Saturday, August 27th, 2011

Big 12 Power Rankings Teams 1-5 : College Basketball Preview

Published on August 21, 2011 by Scott Shirley   ·   2 Comments

Before you know it college basketball will be right around the corner. I thought it would be a good idea to start my college basketball preview. In the following weeks and months I will be breaking down the teams in each conference as well as the top players, freshman, coaches and much more.

Today I look at the Big 12; here are my power rankings for teams 1-5 in the Big 12 for the 2011-12-college basketball season.  A few day ago I looked at teams 6-10.

1.Baylor– Starters Returning (4) Jones III, Acy, Jones, Walton

The Bears lose their leading scorer, but return the next six leading scorers, and they bring in two very highly rated recruits. Perry Jones III (13. 9 ppg) leads a loaded Bears frontcourt. Jones would have been a top pick in last year’s draft, but he returned to school. He is a superb athlete, and despite being a power forward he has the skills of a guard. Anthony Jones (8.5 ppg) also returns at center. Baylor will have quality backups up front in freshman Quincy Miller, J’mison Morgan (3 ppg), and Cory Jefferson. Miller is a top 5 recruit who’s game is just like Jones III. Quincy Acy (12. 4 ppg) returns at small forward; he is a great athlete. Backing him will be Fred Ellis (3.6 ppg). The questions for Baylor will be in the backcourt after losing LaceDarius Dunn. A.J. Walton (7.9 ppg) returns at the point, but look for JUCO transfer Pierre Jackson to challenge for that job. At shooting guard Boston College transfer Brady Heslip will be a deadly shooter for the Bears. Also at shooting guard will be freshmanDeuce Bello. Cal transfer Gary Franklin will also be in the mix, but he is not eligible until December.

2.Kansas – Starters Returning (1) Taylor

Last year was supposed to be the year for Kansas, now they have lost 7 players from last year’s team. This will be Kansas head coach Bill Self’s hardest coaching job, but this is still Kansas. Tyshawn Taylor (9.3 ppg) led Kansas in assists last year; he is very steady at the point, and he will need to score more. Elijah Johnson (3.4ppg)will also likely be in the backcourt; he has the talent to do more. The backups here will be three freshman Ben McLemore, Naadir Tharpe, and Mervyn Lindsay. Thrape and Lindsay should play a lot. Travis Releford (3.7 ppg) will start at small forward, again he has the talent, but must prove it. Thomas Robinson (7.6 ppg) will lead the way down low. Robinson will have a big year as his minutes go up.Jeff Withey (2.3 ppg) will get the job at center; he has great size. The back ups will be Kevin Young and two freshman Braeden Anderson and Jamari Traylor. Traylor is the best of the bunch.

3. Texas A&M – Starters Returning (3) Middleton, Loubeau, Harris

Mark Turgeon left Texas A&M for Maryland; now Billy Kennedy takes over. Turgeon left plenty of talent for Kennedy. Khris Middleton (14.4 ppg)is the best player for the Aggies. He will most likely play at the small forward; he does a little bit of everything plus he led his team in points and rebounds last year. David Loubeau (11.8 ppg) is an emerging star at power forward; he has improved every season. Kourtney Roberson (5.6 ppg)will take the duties at center. The depth in the frontcourt will come from Keith Davis (1 ppg), redshirt freshman Daniel Alexander, and Ray Turner (4 ppg). Dash Harris (4.2 ppg)leads the way in the backcourt; he’s a good point guard, but needs to be a better shooter. Naji Hibbert (5.2 ppg)will be Harris’s running mate in the backcourt. Washington transfer Elston Turner will also be in the mix here. Two freshman will also get playing time in the backcourt Jordan Green and Jamal Branch. Branch is the better of the two.

4.Missouri– Starters Returning (5) English, Bowers, Denmon, Ratliffe, Dixon

New head coach Frank Haith walks into a pretty good situation only one-quality player is not back from last year’s team. Now Haith will have to worry about the problems that are coming to light from his days at Miami. Marcus Denmon (16.9 ppg) is the Tigers best player he is lethal from the three-point line. Joining him in the backcourt is point guard Michael Dixon (10.3 ppg) who is a very crafty player. Brothers Phil (6.5 ppg) and Matt Pressey (5.7 ppg) are two great backups. In fact Phil led the team in assists last year. Kim English (10 ppg)is a great athlete at small forward. Leading the way in the frontcourt is Laurence Bowers (11.6 ppg), who is also an excellent defender. Ricardo Ratliffe (10.6 ppg)was the top freshman in the Big 12 last season. If there is a weakness for the Tigers is their depth up front and frontcourt players lacking size. Providing the depth will be redshirt freshman Kadeem Green and Steve Moore (2 ppg).

5. Texas – Starters Returning (0)

Texas was hurt badly by the NBA draft as three players left early; the Longhorns lose 6 of their 7 top scorers. Head coach Rick Barnes always brings in top freshman, and this year is no different. The Longhorns best returning player is J’Covan Brown (10.4 ppg) in the backcourt; he is an all around player who excels as a shooter. The point guard will be the talented Myck Kabongo, who is a top 10 recruit. This kid is quick with the ball and is a great passer. Three freshman will be the backups in the backcourt Sheldon McClellan, Julien Lewis, and Sterling Gibbs. McClellan is the best of the bunch. The Longhorns will be really hurting in the frontcourt. Alexis Wangmene (2.3 ppg) is the best returning player here. The other starter will likely be freshman Jonathan Holmes. Backing them up will also be two freshman Jaylen Bond and Kevin Thomas. Look for all the freshman in this class to get a lot of quality playing time.


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Readers Comments (2)

  1. Baylor Fan says:

    I agree I see the Bears winning the Big 12 and going all the way to the title game. The might have the must talent on their team besided Uk and UNC.

  2. [...] Home › NCAA Basketball › Big 12 Power Rankings Teams 1-5 : College Basketball Preview [...]

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