BIG 12 OUTLOOK: 01.11.10


Big 12 Conference Standings

(updated 1.10.2010)


 

Well, it's early, but a few things already are starting to become clear in conference play:

  • Baylor really is as good as I thought they could be, and they're going to be a tough out for anyone in Waco.
  • Oklahoma State answered a few doubters, and the doubts about Texas Tech's ability to win outside Lubbock only will increase.
  • All those who wrote Missouri's epitaph (including me) after the Tigers lost DeMarre Carroll and Leo Lyons were completely wrong. Mike Anderson's program isn't going anywhere.
  • There might be some life in these post-Roland Aggies after all.
  • Apparently, all you need to do to beat KU is suit up a bunch of guys from your intramural team in mix in a few actual Division I players. Yeeouch.
  • No, Oklahoma is not going to turn it around in conference play. The Sooners are dead as a doornail.

For full analysis of the weekend that was, plus my mid-season All-Big 12 picks, follow the jump.

Seed* Record* Tourney* RPI Pomeroy Sagarin Streak Best Win** Worst Loss** Coach
Texas 1 16-0 NCAA 14 3 1 W-15 Pittsburgh none Rick Barnes
Kansas 2 15-1 NCAA 4 1 2 L-1 Temple Tennessee Bill Self
Baylor 3 11-5 NCAA 40 30 17 W-9 Xavier Alabama Scott Drew
Kansas State 4 11-5 NCAA 9 11 9 L-1 Dayton Ole Miss Frank Martin
Missouri 5 11-5 NCAA 56 8 23 W-8 Kansas State Oral Roberts Mike Anderson
Texas A&M 6 8-8 NCAA 34 39 41 W-3 Clemson Washington Mark Turgeon
Oklahoma State 7 7-9 NIT 21 48 39 W-2 Texas Tech Tulsa Travis Ford
Nebraska 8 5-11 NIT 100 77 81 L-1 USC Creighton Doc Sadler
Texas Tech 9 5-11 NIT 38 91 75 L-1 Washington Wichita State Pat Knight
Iowa State 10 4-12 None 147 81 77 W-1 Bradley Northwestern Greg McDermott
Oklahoma 11 2-14 None 115 112 110 L-1 Northern Colorado San Diego Jeff Capel
Colorado 12 1-15 None 200 110 131 L-1 UAPB Oregon State Jeff Bzdelik

Note: As any of these numbers change, I will bold and color-code them to indicate direction of change.
Team names that are colored indicate a change in seed.
(green = upward, red = downward)

*Predicted
**According to RealTimeRPI

 

Discussion

Well, hopefully this will serve as a crystal-clear alarm to Frank and the boys that they need to get it in gear, because while I still think we're the third-best team in the conference, that game in Waco looms very large now. The computers don't think we're such hot shit anymore, that's for sure.

By kicking our butt, Missouri picked up that win plus another projected one and put itself on the verge of potentially thinking championship. Remember, the Tigers get Kansas and Texas at home, too, and now they're a game up on us, as well. Plus, they have the experience of winning the Big 12 Tournament last year to fuel them.

Texas Tech went into a freefall. I don't know if that's so much a product of how bad they looked Saturday as it is the computers finally waking up and realizing this is the same team it always has been. Aside from an overtime win over a Washington team that will fall out of the polls today, Tech hasn't done anything special. Dangerous in Lubbock? Yes. Threat to make the NCAA Tournament? That remains to be seen.

Tech's fall allowed Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Nebraska each to slide up a notch, and bumped A&M back onto the right side of the S-curve. This sort of thing probably will be happening every week for the next two months, so just get used to it. Welcome to the Big 12 shuffle!

Finally, Oklahoma picked up a projected win over Iowa State in Norman, but don't let that fool you — the Sooners still reek. It's going to take an exorcism for them even to get in the NIT picture at this point.

GAMER: Now has us losing at Baylor and at Texas Tech.

