week’s losses, the Bears were a combined 20-of-36 from the free throw line and lost by a combined 11 points. You do the math.
- Player Stepping Up: Senior G Pierre Jackson: The preseason Big 12 Player of the Year has played great lately, averaging 21.6 PPG in his last three games. His 41.7% shooting percentage isn’t ideal, but he is averaging 19.1 PPG and 3.7 APG this season.
6) Oklahoma (14-6, 5-3)
Previous Ranking: 5
Projected NCAA Seed: #9
Last Week: W 74-71 at Baylor, L 52-50 vs Kansas State
This Week: Monday at Iowa State, 6:00 PM, Saturday vs Kansas, 3:00 PM
- Rundown: Considering the opponents, a split against Baylor and Kansas State wasn’t a terrible outcome for the Sooners last week. They have been alternating wins and losses since January 16, but with 14 wins already, that pace will earn them a bid to the NCAA Tournament. Their next four games are tougher: at Iowa State, Kansas, TCU, and at Oklahoma State. OK, three of their next four games are tough. A 2-2 record in that stretch would be great.
- Player Stepping Up: Senior Forward Romero Osby: Osby leads the team in scoring (14.2 PPG) and rebounding (6.6) and has given head coach Lon Kruger consistent production the last month. He finished with at least 11 points every game in January and had at least six rebounds in six of the seven games last month.
7) West Virginia (10-11. 3-5)
Previous Ranking: 7
Last Week: L 61-56 vs Kansas, W 77-61 at Texas Tech
This Week: Monday vs. Texas, 8:00 PM, Saturday at TCU, 3:00 PM
- Rundown: Bob Huggins missed out on his $25,000 bonus for beating Kansas last Monday, losing 56-51 at home. However, the Mountaineers do have a chance to sweep Texas Monday night in Morgantown. WVU has struggled to score all year, averaging 67.1 PPG and failing to score more than 71 points in seven of its eight conference games.
- Player Stepping Up: Junior C Aaric Murray: The transfer from La Salle probably hasn’t been as impressive as West Virginia fans had hoped (he averaged 15.2 PPG for the Explorers two seasons ago), but he had 17 points and seven rebounds in the near-upset of Kansas last Monday. He then added 12 points on an efficient 5-of-7 shooting performance in the win over Texas Tech Saturday.
8) Texas (10-11, 2-6)
Previous Ranking: 8
Last Week: L 83-57 at Kansas State, W 60-43 vs TCU
This Week: Monday at West Virginia, 8:00 PM, Saturday vs Oklahoma State, 12:45 PM
- Rundown: Who would have thought three months ago that potentially getting swept by West Virginia would carry such negative connotations? The Longhorns are in danger of dropping behind Texas Tech in the standings thanks to an offense than ranks #229 in the country in assists (12 APG) and #260 in scoring (63.9 PPG).
- Player Stepping Up: Freshman F Ioannis Papapetrou: He’s not a chucker like teammate Sheldon McClellan, but Papapetrou averages 7.8 PPG on only 5.6 attempts per contest. He is shooting 45.3% from the field and has scored double figures in three of his last four games.
9)Texas Tech (9-10, 2-6)
Previous Ranking: 9
Last Week: L 77-61 vs West Virginia
This Week: Tuesday vs Kansas State, 7:00 PM, Saturday at Baylor, 3:00 PM
- Rundown: The Red Raiders couldn’t find any momentum after their upset of Iowa State two weeks ago, losing their last two games to fellow cellar dwellers Texas and West Virginia. The offense fell apart in both games, averaging 59 PPG in the pair of losses.
- Player Stepping Up: Sophomore F Jordan Tolbert: The sophomore averaged 14 PPG last week while shooting 55.8% from the field. The good news for Texas Tech fans is that Tolbert and leading scorer Jate Crockett will both be back next season.
10) TCU (9-12, 0-8)
Previous Ranking: 10
Last Week: L 60-43 at Texas
This Week: Wednesday vs Kansas, 8:00 PM, Saturday vs West Virginia, 3:00 PM
- Rundown: TCU is still looking for that elusive first-ever Big 12 win after a 17-point loss to Texas on Saturday. Trent Johnson’s offense makes Texas Tech look like the Showtime Lakers by comparison, averaging 54.1 PPG this season. And when you consider that number is inflated against teams like Prairie View A&M and Southern Utah, it’s truly remarkable. In fact, TCU has yet to crack 60 points in a Big 12 game.
- Player Stepping Up: Senior G Adrick McKinney: Thirteen points doesn’t seem like much, but McKinney’s output against Texas was 30% of his team’s total scoring. He shot 55.6% from the field and grabbed eight rebounds as well.