Big 12 Conference Preview

The Big 12 has always been one of the most competitive leagues in College Basketball as almost every team in the league is contending for an at-large bid on a yearly basis. The league has sent every team to the NCAA Tournament in the last three years and is consistently ranking as one of the top leagues in the sport. This year the league has a new defending Champion as Kansas was knocked off their throne atop the Big 12 standings last season by Texas Tech and Kansas State. While the league race looks to be just a three-horse race between Kansas, Texas Tech, and Baylor, every other team can make a case for being an at-large caliber team which is something that no other league can really present. I personally see this league broken into three tiers with Kansas, Baylor, and Texas Tech making up the top-tier, TCU is in a tier of its own at 10, with everyone else in their own tier ranging from 4-9. This league as a whole is really deep with three teams having legitimate Final Four hopes and a giant pack of tournament-caliber teams. As always league play will be an absolute gauntlet with every team having a legitimate case to win on any given night, so let’s get into the league preview for this season. 

1.Kansas Jayhawks 

While Kansas didn’t win the Big 12 last year but all signs point to another Big 12 Championship coming back to Lawrence this season. This team has all the things that you could ask for as they have a great point guard in Devon Dotson, an excellent interior big man in Udoka Azubuike who can just demolish teams inside, good shooters, defenders, and rebounders all through this lineup. The only question with this team is actually who will play big minutes as this team can play a small-ball lineup that can get up and down while also bully ball inside with a two big lineup. This team should get back on track winning the Big 12 after not doing so last year and not only should this team do that but they also will look to make a deep March run. 

The team will be led by point guard Devon Dotson who is an extremely quick guard that flourishes driving to the basket. Dotson is a decent spot-up shooter that can pass the ball at a high-level, he will look to improve a little bit upon his freshman year self and become one of the top players in the country. Senior big man Udoka Azubuike is back after deciding not to enter the NBA Draft last season. Azubuike is an absolute monster on the court as he’s a physically imposing big man that is really efficient inside, a good rebounder and shot-blocker.  His overall physicality demands double and sometimes triple teams from the opponents. Sophomore guard Ochai Agbaji is a really good athlete and a decent shooter that looks to become a consistent third option behind Azubuike and Dotson. The team will also look for shooting from Iowa grad transfer Isaiah Moss who is an elite three-point threat that is physically able to defend bigger players.  

The team will likely start the season with Marcus Garrett coming off the bench, he’s an excellent defender that is a really good driver to the basket and can play as another ball-handler that will give Dotson a break when he is tired. While this team is really good from a guard perspective, this team has a lot of really good big men that will make this team all the more dangerous. Silvio De Sousa is back after missing all of last year due to the FBI investigation, he’s a really athletic big man that maybe could step out and make a jumper. David McCormack is a big and physical player that is good at scoring around the rim and will probably split minutes with Udoka Azubuike. Kansas also adds two Top-100 freshman bigs in Jalen Wilson and Tristan Enaruna who will look to play at the four or maybe at the three, both are regarded as good shooters that could provide a new dimension to this Kansas offense.

Final Analysis: In order for this Kansas team to reach their preseason expectations, Devon Dotson and Ochai Agbaji will look to take steps forward offensively. Great play from those two, as well as continued great play from their frontcourt,  will help make this team borderline unbeatable for the majority of teams within the sport. Look for this team to not only compete and likely win the Big 12 Conference but with this roster, the Jayhawks should have National Championship expectations. 

Projected rotation:

PG: Devon Dotson Sophomore 6’2”

SG: Ochai Agbaji Sophomore 6’5”

SF: Isaiah Moss Senior 6’5”

PF: Silvio De Sousa Sophomore 6’9”

C: Udoka Azubuike Senior 7’0”

Key Reserves: Marcus Garrett, David McCormack, Jalen Wilson, Tristan Enaruna

2.Texas Tech Red Raiders

Texas Tech is coming off their most successful season in program history as they won the Big 12 Conference, then made their first-ever Final Four, and they came within seconds away from winning the National Championship. All in all, this will be a season that will not be forgotten by Texas Tech fans but it is now time for them to look forward to this season where they will come into the season ranked in the Top-15 preseason polls. The team will lose a lot with Jarrett Culver, Matt Mooney, Tariq Owens, Norense Odiase, and Brandone Francis either graduating or heading to the NBA. That being said, this team will bring in a bunch of new guys including Five-Star freshman Jahmius Ramsey, as well as grad transfers Chris Clarke and TJ Holyfield. This team will be a guard-centered team that will look to shoot a lot of threes and will look to get a lot of steals on the defensive side of the ball. 