Pomeroy: Now has us losing at Baylor.

Sagarin: Now has us losing at Baylor.

 

Self-Evaluation

A 4-1 start isn't too bad, if I do say so myself. Much better than last year's 3-2. Maybe I'm learning something after all.

Of course, I would have gone 5-0 simply by following this basic axiom: Always pick the home team in Big 12 play.

Pomeroy clearly would agree. Given that he picked Missouri and they were the home team, I almost consider that to have been a tossup game in the projections, so I don't feel too bad about whiffing on it. I would be way more disappointed by failing to predict a Texas Tech win over Oklahoma State, for instance.

I'll warn you right now: This week might be my absolute worst. I'm super-uneasy about projecting road wins in five of six games. That just ain't gonna happen. I think Baylor, Kansas and Texas are solid picks to win (although Nebraska might be better than a depleted Tennessee, I must point out).

But you usually can throw out the records in the Bedlam game, and neither of those teams likes to defend too much. Oklahoma has a shot just because it's a grudge match. And don't be fooled by what went down in Columbia — as Panjandrum likes to say, there's Home Missouri (nigh unbeatable) and Road Missouri (usually plays like roadkill).

Since it will be Road Missouri that meets a very pissed-off set of Red Raiders in Lubbock, that game is the very definition of a tossup.

Cumulative pick record: 4-1 (.800)

 

Mid-Season Awards: The Pre-Botcies

Blame Austin Meek. If not for his blogging indulgence, I might not have felt the urge to hand out any Botcies until March. It's all his fault, I swear.

I must emphasize that these awards are for NON-CONFERENCE PLAY ONLY (which is why I waited until after KU's game Sunday to release them). So for those who feel compelled to question some of my choices simply because we became the 30th team in a row to lose at Mizzou Arena (but only the fifth in that stretch to keep it within single digits, I might point out), then save your objections. These awards were earned in November and December, and they shouldn't be discarded simply for one bad day in January.

 

Mid-Season Player of the Year

JacobPullen

Jacob Pullen (Kansas State)

Perhaps a homer pick, but Meek agreed with me. Pullen is second in the conference in scoring, 11th in assists and third in 3-point percentage — and the heart and soul of a K-State team that basically played its way into the NCAA Tournament during its non-con stretch.

Honorable Mention: Ekpe Udoh, Baylor

 

Mid-Season Defensive Player of the Year

EkpeUdoh

Ekpe Udoh (Baylor)

I leaned toward the Michigan transfer because of his league-leading 4.71 blocks per game, although you certainly could make a case for Zaire Taylor, who's second in steals, after his performance on Saturday.

But Udoh has more blocks than five Big 12 teams. That's just insane, and for now, he's a shoo-in.

Honorable Mention: Zaire Taylor, Missouri

 

Mid-Season Newcomer of the Year

EkpeUdoh

Ekpe Udoh (Baylor)

Not only has Udoh single-handedly doubled Baylor's defensive power this season, but he's also made an impact on offense — he's 16th in scoring and the top rebounder in the conference.

What a beast.

Honorable Mention: Marquis Gilstrap, Iowa State

 

Mid-Season Freshman of the Year

XavierHenry

Xavier Henry (Kansas)

One and done. Need I say more?

Honorable Mention: Alec Burks, Colorado

 

Mid-Season Coach of the Year

FrankMartin

Frank Martin (Kansas State)

Disagree all you want, but ESPN hasn't been singing his praises for weeks now for no reason.

Every week, it seems like this team does something that hasn't been done at K-State for 20, 30 or even 50 years. The records are falling like leaves in October. If they keep it up, he'll be a no-brainer pick.

And yes, I considered Mike Anderson, but you might remember I gave it to him last year...?

