Trending up, trending down
Nov. 15, 2011
Baylor After missing out on the NCAA Tournament dance last season, expect the Bears to be a contender this season and a dominant force in the Big 12. The team is powered by Perry Jones III and should be taken to another level with the emergence of highly touted freshman Quincy Miller. Both were named to the Naismith Trophy Preseason watch list.
Iowa State The Cyclones will look to open eyes this season across the country as they plan on playing six transfers who did not play last season due to NCAA rules. It’s a daring move. But with Michigan State transfer point guard Chris Allen and Minnesota transfer forward Royce White (a Preseason Big 12 Newcomer of the Year choice), it might just work.
Texas A&M The Aggies will have to adapt to assistant coach Glynn Cyprien’s system after Billy Kennedy was ruled out for the season due to medical reasons. They have a core group of returning starters with forwards David Labeou Khris Middleton and guard Dash Harris. Scout.com labeled freshman Jamal Branch as the best defender in the 2011 class.
Kansas State Coach Frank Martin will have to do some soul-searching this season on a team that’s losing much of its identity with the departure of Jacob Pullen. Rodney McGuder will be relied on for offensive production, while a pair of freshmen, Angel Rodriguez and Thomas Gipson, must discover their roles.
Texas Rick Barnes returns zero starters from last year’s team, which was a four-seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Longhorns lack size, and junior guard J’Covan Brown is the only returning player to have received meaningful minutes in his career.
Kansas The Jayhawks lost Brady Morningstar, both of the Morris twins, Tyrel Reed and Josh Selby from last year’s team which went 25-3. Those five accounted for 65 percent of KU’s offense. Also, top freshmen Ben McLemore and Jamari Taylor have both been ruled ineligible for the season. Talent remains, but these are not the Jayhawks of the past few seasons.