The team will need junior guard Davide Moretti to really step into a bigger role this season with most of last year’s pieces gone, Moretti is an incredible shooter that came 0.2% away from finishing the season averaging a 40-50-90. Assuming he develops his finishing around the basket abilities there should be nothing stopping him from achieving that feat this year. Kyler Edwards will run alongside Moretti in the backcourt, he’s a really good shooter as well, that will look to develop as a driver to the basket. Virginia Tech grad transfer Chris Clarke is someone that will play the small-ball four for this team, he’s a good interior scorer that defends and rebounds pretty well. Stephen F. Austin grad transfer TJ Holyfield is undersized but did show at the mid-major level that he was a good rim-protector and he also is a really efficient player scoring the ball inside. 

The team will be relying upon a lot of freshmen this season to step in and play roles for this team right away. The most notable freshman is Jahmius Ramsey who is a really athletic and skilled combo guard that can play both on and off the ball and is a good shooter. Kevin McCullar will play in a bench type role, he’s a good ball-handler that could play at the point, while he’s a great deep threat as a shooter. Freshman center Russell Tchewa is a physical presence inside that could get minutes if the team needs help on the interior. Tyreke Smith will provide some athleticism inside for this team, while look for Terrence Shannon to provide some bench scoring as a driver to the basket. 

Final Analysis: After doing somewhat of a deep dive on Texas Tech I’ve come away with them thinking that they are a team that is capable of potentially making another Final Four. The team will need steps forward from Davide Moretti and Kyler Edwards, while the freshmen will need to make an impact. If they can get high-level play as a whole this team is more than capable of winning the Big 12 and making a deep run. If things aren’t quite as smooth this year, I think this team will potentially be a Top-5 team preseason next year based on the likely high-amount of returning players. 

Projected Rotation:

PG: Davide Moretti Junior 6’2”

SG: Kyler Edwards Sophomore 6’3”

SF: Jahmius Ramsey Freshman 6’4”

PF: Chris Clarke Senior 6’6”

C: TJ Holyfield Senior 6’8”

Key Reserves: Kevin McCullar, Terrence Shannon, Tyreek Smith, Russel Tchewa

3.Baylor Bears

Baylor had one of the more interesting seasons a year ago as they started the season off poorly losing to Texas Southern to start the season and lost their best player Tristian Clark midway through the season. The team then rallied without Clark and made a run to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before getting knocked out by Gonzaga. This year Baylor is a team I’m really excited to watch this season as they will be really deep as they can run about 10 deep and have a lot of different players that can beat you on any night. Tristian Clark is back after having a knee injury last season, while the team should continue to see big contributions from Jared Butler and Mark Vital. The team also looks for transfers Davion Mitchell and MaCio Teague to step in and make an impact for this Baylor team. While this team doesn’t have any great players on paper, this team does look poised to finish near the top of the league standings and they could make a run in the NCAA Tournament. 

Last year Baylor’s best player early in the season while the team was struggling was Tristian Clark who was dominant inside shooting the ball at a 74 percent rate, while he established himself as a dominant shot-blocker and rebounder. While Clark was absolutely dominant early in the season it became very clear that the team played better when Clark was out of the lineup, which is mostly because Makai Mason became a dominant guard. Jared Butler showed last year as a freshman that he’s a very capable player as he good shooter that played well both on and off the ball. Devonte Bandoo oftentimes showed himself to be a sparkplug off the bench last season and looks to continue to play well for this team. Mark Vital is an undersized four-man that is an incredible rebounder and good interior scorer, he matches up really well against bigs because he’s physical defensively and is just a unique matchup offensively. 

