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  • Writer's pictureSean Vowells

Big 12 Mid-season Power Rankings

The new-look Big 12 has maintained its status as the very best in all of college basketball. Here are our mid-season power rankings:

  1. Kansas (pre-season: 2) 13-2, 1-1

    1. Expectations were sky high for the Jayhawks coming into the season after getting Hunter Dickinson (18.9 ppg) (11.9 rpg) in the transfer portal along with PG Dajuan Harris Jr. (7.1 apg) and Kevin McCullar (19.8 ppg) returning to Lawrence. So far, the Jayhawks have shown a couple of flaws, but have been able to overcome them. They knocked off a solid Kentucky team in November, a good Tennessee team in Maui, the defending champs UConn, and rallied for an impressive road win against Indiana. They don't have much depth, but so far Bill Self has been able to navigate his way around that. Expect goof things from Kansas the rest of the way.

  2. Houston (pre-season: 3) 14-1, 1-1

    1. Houston came into their first year in the Big 12 with extremely high expectations which have mostly been met so far. The Cougars were the final team to be undefeated before falling to Iowa State just a couple of days ago. Baylor transfer L.J. Cryer leads the way with 16.3 ppg while Emmanuel Sharp and Jamal Shead score in double figures. Houston's defense is elite once again, holding the number 1 spot in efficiency at the time of writing.

  3. Baylor (pre-season: 4) 13-2, 2-0

    1. Baylor opened the season with a very solid win against a really good Auburn team and were not challenged until the end of December when they took losses in neutral games against Michigan State and Duke. They have accrued other solid wins against Seton Hall and BYU while having moved into their new arena, the Foster Pavilion. Freshman Ja'Kobe Walter has proven to be one of the best in the country, scoring 15.3 ppg. Toledo transfer RayJ Dennis is a solid second option scoring 13.9ppg. If Baylor has a flaw it is on the defensive end, where they rank 69th in efficiency at the time of writing.

  4. Oklahoma (pre-season: 11) 13-2, 1-1

    1. Porter Moser's crew have been one of the most suprising teams in the country, only taking losses to North Carolina and on the road at TCU at the time of writing. They have solid wins over USC, Iowa, Providence, Arkansas, and Iowa State already, boosting their tournament resume. Siena transfer Javian McCollum has been a revelation, scoring 14.9 ppg while Otega Oweh has made a big Sophomore jump to 14.3 ppg.

  5. Iowa State (pre-season: 6) 12-3, 1-1

    1. Iowa State turned over much of their roster from a year ago, but still have the same elite defensive principles as previous years. Since going 1-2 at the ESPN Events Invitational, the Cyclones have only lost to Oklahoma on the road and most recently were the first team to knock off Houston. Lead guard Tamin Lipsey leads the way with 14.7 ppg on the offensive end. Iowa State will be successful because of their defense, which ranks 3rd in efficiency at the time of writing.

  6. Texas (pre-season: 1) 12-3. 1-1

    1. In Rodney Terry's first full season in charge, the Longhorns have been underwhelming to say the least. They struggled in the Empire Classic, beating Louisville by 1 and getting smoked by UConn. They lost heavily to Marquette and lost at home to Texas Tech. They recently picked up a road win at Cincinnatti, which may push them in the right direction. Oral Roberts transfer Max Abmas leads the way at 17.1 ppg on the offensive end. Dylan Disu averages 14.7 ppg, but has only appeared in 6 games due to injury.

  7. BYU (pre-season: 14) 12-3, 0-2

    1. Mark Pope's BYU Cougars have had an unbelievable start to the season. After struggling in the WCC last year, expectations were quite low coming in. They picked up solid non-conference wins against San Diego State and NC State but have lost their first two Big 12 games to Cincinnati at home and Baylor on the road. Jaxson Robinson leads the way with 14.8 ppg as all 5 starters score double digits.

