Makai's the Limit

Player of the Week

Makai Mason, Baylor

Makai MasonMakai MasonSenior point guard Makai Mason has elevated his level of play considerably through the opening slate of Big 12 action. The former Yale product scored 15 points to go along with three rebounds and assists in the 85-81 losing effort to TCU. Baylor bounced back against No. 20 Iowa State, who defeated Kansas in its previous matchup. Mason, in particular, stood out for Baylor, scoring a season-high 25 points with efficient shooting percentages. The 73-70 victory against a hot Iowa State proved that Baylor can hang with any team in the conference. Mason is a super senior as a 1995 born player, giving the Bears a great deal of consistency and experience. Ironic that Mason chose to transfer to Baylor, considering the game that put him on the map was Yale's upset victory over a Taurean Prince led Baylor in the 2016 NCAA tournament. If the 9-5 Bears are to claim a tourney bid this year, they will need Mason to build upon his breakout performance.

Who's Hot

Marial Shayok, Iowa State

Senior guard Marial Shayok appeared to be the most dominant player on the floor during the upset win over No. 5 Kansas. It was his night to shine, scoring 24 points while draining all five of his three-point attempts and converting on 75% on all his shots from the field overall. The former Virginia Cavalier also chipped in with five rebounds and two steals en route to the 77-60 win versus the Jayhawks. Iowa State couldn't come out of Waco, TX with the win, but Shayok was solid once again. The Cyclones opted to ride the hot hand of Shayok, and he delivered with 19 points while sinking 9-of-15 field goal attempts. Despite not winning the first two conference games, Shayok's outstanding play has catapulted him into the discussion for Big 12 Player of the Year.

Who's Not

Devon Dotson, Kansas

After coming off a solid performance against No. 23 Oklahoma, freshman point guard Devon Dotson failed to capitalize on the same opportunities following the 70-63 victory over the Sooners. The Charlotte native tallied eight points, seven rebounds, and three assists in the 77-60 defeat against Iowa State. The more underwhelming part of the contest was the five turnovers and lack of aggression from Dotson. The Cyclones were able to control the tempo throughout the game, and some of the blame should be placed on Dotson. While Kansas was able to snag a 77-68 over No. 25 TCU, Dotson was virtually a non-factor once again. He bricked all six shots from the field, and all five of his points came from the free throw line. There's no denying that the freshman floor general is a talented player who is capable of impacting the game in a variety of ways; however, he has yet to show a consistent level of play. If he's able to bounce back, it will be a boost to Kansas' hopes of continuing their Conference dominance.

Top 5 Coaches in the Big 12 Conference

1.) Bill Self, Kansas

14 consecutive Big 12 regular season titles alone is enough to place Bill Self atop of the top coaches in the Big 12. Kansas is a blue blood in the realm of college basketball, and Self has done a terrific job carrying the torch and continuing the winning ways with Kansas. While Kansas has shown some lapses in recent weeks, if anyone is capable of figuring out how to fix the mistakes, look no further than one of the winningest coaches in basketball in Self.

2.) Bob Huggins, West Virginia

The all-time success Huggins has celebrated throughout his illustrious collegiate career could potentially warrant him the No. 1 spot. An abysmal 8-7 start to the season was not expected to say the least, but let's give credit where credit is due. Huggins' is the reason why West Virginia is coined with the nickname "Press Virginia" due to the ability to lockup full-court on defense and convert turnovers into buckets. While West Virginia is sitting towards the bottom of the standings, it's not a wise idea to sleep on a team coached by Huggins.

3.) Chris Beard, Texas Tech

There's a reason why Texas Tech went through with extending Chris Beard's contract in March. The Red Raiders are an intriguing team to watch due to the elite athleticism and stellar defensive play on display every game. This formula has translated into victories, and has established Texas Tech as one of the toughest teams to play against for any opponent. With Beard under contract for another six seasons, expect the Red Raiders to keep jockeying for position as one of the premiere teams in the Big 12.

4.) Shaka Smart, Texas

After transforming the basketball program at VCU, Shaka Smart opted to enter the Big 12 coaching world and start a new chapter with the Longhorns. Ever since his arrival, the team has emerged as one of the toughest to beat in the conference. Smart has thus far done an excellent job in recruiting talent and developing recruits into legit college players. With Texas boasting state-of-the-art facilities and a history of winning basketball, this program has the potential to experience a "renaissance".

5.) Bruce Weber, Kansas State

Bruce Weber is perhaps one of the more slept on head coaches in college basketball, but he shouldn't be. Kansas State almost reached the Final Four last season, and appears to be figuring out how to mesh together once again. Weber's coaching philosophy has always been to generate offense through strong defensive play, which has lead to years of success for him. While most teams in the Big 12 rely on uptempo, high scoring games in order to produce wins, a team like Kansas State always causes problems to opposing teams due to the polar opposite style of play.

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