UNC Asheville transfer MaCio Teague really filled it up at the mid-major level, he was an elite level three-point shooter and scorer as a whole, his shooting abilities should translate to the Big 12. Davion Mitchell to slide in and play some point guard for this team, he’s a former Top-75 recruit that got overshadowed by Jared Harper but looks to provide some high-level passing for the team. Freddie Gillespie provided some help as a big bruising big man that can score and rebound at a high-level for this team. Four-Star Freshman Jordan Turner will certainly get minutes for this team, his shooting and defensive capabilities will be valuable for this team. I’m not the biggest Matthew Mayer fan but he does provide some floor-spacing capabilities, also Flo Thamba should get minutes thanks to his shot-blocking abilities. 

Final Analysis: This Baylor team is a team I am really high on this year thanks to their ability to just send bodies at other teams. Tristian Clark and Jared Butler are all-league level players, while the rest of this rotation knows their roles and will play to it. This team also has a lot of players that can step in and score double figures for this team on any given night. This team is one that will not blow anyone away from a talent perspective which will limit them from maybe winning a National Championship, that being said this team has the depth needed to have a successful regular season.  

Projected Rotation:

PG: Jared Butler Sophomore 6’3”

SG: MaCio Teague Junior 6’3” 

SF: Devonte Bandoo Senior 6’4”

PF: Mark Vital Junior 6’5”

C: Tristian Clark Junior 6’9”

Key Reserves: Davion Mitchell, Jordan Turner, Freddie Gillespie, Matthew Mayer, Flo Thamba

4.Oklahoma State Cowboys

The Big 12 is a league with three really good teams and after that a bunch of decent teams that have tournament aspirations but obviously have questions, so to me from 4-9 it is really all about picking and choosing what players and systems that you like the most. My personal favorite out of those five teams is the Oklahoma State Cowboys who are coming off a rough season that saw a lot of turnover as a whole but does return all five starters from last year’s team while adding some impact freshmen. The thing I personally like is that they have a good point guard in Isaac Likekele, a great interior rim-protector in Yor Anei, two excellent shooters, and a combo forward in Cam McGriff who is a really good overall player. This team should be much improved this season with some actual depth, expectations should be that the team gets to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in the Mike Boynton Jr era. 

The team will look for great play out of Cameron McGriff who is a physical guard that can space the floor offensively and is an elite level rebounder, his overall impact on both ends of the court is very important for this team. Guard Lindy Waters is a fantastic shooter from deep, notably shooting 45 percent from three last year, at 6’6” he has the ability to switch onto bigger players if needed. Thomas Dziagwa is a player that relies a lot more on three-point attempts as nearly 3/4’s of his field-goal attempts came from behind the three-point arc, what makes him such a valuable piece is that he shoots it over 40 percent from beyond the arc. Sophomore guard Issac Likekele is more of a game-manager point guard, he defends at a high-level and is a really good passing guard which makes him a plus on the court despite not really having a great jump shot. 

Oklahoma State will look for Big man Yor Anei to continue to provide an interior presence on the defensive end, Anei is a high-level shot blocker that can also finish at an efficient rate around the basket. Freshman wing Marcus Watson looks to make an impact right away for this team as he’s a Top-100 prospect that is regarded as a high-level scorer and a decent rebounder. Guard Avery Anderson III will provide some aid at the point guard spot, he’s regarded at a good passer that can play both on and off the ball.  Umass transfer Jonathan Laurent will look to provide some help as a combo forward as he is a good defender and rebounder that can make threes. Freshman Kalib Boone can provide some help down-low for this team, while Chris Harris Jr. can also provide depth at the guard spot. 

Final Analysis: I like this Oklahoma State team a lot as they are very perimeter-oriented and have a good mixture of shooting and great defensive pieces that will help this team win games. Last year the team was actually more competitive than most people expected, however, with only six legitimate players in the rotation they struggled. With some solid pieces coming in whether via transfers or just freshmen, in general, the team shouldn’t be as reliant on starters playing 35-40 minutes a game and having to conserve energy which was the big issue last season. 

