Sizing Up the Big 12 Men's Basketball Picture

By Steve Ungrey

Ranking the Big 12 Entering 2014-15 College Basketball Season

Big 12 Basketball
Denny Medley -- USA TODAY Sports

The Big 12 has historically been one of the best conferences in middle America when it comes to college basketball, with strong teams all the way from Texas to Iowa. This coming season will be no exception. Let's take a look at the Big 12 and how well it should do.

10. TCU

TCU basketball
Denny Medley -- USA TODAY Sports

10. TCU

TCU basketball
Denny Medley -- USA TODAY Sports

It's going to be a long season for the Horned Frogs, who should be at the bottom of the Big 12 once again. Not only did TCU go 0-18 in the Big 12 a year ago, but the team has to play all of its home games at a neutral site because its home gym of over 50 years is being renovated.

9. Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State basketball
Denny Medley -- USA TODAY Sports

9. Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State basketball
Denny Medley -- USA TODAY Sports

No Marcus Smart will spell some trouble for the Cowboys, but the reality is this team underachieved even with Smart on the roster. It was 21-13 overall and below .500 in the Big 12, and not even an infusion of recruiting help will guide Oklahoma State in the right direction this year.

8. Texas Tech

Texas Tech basketball
Denny Medley -- USA TODAY Sports

8. Texas Tech

Texas Tech basketball
Denny Medley -- USA TODAY Sports

Tubby Smith was busy on the recruiting trail in his second season at the helm, as he brought in seven new players to the roster. Included were several three-star recruits. Will it be enough to help Tech this year? The answer is not likely, but look out for this team in future seasons.

7. West Virginia

West Virginia basketball
Brad Mills -- USA TODAY Sports

7. West Virginia

West Virginia basketball
Brad Mills -- USA TODAY Sports

Look for the Mountaineers to slip just below .500 this coming season. West Virginia was 17-16 overall and went 9-9 in the Big 12 a year ago, which is an underachievement considering how stacked this conference can be.

6. Kansas State

Kansas State basketball
Scott Rovak -- USA TODAY Sports

6. Kansas State

Kansas State basketball
Scott Rovak -- USA TODAY Sports

The year in Manhattan was fairly successful as Kansas State won 20 games and also went 10-8 in a highly-competitive Big 12. Chicago-area recruit Malek Harris should help Kansas State hold its own in this league, but K-State isn't anywhere ready to challenge Kansas for in-state supremacy just yet.

5. Baylor

Baylor basketball
Soobum Im -- USA TODAY Sports

5. Baylor

Baylor basketball
Soobum Im -- USA TODAY Sports

Look out for the Bears this season. They knocked out Nebraska in the NCAA tournament, but the big surprise came when Baylor stuffed a Doug McDermott-led Creighton squad. Baylor has some solid recruits to offset the loss of standouts like Isaiah Austin, and the Bears could even slip into the top three or four in this league if all goes well.

4. Texas

Texas basketball
Denny Medley -- USA TODAY Sports

4. Texas

Texas basketball
Denny Medley -- USA TODAY Sports

Center Myles Turner could be the next Kevin Durant-style player for the Longhorns, who could use a big man in the middle to pester other teams and score a ton of points. Texas should be among the contenders for the Big 12 title if Turner comes out strong.

3. Oklahoma

Oklahoma basketball
Kirby Lee -- USA TODAY Sports

3. Oklahoma

Oklahoma basketball
Kirby Lee -- USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma could have had a nice long tournament run if it hadn't been for a pesky little team named North Dakota State that scored a stunning NCAA upset. Still, the Sooners will definitely be the best team in the state and will challenge for the Big 12 championship.

2. Iowa State

Iowa State basketball
Adam Hunger -- USA TODAY Sports

2. Iowa State

Iowa State basketball
Adam Hunger -- USA TODAY Sports

The Big 12 tournament champions of a year ago, Iowa State parlayed that success into an NCAA tournament automatic bid, but lost to Connecticut in the third round. Look for the Cyclones to storm to the top of the standings this year, but one team will be in the way of Iowa State for a regular-season title.

1. Kansas

Kansas basketball
Scott Rovak -- USA TODAY Sports

1. Kansas

Kansas basketball
Scott Rovak -- USA TODAY Sports

What would a winter and tournament run be without hearing the words "Rock Chalk Jayhawk" in the same sentence? Manhattan is the center of the Big 12 basketball universe, and the regular-season champions should have little trouble rebuilding the roster, even with the losses of Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid.

You May Also Like