Honorable Mention: Scott Drew, Baylor

 

Mid-Season All-Big 12 First Team

SherronCollins JacobPullen JamesAnderson DamionJames EkpeUdoh
Sherron Collins Jacob Pullen James Anderson Damion James Ekpe Udoh
Kansas Kansas State Oklahoma State Texas Baylor

Pretty much the same as Meek's. Anderson leads the Big 12 in scoring, James is seventh in scoring and second in rebounding, and Pullen and Udoh are grandfathered in from above. As for Collins, well, we all agreed he was the Jayhawks' best player, didn't we? And the best player on the formerly No. 1 team certainly deserves a spot here.

 

Mid-Season All-Big 12 Second Team

DonaldSloan LaceDariusDunn CoryHiggins MarshallMoses ColeAldrich
Donald Sloan LaceDarius Dunn Cory Higgins Marshall Moses Cole Aldrich
Texas A&M Baylor Colorado Oklahoma State Kansas

Sloan's fifth in scoring and single-handedly is holding the Aggies together after Derrick Roland's injury. Dunn's third in scoring and finally starting to show some dangerous consistency for the Bears. Higgins is fourth in scoring, but he's barely the best scorer on his own team because Alec Burks is a phenomenon. Aldrich and Moses are third and fourth in rebounding, respectively, and I believe both are averaging a double-double.

 

Mid-Season All-Big 12 Third Team

JohnRoberson XavierHenry MarquisGilstrap CraigBrackins TinyGallon
John Roberson Xavier Henry Marquis Gilstrap Craig Brackins Tiny Gallon
Texas Tech Kansas Iowa State Iowa State Oklahoma

This one was tough. You could make a case for Mike Singletary, but I needed a point guard and Roberson leads the league in assists, so I thought he deserved a spot here. Brackins and Gilstrap both have been good, but neither has been quite as spectacular as expected. There's still time, though. Lost in Oklahoma's crappy record is a pretty solid season from an inexperienced, overweight freshman, Tiny Gallon, who's fifth in rebounding and second in offensive rebounding. Poor dude just can't catch a break -- unless it's a backboard, of course.

My honorable mentions would go to Avery Bradley (Texas), Willie Warren (Oklahoma), Alec Burks (Colorado), Mike Singletary (Texas Tech), Kim English (Missouri), Denis Clemente (Kansas State), Dexter Pittman (Texas), Tony Crocker (Oklahoma), David Tairu (Texas Tech), Bryan Davis (Texas A&M), Diante Garrett (Iowa State), Tommy Mason-Griffin (Oklahoma), J'Covan Brown (Texas), B.J. Holmes (Texas A&M), Zaire Taylor (Missouri), Keith Ramsey (Missouri), Eshaunte Jones (Nebraska), Lucca Staiger (Iowa State), Ryan Anderson (Nebraska) and Lance Jeter (Nebraska).

 

Mid-Season All-Big 12 Freshman Team

TommyMasonGriffin XavierHenry AlecBurks AveryBradley TinyGallon
Tommy Mason-Griffin Xavier Henry Alec Burks Avery Bradley Tiny Gallon
Oklahoma Kansas Colorado Texas Oklahoma

Pretty much covered all of these above. Mason-Griffin and Gallon are playing about as well as you can expect, Burks is putting up slightly better numbers than Henry on a much worse team, and Henry and Bradley will be playing professional ball by this time next year. Easiest team on this list, really, other than that I had to go with a four-guard lineup.

 

Key

Results are plugged into this wonderful tool to generate the predicted records and seed order. Winners are predicted by a best-of-three system comprising three statistical prediction models:

Predicted Outcomes

01.09
4-1 (.800)
86 Colorado
103 Texas
68 K-State
74 Missouri
53 Nebraska
64 A&M
60 Oklahoma
91 Baylor
52 Tech
81 O-State
01.11-01.13
O-State (GPS)
@ Oklahoma
A&M
@ K-State (GPS)
Baylor (GPS)
@ Colorado
Texas (GPS)
@ I-State
Kansas (GPS)
@ Nebraska
Missouri (PS)
@ Tech (G)
01.16
Missouri (GPS)
@ Oklahoma
Tech
@ Kansas (GPS)
K-State (GPS)
@ Colorado
O-State
@ Baylor (GPS)
A&M
@ Texas (GPS)
I-State
@ Nebraska (GPS)
01.18-01.20
Texas (GPS)
@ K-State
Oklahoma
@ A&M (GPS)
Colorado
@ O-State (GPS)
Baylor
@ Kansas (GPS)
I-State
@ Tech (GPS)
01.23
O-State
@ K-State (GPS)
Colorado
@ A&M (GPS)
Kansas (GPS)
@ I-State
Nebraska
@ Missouri (GPS)
Oklahoma
@ Tech (GPS)
01.25-01.27
Missouri
@ Kansas (GPS)
K-State
@ Baylor (GPS)
A&M
@ O-State (GPS)
I-State
@ Oklahoma (GPS)
Tech
@ Texas (GPS)
Nebraska (GPS)
@ Colorado
01.30
Oklahoma
@ Nebraska (GPS)
O-State (G)
@ Missouri (PS)
Baylor
@ Texas (GPS)
Kansas (PS)
@ K-State (G)
Colorado
@ I-State (GPS)
Tech
@ A&M (GPS)
02.01-02.03
Texas (GPS)
@ O-State
K-State (GPS)
@ Nebraska
Kansas (GPS)
@ Colorado
A&M
@ Missouri (GPS)
I-State
@ Baylor (GPS)
02.06
O-State (P)
@ Tech (GS)
K-State (GPS)
@ I-State
Missouri (GPS)
@ Colorado
Baylor (G)
@ A&M (GPS)
Texas (GPS)
@ Oklahoma
Nebraska
@ Kansas (GPS)
02.08-02.10
Kansas
@ Texas (GPS)
Tech (S)
@ Oklahoma (GP)
Baylor (GPS)
@ Nebraska
I-State
@ Missouri (GPS)
02.13
Missouri (P)
@ Baylor (GS)
Oklahoma
@ O-State (GPS)
Nebraska
@ Texas (GPS)
A&M (P)
@ Tech (GS)
Colorado
@ K-State (GPS)
I-State
@ Kansas (GPS)
02.15-02.17
Kansas (GPS)
@ A&M
Tech
@ Baylor (GPS)
O-State (G)
@ I-State (PS)
Oklahoma (G)
@ Colorado (PS)
Texas (GS)
@ Missouri (P)
Nebraska
@ K-State (GPS)
02.20
Baylor (G)
@ O-State (PS)
A&M (GP)
@ I-State (S)
Texas (GPS)
@ Tech
Colorado
@ Kansas (GPS)
Missouri (GPS)
@ Nebraska
K-State (GPS)
@ Oklahoma
02.22-02.24
Oklahoma
@ Kansas (GPS)
K-State (PS)
@ Tech (G)
O-State
@ Texas (GPS)
A&M
@ Baylor (GPS)
Colorado
@ Missouri (GPS)
Nebraska
@ I-State (GPS)
02.27
I-State (GS)
@ Colorado (P)
Baylor (GPS)
@ Oklahoma
Texas (GPS)
@ A&M
Tech
@ Nebraska (GPS)
Kansas (GPS)
@ O-State
Missouri
@ K-State (GPS)
03.01-03.03
Oklahoma
@ Texas (GPS)
Colorado
@ Nebraska (GPS)
Baylor (GPS)
@ Tech
Missouri (GPS)
@ I-State
K-State
@ Kansas (GPS)
O-State
@ A&M (GPS)
03.06
A&M (GPS)
@ Oklahoma
Nebraska
@ O-State (GPS)
Kansas (GPS)
@ Missouri
Tech (GS)
@ Colorado (P)
Texas (GPS)
@ Baylor
I-State
@ K-State (GPS)

In This Article

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