Projected Rotation:

PG: Isaac Likekele Sophomore 6’4”

SG: Thomas Dziagwa Senior 6’4”

SF: Lindy Waters Senior 6’6”

PF: Cameron McGriff Senior 6’7”

C: Yor Anei Sophomore 6’11”

Key Reserves: Marcus Watson, Avery Anderson III, Jonathan Laurent, Kalib Boone

5.Texas Longhorns

There are many discussions that are had every season and one that comes to mind as of late is the question of whether Texas is back, this year might finally be the year they might start to show themselves as one of the better teams in the league. The team will return Matt Coleman and Courtney Ramey to play in the backcourt while the team will have one of the better frontcourts in the sport with Jericho Sims and two potential one and done bigs in Kai Jones and Will Baker. The biggest addition might be the addition of former Michigan defensive coordinator Luke Yaklich who turned Michigan into one of the best defensive teams in the sport. In a make or break year, expectations are high for Shaka Smart and this Texas team, so a big season will be needed for Smart to keep his job going forward. 

The Longhorns will look to get consistent point guard play out of Matt Coleman, he’s a good ball-handler and initiator offensively although not a reliable enough scorer offensively. Courtney Ramey projects to take a big step forward this year, he’s a really good scorer that is more than capable of running the point for this team and is a really good shooter. The team will need production down low from a freshman duo that is headlined by Will Baker to become a go-to guy down low, providing this team with scoring and rebounding down-low. Freshman Kai Jones is I think maybe the player with the highest upside on this team because of his ability to stretch the floor playing at the 4, while he is a really athletic big man that will look to switch defensively. 

Junior guard Jase Febres has shown himself to be an elite three-point threat for this team, he shot 37 percent last season while being one of the better shooters in the league. Jericho Sims continues to be overshadowed by exciting freshmen, he’s a really good interior scorer and rebounder but I do think is probably going to be on the bench for this team. Top-100 freshman Donovan Jones is a guard that will push for minutes playing at the shooting guard spot. Andrew Jones hasn’t played in nearly two years due to his battle with Leukemia, that being said before that he was well on his way to an All-Big 12 team in the 2017-18 season. If he can get anywhere near that level of play he should be a key piece for this team. Kamaka Hepa and Royce Hamm are bigs that probably could maybe spot about 5-10 minutes per game. 

Final Analysis: This is a Texas team that will not be short on talent once again as they have everything needed to be good. There’s shooting with Ramey, Febres, and both Andrew and Kai Jones, there’s a lot of length with Baker, Sims, and Kai Jones, and this team has decent point guard play with Ramey and Coleman running the show. That being said, this team has yet to really show any consistency under the Shaka Smart era, while that could change this year, especially with the addition of Luke Yaklich, I don’t think they will be able to push teams like Kansas, Texas Tech, and Baylor at the top. 

Projected Rotation:

PG: Matt Coleman Junior 6’2”

SG: Courtney Ramey Sophomore 6’3”

SF: Jase Febres Junior 6’5”

PF: Kai Jones Freshman 6’10”

C: Will Baker Freshman 7’0”

Key Reserves: Jericho Sims, Donovan Williams, Andrew Jones, Kamaka Hepa

6.Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma is right now in a place where they are consistently good enough to make the NCAA Tournament, however, not quite good enough to make it past the second round of the NCAA Tournament. This trend will likely continue for at least one more year as the team really doesn’t have enough pieces to move towards the top of the league but is still talented enough to make the NCAA Tournament. The team has a decent frontcourt with Brady Manek and Kristian Doolittle, two quality guards with experience in Austin Reaves and Jamal Bieniemy. Most notably the team has a really good recruiting class that is headlined by De’Vion Harmon. This team should once again be in the middle of the pack in the Big 12 and make the NCAA Tournament now for the third consecutive season. 

This Oklahoma team will put the ball in the hands of guard De’Vion Harmon who is a really good passing guard that plays hard when on the court and can shoot it from deep. He might struggle to adjust to the College level early on but will show himself to be one of the better guards in the league. Brady Manek is a really good floor-spacing big man, he is a really good overall piece because of his ability to score inside and out. Kristian Doolittle is a smaller more versatile big man that can switch more defensively and is really good at the high-post on the offensive end as he’s a decent scorer. Jamal Bieniemy came in and played a big role for this team as a combo guard, he is an elite three-point shooter that plays well off the ball but can create offense for others when needed. 

