Big 12 Power Rankings: Week Three

After a triple-overtime classic between Big-12 powerhouses, Kansas and Oklahoma, big road wins and Buddy Hield going OFF highlighted the encore week.

The Jayhawks and Bears faced huge road tests at Lubbock Texas and Ames, Iowa respectively. Kansas defeated Texas Tech 69-59 and Baylor edged Iowa State 94-89. As for the Oklahoma-Kansas State matchup the biggest headline heading into the game was: “what will Hield do next?”

Buddy Hield, one of the best players in the nation, poured in 46 points, going 13-23 from the field, with eight boards and seven assists in a 109-106 triple overtime loss to the Jayhawks. This week, Hield and the Sooners faced a tough test at home playing Kansas State. Once again, Hield came up huge scoring 31 points off 11-14 shooting with eight rebounds and five assists in an 86-76 win over the Wildcats.

  1. Kansas Jayhawks (14-1) (3-0): 13 straight wins for the Jayhawks. This one, a 69-59 victory over a tough Red Raiders squad. Kansas found themselves in a battle all game, only leading by two at half. After half, the Jayhawks took control taking a commanding 10-point lead, but then Texas Tech answered. Through a series of defensive stops, the Red Raiders tied it up at 44-44 behind a rowdy home crowd. From then on, the Jayhawks clamped down on defense and finished off the Red Raiders 69-59. Game Notes: Perry Ellis recorded his second straight double double with 15-10 while Frank Mason lead the squad with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Next Up: @ No. 11 West Virginia Mountaineers
  2. Oklahoma Sooners (13-1) (2-1): Solid bounce back win for Sooners as they shoot 56% from the field defeating the Wildcats, 86-76 at home. Oklahoma was lead by Buddy Hield. Hield, a senior guard from the Bahamas poured in 31 points, eight rebounds and five rebounds to lead the team. Hield also had some help from Jordan Woodard. Woodard, a junior guard from Arcadia, OK scored 19 points with three rebounds and four assists in the victory. Game Notes: The Sooner controlled the game behind the arc shooting 58% while clamping down the other end where the Wildcats only shot 31%. This marks the third straight game that Oklahoma has made 10 or more threes in Big 12 play. Next Up: @ Oklahoma State Cowboys
  3. West Virginia Mountaineers (14-1) (3-0): West Virginia began their first Big 12 home game in style blowing out Oklahoma State, 77-60. West Virginia received production from every player that stepped on the court Saturday as every Mountaineer but one scored. The Mountaineers full court pressure caused havoc against the Cowboys as they forced 16 turnovers and shot horribly from three at 33.3%. Game Notes: Where Jevon Carter and Jonathan Holton go dictates where West Virginia will go. Simply put: when Carter and Holton score, the Mountaineers win. They did as Carter; a sophomore from Maywood, IL stuffed the stat sheet with 16 points, five assists, three rebounds and a steal. Meanwhile, Holton, a senior from Miami, FL was a monster down low pouring in 15 points and nine rebounds in the victory. Up Next Up: V. No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks
  4. Baylor Bears (12-3) (2-1): Upset Complete! Baylor edged Iowa State, 94-89 through a pair of double double machines and a rising star. The Bears shot 52% from the field while outrebounding the Cyclones, 40-34 in the victory. Baylor was lead by huge performances by Jonathan Motley off the bench and Taurean Prince. Motley, a sophomore from Houston, TX, was a big spark for the Bears pouring in 27 points and 13 rebounds. As for Prince, a senior from San Antonio, TX, collected another double double with 18-10. Game Notes: Baylor’s length within the interior really affected Iowa State forward Abdel Nadar who committed five of the nine total Cyclone turnovers. In addition, the Bears played excellent three-point defense as the Cyclones shot only 34% as a team. Next Up: TCU Horned Frogs
  5. Iowa State Cyclones (12-3) (1-2): Blowing an 11-point lead was not in the Cyclone game plan as they fell 94-89 to the Baylor Bears. Iowa State played well offensively, as three players (Niang, Nader and Morris) scored 20+ points for the Cyclones but sputtered down the stretch in the defeat. Similar to the Oklahoma game, the Cyclones defensive laps and lack of a go-to player domed them in this game as they were outrebounded, outshot and outplayed. Game Notes: Foul trouble matters, especially in Big 12 play. Guards Monte Morris and Matt Thomas struggled with foul trouble the entirety of the game, as Morris finished with four fouls and Thomas fouled out. The Cyclones play only seven players so this will be a key an adversary will try to expose moving forward. Next Up: @Texas Longhorns
