Three Big 12 teams – Baylor, Missouri and Kansas – rank in the Top 7 of the national polls. Kansas State, despite its two losses, remain ranked in the AP Poll at 25.
Just three teams – Baylor (17-0), Syracuse (19-0) and Murray State (18-0).
Syracuse started last season 18-0.
Baylor is off to their best start in school history.
|AP Top 25|
|16||San Diego State||15-2||621|
- Others receiving votes: Vanderbilt 101, Wisconsin 90, Seton Hall 79, Gonzaga 64, New Mexico 61, Harvard 22, Cincinnati 17, Stanford 16, West Virginia 16, Alabama 10, Wichita State 3, Iona 2, Florida State 1, Northwestern 1, Wagner 1
- Dropped from rankings: Gonzaga 21, Seton Hall 24
|ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll|
|16||San Diego State||15-2||282|
- Others receiving votes: Vanderbilt 47, Kansas State 46, New Mexico 41, Wisconsin 27, Middle Tennessee 21, Gonzaga 21, Seton Hall 16, West Virginia 13, Wichita State 13, Alabama 7, Nevada 3, California 2, Brigham Young 1
- Dropped from rankings: Kansas State 18, Gonzaga 23
Things will start to get sorted out in the Big 12 race. AT THIS TIME, it appears there are three contenders in the conference: Baylor, Kansas and Missouri.
Baylor plays at Kansas tonight and then host Missouri on Saturday.
Kansas State, for the time being is not a contender. They are 1-3 and are the only team who has played all three of Missouri, Kansas and Baylor, but Saturday’s loss at Oklahoma really hurt. The team that wins the conference will likely sweep Oklahoma, as well as Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.
This Week’s Games
Texas A&M @ 5 Missouri, 4:30 (ESPN)
3 Baylor @ 7 Kansas, 8:30 (ESPN)
Texas Tech @ Oklahoma, 7 pm (Big 12 Network)
Oklahoma State @ Iowa State, 8 pm (ESPNU)
Texas @ Kansas State, 8 pm (ESPN2)
Team of the Week
Baylor: The Bears’ best start in school history continues. First a gritty 75-73 win at Kansas State when they trailed by 10 points in each half, then a dominating effort at home Saturday over Oklahoma State winning by 41. Now Baylor has its biggest test of the year, traveling to Lawrence tonight for an epic big Monday game. A win ensures Baylor as the front runner.
The Bears have the most NBA talent in the league, but they have shown toughness – something that has rarely been seen under coach Scott Drew – winning three of their last six games by two points.
Player of the Week
Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas
Taylor shared the Big 12 Player of the Week honors with Baylor’s Perry Jones III, averaging 21.5 points and 5.5 assists in KU’s two victories last week over Texas Tech and Iowa State.
KU players have won or shared conference player of the week honors in five of the award’s 10 weeks. Thomas Robinson was selected on Nov. 28, Dec. 12 and Jan. 2, while Travis Releford won the award on Jan. 9. A Kansas player has won the award three weeks in a row.
Taylor scored a career-high 28 points in Saturday’s 82-73 win over Iowa State, in Lawrence.
Does Kansas finally have that player that will pick up the slack when teams double and triple team Thomas Robinson (like Iowa State did Saturday…he still had a double-double, by the way)?
1. Baylor (Last Week: 1): See “Team of the Week”
2. Kansas (LW: 2): Kansas finally won down in Lubbock, and in easy fashion – 81-46 – getting the money off the back of Bill Self, in rolling former assistant Billy Gillispe before trailing for 30 minutes against Iowa State in a 82-73 win Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse now squares off against undefeated Baylor Monday night – in a place where they have won 84 out of the last 85 home games. A win and KU may be the new favorite to win the league.
3. Missouri (LW: 3(tied)): Missouri passed a big test winning at Iowa State Wednesday night, granted its the only place they won at on the road last year in Big 12. Adding a relatively easy win, 84-73 over Texas at home, it was a good bounce back week following a pitiful loss at Kansas State. The Tigers have a big game Saturday at Baylor.
4. Iowa State (LW: 5): Iowa State moved up one spot after an 0-2 week – with losses at Kansas and at home against Missouri. The ‘Clones led in the second half in both games. Led by “Rolls” Royce White, who had 18 points and 17 rebounds against Kansas, Iowa State looks a lot like a NCAA tournament team and should be favored in its next three games (against Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Texas). On the other hand, had White made some free throws (2-of-8 against Missouri), the Clones may have pulled off one of the upsets.
5. Kansas State (LW: 3 (tied)): There is no shame in losing to Baylor, but the Cats took a major step backward in losing Saturday on the road at Oklahoma, in a game they never led and trailed by as many as 18 points in the second half to a previously winless conference foe. K-State is 1-3 in conference play – but is the only team to have faced the three teams ranked in the Top 7 of the national polls, and has an easy win over one of them (Missouri), a blowout loss at Kansas and a narrow loss at home over Baylor when they led by double-digits in each half. Despite the 1-3 start to league play, it won’t at all be surprising if the Cats finish third or fourth in the league, would it? I don’t think so based on Frank Martin’s track record – especially if Rodney McGruder continues to roll. He is averaging 23 points per game over the last three games.
6. Texas (LW: 7): J’Covan Brown is a STUD. He dropped 34 points at Mizzou on Saturday and leads the conference in scoring, but the Horns are young and he has not had much help, but with six freshman in the rotation, they will get better. This team could be dangerous down the stretch, and they’ll need to be if they want to make it to their 14th straight NCAA tourney. Texas went 1-1 with a home win over pitiful Texas A&M and loss at Mizzou and now heads to Manhattan and host Kansas this week. A 1-1 week will do wonders for the Horns.
7. Oklahoma (LW: 6): Oklahoma notched a win over still-ranked (25, AP) Kansas State, shooting 55 percent from the field – including 70% in the second half – in a game they never trailed. A great win for Lon Kruger – his first Big 12 win at Oklahoma, but that does not erase the fact that they lost to an awful Oklahoma State team on Monday. Yes, Oklahoma is just 1-3 in the Big 12, but its next two games are against bottom-tier teams Texas Tech (at home on Tuesday) and Texas A&M (Saturday in College Station).
8. Oklahoma State (LW: 9): Travis Ford is going to have a hard time winning conference games this year, with just seven games left against unranked teams. That said, he has beat Oklahoma and Texas Tech, teams that he should beat at home but got rolled Saturday by 41 points at Baylor. Will there be any lingering effects Wednesday when the Pokes head to Ames?
9. Texas A&M (LW: 8): The preseason conference favorites are awful. How is this team 1-3, with their only win coming over winless Texas Tech Saturday? The Aggies struggle to score the basketball, going on long scoring droughts in every game. They avoided that Saturday and got their first win. Coincidence? Now they have to go to Columbia with an 8-game winning streak over the Tigers. Good luck in that one, Billy Kennedy.
10. Texas Tech (LW: 10): Its been a rough go for Billy Gillispie in his return to the Big 12 (former Texas A&M head coach) and western Texas (once UTEP coach). The Tech team is God-awful and it will be a struggle for this team to get more than a couple of conference wins. The Red Raiders’s three-game home win streak against KU ended in horrific fashion losing by 35, followed by a 13-point loss at A&M in a battle of unbeatens.
Big 12 Conference Statistics – 2011-12
|1. Phil (Flip) Pressey, MIZZ||2.0|
|2. Pierre Jackson, BAY||1.9|
|3. Michael Dixon, MIZZ||1.6|
|4. Elijah Johnson, KU||1.6|
|5. A.J. Walton, BAY||1.6|