Oklahoma will look to get production out of Wichita State transfer Austin Reaves, Reaves will primarily play off the ball but does look to provide some aid to this team because of his ability to knock down shots from the perimeter. JUCO transfer Alondes Williams is going to step in and make an impact shooting the ball, in addition to being a good shooter, he’s also a good defender that could maybe play some 4 for this team. Jalen Hill brings in the ability to space the floor at the forward spot, he’s a 6’7” combo forward that can shoot the ball at a high-level and is a solid athlete. Freshman Victor Iwuakor is a versatile forward that can switch on defense, he will probably play around 10-15 minutes per game this season but will look to produce for this team in the near future. 

Final Analysis: This Oklahoma team will be good enough from a talent perspective to continue to win games during the season. Expect De’Vion Harmon to be an excellent point guard for this team and he will show himself to be good early on. If they can get good play from Jamal Bieniemy and Austin Reaves to go along with Harmon this team should be able to be in the NCAA Tournament and they should be able to get a bye in the Big 12 Tournament. 

Projected Rotation:

PG: De’Vion Harmon Freshman 6’0”

SG: Jamal Bieniemy Sophomore 6’4”

SF: Austin Reaves Junior 6’5”

PF: Kristian Doolittle Senior 6’7”

C: Brady Manek Junior 6’7”

Key Reserves: Alondes Williams, Jalen Hill, Victor Iwuakor

7.West Virginia Mountaineers

West Virginia had their worst season since joining the Big 12 last season and as they finished in 10th place in the Big 12 and missed the NCAA Tournament. That being said, this West Virginia team should be much improved with a lot of maybe detrimental pieces gone and a group of new players coming in. The team returns the sophomore trio of Derek Culver, Jordan McCabe, and Emmitt Matthews, while they add Freshman Top-50 big man Oscar Tshiebwe who looks to make an impact. I look for this Mountaineers team to take a step forward this year as they look to be a middle of the pack Big 12 team. 

Big man Derek Culver was a solid interior scorer and an excellent rebounding big man who looks to take a step forward and be one of the best interior scorers in the league. Fellow big man Oscar Tshiebwe will look to be a great interior presence as a freshman, he’s a big physical big man that plays with a high-motor which is something that is important for this team. Jermaine Haley looks to continue to play a role for this team, he’s a capable ball-handler and interior scorer that can switch defensively, he looks to continue to play a big role for this team going forward. Emmitt Matthews Jr. is a player that really emerged late last season, which included a 28 point performance in their upset win over Texas Tech, expect him to build off that late-season performance into a successful 2019-20 campaign. Jordan McCabe looks to take over as the point guard, he’s a decent shooter that is a decent passer, he should now be a full-time point guard for this team. Guards Tajzmel Sherman and Sean McNeil will look to make an impact as shooters for this team, while Chase Harler and Brandon Knapper should also get minutes at the guard spot. 

Final Analysis: The Mountaineers should be dominant inside with the bigs of Tshiebwe and Culver, as well as big guards in Haley and Matthews, while there isn’t a lot of shooting on the roster, the gritty style of Bob Huggins should be impactful for this team. This team will almost certainly take a step forward this season with the addition of a couple of really good pieces and a group of talented sophomores. This team should be a middle of the pack Big 12 school that has a really good chance to make the NCAA Tournament team. 

Projected Rotation:

PG: Jordan McCabe Sophomore 6’0”

SG: Emmitt Matthews Jr. Sophomore 6’7”

SF: Jermaine Haley Senior 6’7”

PF: Oscar Tshiebwe Freshman 6’9”

C: Derek Culver Sophomore 6’10”

Key Reserves: Chase Harler, Brandon Knapper, Tajzmel Sherman, Ethan Richardson

8.Iowa State Cyclones

Last year Iowa State was a team that was capable of beating anyone in the Big 12 if they decided to show up to play, their problem was that this team too often decided not to do so. Heading into this year the team will get much worse from a talent perspective as they lose four of their top five scorers from last year’s team, so it will be a roster overhaul for Iowa State. The team returns two starters in Tyrese Haliburton and Michael Jacobson, while they will look for a group of newcomers to step up this year. While this team isn’t loaded on paper, I look for this Iowa State team to still be a middle of the pack Big 12 team that can make it back to the big dance. 