  6. Texas Tech Red Raiders (11-3) (1-2): Texas Tech raised some eye brows going (10-1) before conference play; but then they started playing Big 12 teams and Big 12 teams are elite. Thus, the Red Raiders record so far. Texas Tech is lead by two heady seniors in Devaugntah Williams and Toddrick Gotcher. Williams, a guard from Canton, OH, is the teams leading scorer at 14 points-per-game. Gotcher, a two-guard from Garland, TX is one of the team’s top scorers (11 points-per-game), rebounder (4.4 rebounds-per-game) and assist-man at 2.6 per game. Now depth has proven to be an issue for the Red Raiders as they only go about seven deep. That weakness was exposed against the Kansas Jayhawks at home in a 69-59 defeat. Game Notes: Texas Tech will be a tough out by any opponent as the Red Raiders hold opponents to a mere 66 points-per-game. The Red Raiders are relatively young as well starting three productive sophomores in Norense Odiase, Zach Smith and Keenan Evans. Next Up: @ Kansas State Wildcats
  7. TCU Horned Frogs (9-6) (1-2): TCU picked up a tight win at home over the Texas Longhorns, 59-58. With the win, the Horned Frogs picked up their first victory over the Longhorns since 1995. TCU has a young roster led by a pair of sophomores in Vladimir Brodziansky and Malique Trent. Brodziansky a forward is a force in the interior leading the Frogs in points (12 points-per-game), blocks (1.1 per-game) and is one of TCU’s best rebounder at 5 rebounds-per-game. As for Trent, a transfer combo guard from New Mexico JC has made an immediate for the Horned Frogs averaging 12 points-per-game, three rebounds-per-game and three assists. Game Notes: The biggest issue potentially for TCU is a lack of scoring. The Horned Frogs only score 71 points-per-game as a team on 43% shooting. That poor shooting could be an Achilles heel as TCU faces the tougher end of their Big 12 schedule. Next Up: @ Baylor Bears
  8. Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-6) (1-2): Back to back losses for the Cowboys have put them on the wrong end of .500 as they struggled mightily in a 77-60 loss to the West Virginia Mountaineers on the road. Both the losses have been blowouts and this is largely due to the devastating loss of guard Phil Forte due to a serious elbow injury. Oklahoma State will have to lean even more on senior Jeff Newberry and freshman Juwan Evans. Newberry, a savvy guard from Atlanta, GA is veteran for the Cowboys who leads the team in scoring at 12 points-per-game, rebounder (5.4 per-game) and steals leader at 1,3 per-game. Newberry and Evans will be the key to the Cowboys success moving forward. Game Notes: The Cowboys have to get more production offensively from forward Leyton Hammonds and center Mitchell Solomon who combined for just five points and both fouled out if they expect to win any more games. Next Up: No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners
  9. Texas Longhorns (9-6) (1-2): Well the Shaka Smart era has begun in Austin and it’s onto a rocky start. Losses to Washington, Michigan and TCU have put the Longhorns on the wrong end of the Big 12 cellar. Also, a 59-58 loss to TCU on the road was not an inspiring way to start a tough four game stretch against Iowa State, Kansas and West Virginia, all whom rank in the Top 25. Game Notes: After the loss of Cameron Ridley indefinitely to a broken foot, Texas will lean even larger on veterans Isaiah Taylor and Javon Felix. The combo guards will be essential for the Longhorns moving forward. Next Up: No. 17 Iowa State Cyclones
  10. Kansas State Wildcats: Three straight heartbreaking losses for Kansas State. All three Big 12 losses have been by 10 points of less, this one a 86-76 loss to No. 2 Oklahoma on the road. Kansas State lacks the offensive firepower to keep them in many games as their leading scorers: Wesley Iwundu and Justin Edwards only average 12-per game. The Wildcats only shot 27% from three so they have to be a lockdown defense if they expect to win more games in on the best conferences in the nation in the Big 12. Game Notes: It’s imperative the Wildcats clamp down on defense the rest of the season as they allowed the Oklahoma Sooner to shoot 56% from the field in their loss. Next Up: No. 17 Iowa State Cyclones.