  8. TCU (pre-season: 7) 12-3,1-1

    1. As usual, Jamie Dixon's Horned Frogs had a very light non-conference slate until a loss on the road at Clemson and to Nevada at the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii. They have started conference play very solid, coming a bad officiating decision away from winning at Kansas before knocking off Oklahoma at home. Emmanuel Miller is a superstar, averaging 17.0 ppg along with Ja'Kobe Coles (11.4 ppg) and Delaware transfer Jameer Nelson Jr. (11.1 ppg) are proving to be a tough out early in Big 12 play.

  9. Texas Tech (pre-season: 8) 13-2, 2-0

    1. Year 1 for Grant McCasland in Lubbock had medium to low expectations after inheriting the mess that Mark Adams left. The Red Raiders have been fairly solid so far, only taking losses to Villanova and Butler, while picking up wins on the road at Texas and at home to Oklahoma State. Pop Isaacs leads the way with 16.7 ppg as the lead guard. There's no reason the Red Raiders cannot finish in the top half of the conference and make the Big Dance.

  10. Cincinnati (pre-season: 9) 12-3, 1-1

    1. While getting a lot of W's, Cincinnati did not have a very impressive non-conference slate to start the season, losing both of their tough games to Xavier and Dayton. They did pick up a surprise win on the road at BYU but did fall at home to Texas. Big man Viktor Lahkin is proving to be an all-league type player, averaging 14.1 ppg and 8.1 rpg. Other than that, there's not many reasons to think Cincinnati can finish in the top half of this league and make the NCAA Tournament.

  11. Kansas State (pre-season: 5) 12-3, 2-0

    1. Year 2 for the Tang Gang is off to a rough start. They took an opening day loss to USC, went 1-1 in the Baha Mar Hoops Championship, and scored just 12 points in the second half when they lost to Nebraska at home. Cam Carter (16.7 ppg) and Arthur Kaluma (15.2 ppg) are solid first and second options, but a lack of depth beyond that is a real worry for the Wildcats. They have started off Big 12 play 2-0, but they were wins over UCF at home and West Virginia on the road, two of the teams expected to finish near the bottom of the conference.

  12. UCF (pre-season: 12) 10-4, 1-1

    1. Expectations were not very high for UCF in their first year in the league. They lost early games to Miami (FL), Stetson, and Ole Miss before conference play. They were beaten handily by Kansas State to open conference play but picked up a signature win against Kansas to kick start life in the Big 12. Jaylin Sellers is the first option offensively, averaging 17.8 ppg, while Darius Johnson is at 14.1 ppg. UCF may be able to cause a couple of upsets at home due to their proximity from the other schools in the conference, but will most likely sit near the bottom of the league in their first year.

  13. Oklahoma State (pre-season: 10) 8-7, 0-2

    1. The season has not gone to plan for Mike Boynton and the Cowboys so far this year. They took an opening day loss at home to Abilene Christian before losing to St Bonaventure and Notre Dame in the Legends Classic. They were thoroughly beaten at home by Creighton, surprised at home by Southern Illinois, and started Big 12 play 0-2 after losses to Baylor at home and Texas Tech on the road. Javon Small (15.3 ppg) and Bryce Thompson (13.1 ppg) are the only players to average double digits on the offensive end. Analytically the Cowboys are no better, they currently sit outside the top 100 at the time of writing. At the end of the season, we'll see how hot Boynton's seat gets.

  14. West Virginia (pre-season: 13) 5-10, 0-2

    1. West Virginia's program experienced tons of turmoil before the season started when Bob Huggins was fired. Ever since then there's been very few signs that this team won't finish in the cellar of the conference. The team is showing a little more fight since the two-time transfer ban was lifted getting Noah Farrakhan and Raequan Battle into the fold along with former Arizona guard Kerr Kriisa having served his suspension, but don't expect the Mountaineers to do much this season while they look for their next Head Coach.

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