The headline player for the Cyclones is sophomore guard Tyrese Haliburton who is a long and athletic guard that is an elite-level passer, defender and is a capable shooter, he looks poised to make a big impact for this team overall, while likely being a First-Team All-Big 12 level player. Michael Jacobson proved himself to be a really solid piece inside last season, he’s a really solid interior scorer that can also rebound at a high-level. Penn State transfer Rasir Bolton is a guard that looks to make an impact for this team offensively, he’s a really good shooter that should pair nicely with Tyrese Haliburton. Solomon Young missed most of last season with a groin injury, that being said when on the court two years ago he was a really solid piece as an inside scorer and defender. Colorado State grad transfer Prentiss Nixon looks to make an impact for Iowa State this season, he’s been inefficient when asked to score a lot of points, however, as a fourth option he should be able to play as an off-ball shooter for this team. Three-Star freshmen Caleb Grill and Tre Jackson will probably come off the bench and maybe provide an energy boost, however, I wouldn’t count on either player making a huge impact for this team in their first year with the program. George Conditt IV and Terence Lewis are players that will look to maybe take steps forward this year for Iowa State. 

Final Analysis: This Iowa State team is not very well built based on the way teams are supposed to build teams in the modern day of College Basketball. They have a lot of smaller guards and will also start two bigs which isn’t the way that teams are supposed to build their teams in the modern-day of basketball. That being said I still think this team can be a tournament team mainly because of Tyrese Haliburton who is maybe the best all-around player in the Big 12, he will do everything from guarding the other teams best player to creating offense for this team. If Haliburton makes a huge impact and becomes one of the best players in the sport this team can finish as high as fourth in the Big 12 if he doesn’t improve to that extent this team is poised to miss the NCAA Tournament. 

Projected Rotation:

PG: Tyrese Haliburton Sophomore 6’5”

SG: Prentiss Nixon Senior 6’2”

SF: Rasir Bolton Sophomore 6’3”

PF: Solomon Young Junior 6’8”

C: Michael Jacobson Senior 6’9”

Key Reserves: Caleb Grill, George Conditt IV, Terrence Lewis, Tre Jackson 

9.Kansas State Wildcats

The Kansas Big 12 streak is over and the most fitting way that it could go down was by way of the Kansas State Wildcats who have for years been seeing conference Championship banners hung on a yearly basis just a few miles to the East of their campus. Last year’s team was obviously really good but a lot of that was because of the production of Barry Brown, Dean Wade, and Kamau Stokes but all three have now graduated and are off to the NBA. The team now will be looking for players like Xavier Sneed and Cartier Diarra to take a step forward for this team, while some other players will need to make an improvement in order to keep this team in the race for an NCAA Tournament birth. 

Xavier Sneed will look to take a big step forward this year, he’s a really good defender that is physical enough to play against 4’s, he’s going to need to be a much more efficient shooter for this team as they hope to have enough offensively to win games. Cartier Diarra will look to play a bigger role offensively, he’s a good slashing guard that can step out and shoot it when needed, while he’s a good ball-handler. Big man Makol Mawien acts as a rim-protecting big man that defends, blocks shots, and is a decent rebounder with good post moves, he looks to be the primary target inside for this team. DaJuan Gordon is the team’s highest-ranked recruit this year, he’s a bucket getting-guard that will eventually take over as the team leader going forward, although he probably won’t make that big of a huge this season. Mike McGuirl will look to take a step forward offensively, he’s not really been a real threat for this team in year’s past but that could change this season. Shaun Neal-Williams and JUCO transfer David Sloan will be relied upon to be guard options for this team in a reserve role, while freshman Montavious Murphy and Levi Stockard will provide aid for Makol Mawien inside. 

