It was quite a week in the Big 12, with quality games around the conference, including an upset in Lubbock and near upsets of Baylor and Kansas. Texas Tech defeated West Virginia by a score of 77-76 in overtime, scoring the biggest upset of the season to this point in the Big 12. Baylor was taken to the wire by Iowa State and Oklahoma State, while the Jayhawks took down Kansas State on a very controversial game-winning layup by Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk.
We’ve finally reached conference play and the first slate of games did not disappoint. Each team (minus Texas) only played one game this week, and the results gave a little more insight on where the season could be heading for the Big 12. Texas continues to severely disappoint, while teams like Kansas State and TCU continue to prove that they can battle with the rest of the conference, and that their non-conference successes may not be a fluke. Oklahoma State and Jawun Evans proved that they can score with anyone, but their defense will be an issue.
Non-conference play wrapped up this past holiday weekend, and we’re heading into conference play with a bit of a clearer picture on where the chips could fall by the season’s end. The limited slate of games this past week allows us to give some recognition to players that have stood out in their recent performance, even without an enormous game.
Another week of college basketball is behind us, as we inch closer to conference play in the Big 12. It was another relatively slow week in college basketball as almost all schools are now on winter break. There were a few good games this week, but most teams are at the softest portion of their schedule. Dominant performances were hard to come by, as many top players saw shortened minutes because of blowouts. For that reason, we will be going a little under the radar for our player of the week.
Player of the Week
We’re heading to the home stretch of non-conference play in college basketball, which means breaks for finals and the holidays. Unfortunately, that also means fewer games to watch and a limited slate of Big 12 games to talk about. With that said, some teams did a nice job of reinforcing their positions in the conference, while others continued to plummet. Two teams did their best to prove my preseason predictions wrong, and only one did so in a positive way.
Player of the Week
Josh Jackson, Kansas
The Big 12 saw some dominance from a few unexpected teams this week. Kansas continued to round into their usual form, defeating Long Beach State and Stanford comfortably. Baylor kept on rolling, dominating Sam Houston State and then controlling the 7th ranked team in the country, Xavier. Even with the Bears’ emergence as a Big 12 title contender, the most surprising team in the conference continues to be the Jamie Dixon-led TCU Horned Frogs, who are undefeated through seven games.
Another week of college basketball is in the books, and the Big 12 had some great games from some unexpected teams, and some terrible games by teams that were supposed to be at the top of the conference. Oklahoma struggled with Abilene Christian, while Iowa State could not pull away from Indiana State and dropped a game to a talented Gonzaga Bulldogs squad. The Texas Longhorns continued their shaky non-conference start with a loss to Colorado in their only game of the week.
It was an exciting week in the Big 12 with games in full swing and marquee matchups across the board. Kansas rebounded from their tough loss to Indiana with a nice victory over Duke in the Champions Classic. Baylor made their statement to be the top contender with a lopsided victory over the Oregon Ducks, who were ranked 4th at the time. Guard play looks to be a theme in the conference this year, with players lighting up the scoreboards from backcourts around the conference (we’ll get to some of that shortly).
For the most part, this was a standard weekend in Big 12 basketball, even though Texas did their best to make it interesting (more on that later) and Kansas started the season 0-1. A lot of new faces shined in new places, like Jamie Dixon at TCU, and a lot of young talent made their debuts, like Josh Jackson in Kansas. Teams have not played enough games to formulate a true opinion on them, and players have not logged enough minutes to know how good they really are. That’s part of what makes this part of the season so exciting.