Powder Keg

Player of the Week

Mario Kegler, Baylor

Mario KeglerMario KeglerAfter suffering a brutal defeat to No. 15 Texas Tech, Baylor has been able to get back on the horse and are now winners of three straight. Sophomore forward Mario Kegler has been nothing short of outstanding during this stretch for the Bears. In the 82-75 victory over West Virginia, Kegler poured in 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. The one time five star recruit was rather efficient as well, knocking down 9-of-11 free throws, sinking two three-pointers and knocking down all but one field goal against the Mountaineers. The transfer from Mississippi State came through in the clutch in the 84-83 overtime win against Texas, securing seven rebounds and blocking two shots to complement his season-high 24 points. It would be beneficial to the Bears if head coach Scott Drew can help maintain Kegler's confidence. His 6'7", 230 lbs frame to pair with his ball-handling abilities makes him a tough guard for any defender that has his number.

Who's Hot

Davide Moretti, Texas Tech

Sophomore guard Davide Moretti has been lighting it up from behind the arch during No. 11 Texas Tech's six game winning-streak. The Italian sharpshooter is making his long balls at a 45.6% clip this season, which has been integral in helping clear the lane for other players to operate. In the 91-62 dismantling of No. 12 Kansas, Moretti had a modest 11 points on 3-of-4 from downtown to pair with five assists and four boards in perhaps the biggest victory of the season for the Red Raiders. Texas Tech had a bit of a letdown into the next game, having to go into overtime to defeat Oklahoma State 84-80 on Wednesday. Moretti had quite an interesting stat line, finishing the game with 20 points on only four field goal attempts. Moretti sunk all 12 free throws attempts in the game, which proved pivotal down the stretch in the tightly contested game. It seems as though role players are taking turns sharing the spotlight over the course of the season for Texas Tech, which, along with their defensive prowess, should make this team a tough out come postseason action.

Who's Not

Makai Mason, Baylor

Baylor has been able to stay above water and still in the running for the Big 12 crown despite senior guard Makai Mason's shooting woes. Mason has been the leader and go-to player for the Bears this season, but is undergoing a slump during the last few games. He failed to make a field goal in the win over West Virginia, only recording four points and one assist in 33 minutes of action. The game against Texas wasn't any better for Mason, scoring six points on an abysmal 1-of-10 shooting night. It's definitely not the end of the world for Baylor, as the team has been able to get stellar performances out of the supporting cast
during Mason's struggles. Boosting the confidence of Mason's counterparts could pay dividends down the road as Baylor is becoming even more of a formidable foe come postseason.

Top 5 NBA Draft Prospects in the Big 12

1.) Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech

After Zhaire Smith broke out for Texas Tech a season ago, Jarrett Culver has carried the torch as the next bigtime player to come out of the program. He's made massive strides on offense, and has an arsenal of moves to go to on that end of the floor. He's a good athlete and has the potential to be a lockdown defender at the next level. His two-way appeal has helped solidify himself as a lottery selection come June.

2.) Jaxson Hayes, Texas

Freshman center Jaxson Hayes is a raw prospect who will need to refine his game in order to become a starting caliber big man in the NBA, but the upside is there. He's very active on defense, and has the chance to one day be an anchor on that end of the floor. He's very springy to go along with agility to switch onto smaller defenders, which is a valuable skill needed for big men in today's NBA due to the abundance of pick-and-roll action. Hayes' game in reminiscent of Clint Capela or fellow Yexas big Jarrett Allen when he came out in 2014. It took Capela a year or two of development before he became one of the elite centers in the league. Perhaps Hayes can do the same.

3.) Talen Horton Tucker, Iowa State

Freshman swingman Talen Horton-Tucker likely has a future in the NBA. The Chicago native brings toughness on both ends of the floor, and has a physical frame which will help him guard bigger players. He isn't a finished product on offense, but there's definitely a lot to work with, and he brings a skillset that could translate into the NBA. Horton-Tucker will likely need to become a more consistent three-point shooter in order to make an impact.

4.) Dedric Lawson, Kansas

Lawson isn't going to wow with his athleticism or explosiveness, but he's a bucket-getter nevertheless. He's been the catalyst for Kansas this season, and despite the Jayhawks having an up-and-down season, he's been as consistent as they come. Head coach Bill Self has done a terrific job making a game plan centered around Lawson. If he can prove to be a solid defender and keep improving as an outside shooter, "old man" Lawson can become a diamond in the rough find for a NBA team late in the draft.

5) Marial Shayok, Iowa State

After having a solid career at Virginia, Marial Shayok transferred to Iowa State with the goal of expanding his offensive repertoire. Shayok has shown scouts that he can be a two-way threat. He may not get drafted, but has the chance to earn his stripes through the G-League and possibly earn a roster spot down the road.

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