Quick Previews: Big 12 Conference

Our conference quick previews are just quick predictions for the all-conference teams and the conference standings. If you came here looking for a deep analysis on each team, you’ve came to the wrong place. We’re too lazy to do that ­čÖé

There are lot of questions in America right now after the election of Donald Trump to be President. I’m guessing I’m the only one asking this one though: Kansas won every Big 12 regular season title during Bush’s 2nd term and both of Barack Obama’s terms. Can they keep the streak going during Trump’s term (hopefully that’s not plural)? Entering the season, it looks like the Jayhawks should get the title in Year 1 of Donald Trump. Kansas returns three starters from last season in Frank Mason III, Devonte Graham, and Landen Lucas, as well as bringing in the #1 recruit in the nation by 247Sports in Josh Jackson. Jackson has gotten comparisons to Andrew Wiggins early on. If he’s as good as advertised, Kansas maybe the favorites to win the national championship. Will anyone be able to challenge the Jayhawks? There’s no definitive #2 team right now, but a bunch of solid teams who could take that role. We have Iowa State ranked #24 in the country. A core of Monte Morris, Naz Mitrou-Long, Matt Thomas and Deonte Burton, combined with the home court advantage of Hilton could make the Cyclone serious threats to the Jayhawks. West Virginia and Texas both just missed our Top 25, but many polls have them ranked. The Mountaineers lost Devin Williams, but have a very good trio of guards in Daxter Miles, Jevon Carter and Tarik Phillip. If they can replace Williams, the Mountaineers could emerge as title contender in the league. Expectations are super high in Shaka Smart’s second season at Texas, despite all the losses they’re facing. The Longhorns lost every starter from last season, but a dynamite recruiting class that includes two McDonald’s All Americans in Andrew Jones and Jarrett Allen has Texas fans hoping for big things.

The Big 12 continues to be a super deep league that will send a high majority of its teams to the Big advance. Any one of these next few teams could challenge for a spot near the top of the standings. Oklahoma will take a step back after losing Buddy Hield, Isaiah Cousins and Ryan Spangler. Jordan Woodard and Khadeem Lattin, plus a nice recruiting class should keep the Sooners in contention for a spot in the top half of the league, though. Baylor also took serious hits due to departures, but the Bears have some intriguing players, like Jonathan Motley and Manu Lecomte that will get them back to the Big Dance. And a team we really like that others aren’t quite as high on is Kansas State. The Wildcats were super young last year, but those growing pains could translate to a break out season in Manhattan. We have K-State as our last team in the Field of 68.

Big 12 Projected Standings

(Records from 2015-2016 season)

1. Kansas: 33-5 (15-3)

2. Iowa State: 23-12 (10-8)

3. West Virginia: 26-9 (13-5)

4. Texas: 20-13 (11-7)

5. Oklahoma: 29-8 (12-6)

6. Baylor: 22-12 (10-8)

7. Kansas State: 17-16 (5-13)

8. Oklahoma State: 12-20 (3-15)

9. Texas Tech: 19-13 (9-9)

10. TCU: 12-21 (2-16)

monte-morrisFirst Team All-Big 12

(Stats from 2015-2016 season unless noted)

Monte Morris, Iowa State (13.8 PPG, 6.9 APG) PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Josh Jackson, Kansas (#1 rated recruit in 2016 class by 247Sports)

Frank Mason III, Kansas (12.9 PPG, 4.6 APG)

Jordan Woodard, Oklahoma (13.0 PPG, 3.4 APG)

Jonathan Motley, Baylor (11.1 PPG, 5.1 RPG)

NCAA Tournament Bids: Kansas, Iowa State, West Virginia, Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor, Kansas State

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