Final Analysis: This Kansas State team will take a step back with the loss of Brown, Stokes, and Wade, that being said, this team is full of guys that play and defend at a really high level for this team. That at least will allow them to stay in and also win games against Big 12 teams. I’m not sure that this is a tournament team but if Sneed, Diarra, and DaJuan Gordon can maybe contribute around 40-45 points per night and this team continues to be one of the best defensive teams in the conference maybe they find themselves making the Big Dance after all. 

Projected Rotation: 

PG: Mike McGuirl Junior 6’2”

SG: DaJuan Gordon Freshman 6’3”

SF: Cartier Diarra Junior 6’4”

PF: Xavier Sneed Senior 6’6”

C: Makol Mawien Senior 6’9”

Key Reserves: David Sloan, Shaun Neal-Williams, Levi Stockard, Montavious Murphy

10.TCU Horned Frogs

The Big 12 has nine teams that will come into the year with a reasonable chance at making the NCAA Tournament but the one team that doesn’t really have a great shot at that is TCU who has gone through a complete roster overhaul this offseason. With Jamie Dixon trying to get out of his contract at TCU to go to UCLA and a couple of players running the course of their careers, this TCU team will bring back a grand total of three players from last year’s team onto the roster. The only real area of light for this team will be the return of guard Desmond Bane who looks poised to fill up the stat sheets once again. Aside from that, the team will have a lot of question marks heading into a season where they hope to not to drop back to the bottom of the league. 

As mentioned earlier, Desmond Bane will be the guy for this team, Bane is a high-level shot maker that shoots at an over 40 percent clip from three, he’s a big and physical guard that probably finds himself playing a lot at the 4 this year. Big man Kevin Samuel will look to be the go-to option down-low, he’s a physical big that has proven himself to be a really good shot-blocker, rebounder, and low-post scorer for this team. TCU will look for RJ Nembhard to take a step forward, he’s a guard that can play on and off-ball, he’s not really going to be relied upon too much to create offense but he will play a role for this team. Edric Dennis looks to be another option for this team, he will likely start the year as the teams point guard, although freshman Francisco Farabello will likely challenge him at that spot. Freshman PJ Fuller is one of the highest-ranked recruits in school history, so expect him to play big minutes this season. 

Final Analysis: There are certain parts of this TCU team that looks really good, I think Desmond Bane will be one of the best players in the Big 12 and he probably is the favorite to lead the league in scoring. Kevin Samuel is maybe one of the best bigs down low, while I think this freshman class could be really good in a few years. With that being said, the margin between them and the other Big 12 teams is really big, while there are some good pieces the team as a whole, I don’t think that they will be able to really compete with the other nine teams in the league. 

Projected Rotation: 

PG: Edric Dennis Senior 6’0”

SG: PJ Fuller Freshman 6’4”

SF: RJ Nembhard Sophomore 6’4”

PF: Desmond Bane Senior 6’5”

C: Kevin Samuel Sophomore 6’11”

Key Reserves: Francisco Farabello, Diante Smith, Jaire Grayer

Tiering of teams:

Tier 1: Kansas

Tier 2: Texas Tech and Baylor

Tier 3: Oklahoma State, Texas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Iowa State, and Kansas State

Tier 4: TCU

Big 12 Awards

Big 12 Player of the year: Devon Dotson

Big 12 Freshman of the year: Jahmius Ramsey

Big 12 Newcomer of the year: Davion Mitchell

Big 12 6th Man of the year: Marcus Garrett

Big 12 Breakout Player of the year: Kyler Edwards

All-Big 12 teams

1st Team All-Big 12

Devon Dotson

Tyrese Haliburton

Desmond Bane

Tristian Clark

Udoka Azubuike

2nd Team All-Big 12

Courtney Ramey

Davide Moretti

Xavier Sneed

Jared Butler

Derek Culver

3rd Team All-Big 12

Lindy Waters

Kyler Edwards

Ochai Agbaji 

Cam McGriff

Kristian Doolittle 

1st Team All-Freshman 

Jahmius Ramsey

Oscar Tshiebwe

De’Vion Harmon

Jalen Wilson

Kai Jones

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