A pair of upsets and series of tight games highlighted week five in Big 12 action.
The biggest upsets were the Oklahoma State Cowboys destroying the No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks, 86-67 at home along with the Texas Longhorns upending the No. 6 West Virginia Mountaineers, 56-49 in Morgantown. The Cowboys shot tremendous from the field lead by guard Juwan Evan’s 22 points-six rebounds-eight assists in the upset; while the Longhorns clamped down on defense limiting the Mountaineers to just 31% shooting in their upset.
Solid matchups lead to a series of tight games in the week, as five games were decided by just 10 points or less.
This is the Big 12 Power Rankings: Week Five
Oklahoma Sooners (16-2) (5-2): Bounce back victory for the Sooners as they simply outshot the Baylor Bears in Waco winning 82-72. Oklahoma was lead by their terrific guard duo of Jordan Woodard and Buddy Hield. Woodard chipped in 20 points-seven assists-four steals and Hield was huge pouring in 19 points-eight boards-three assists in the victory.
Game Notes: Oklahoma shot an astounding 62% from the floor. Four of their five starters scored in double digits while connecting on 16 three’s: wow.
Next Up: V. Texas Tech Red Raiders
Kansas Jayhawks (16-3) (5-2): After a sloppy first half, the Jayhawks regrouped and took care of business defeating the Texas Longhorns, 76-67 in Lawrence. Kansas trailed Texas by five at half but came out the second half, guns-a-blazing, outscoring the Longhorns by 12 to ensure the victory. Texas’s full court press and zone defense stifled the Jayhawks as they finished the game only connecting on 40% of their shoots.
Game Notes: Forward Perry Ellis was a difference-maker for Kansas as he willed this Kansas team to victory scoring 26 points and four rebounds through a well-developed post-game. Ellis’s production will be crucial for Kansas as their schedule doesn’t get any easier with a trip to Ames to play the rival Iowa State Cyclones and a home game versus the Kentucky Wildcats.
Next Up: @ No. 13 Iowa State Cyclones
West Virginia Mountaineers (16-3) (5-2): West Virginia rebounded big defeating the Texas Tech Red Raiders, 80-76 in Lubbock. The Mountaineers did this after an upsetting defeat to Texas Longhorns earlier in the week. West Virginia outscored Texas Tech by seven to ensure victorious, thanks a lot in part to their bench play.
Game Notes: The Mountaineers spark came at the hands of guards Jaysean Paige (AGAIN) and Tarik Phillip. Paige contributed 22 points and two assists while Phillip tallied 20 points and three steals in the victory. The duo’s combined 42 points made up more than half of the Mountaineers total point output this game.
Next Up: V. Kansas State Wildcats
Baylor Bears (15-4) (5-2): Baylor simply forgot how to play defense in their 82-72 loss to the Oklahoma Sooners at home. The Bears had their hands stopping any Sooner player, as Oklahoma connected on 62% of their shots. Baylor’s strength lied in their offensive execution as four Bears scored in doubled figures in the defeat.
Game Notes: Forward Taurean Prince and Jonathan Motely lead the Bears with 15 points apiece. Motley put out his third double double of the year, contributing 15 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
Next Up: @ Oklahoma State Sooners
Iowa State Cyclones (15-4) (4-3): The Cyclones have found the winning formula lately, victors of their last three in the Big 12 play. Iowa State’s latest victory was a 73-60 over the TCU Horned Frogs in Fort Worth. The Cyclones were clicking on all cylinders shooting a lights out, 52% from the field in the win.
Game Notes: Guard Deonte Burton quietly had an impressive showing for the Cyclones posting 15 points-three rebounds-two assists off the bench. Bench production will remain critical for the Cyclones to alleviate the offensive pressure strung on their starting five.
Next Up: V. No. 4 Kansas Jayhawks
Texas Longhorns (12-7) (4-3): Texas played tough but lost a slugfest, 76-67 to the Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence. The Longhorns had the Jayhawks on the ropes the first half leading by five. From there, things went south for Texas being outscored by 12 in the second half. Texas’s biggest advantage/disadvantage is their offensive balance. Here’s why: on any given night a Longhorn can make an impact: forward Connor Lambert (15 points-five rebounds); while the downside of this is when each player isn’t performing, the likelihood of victory is slim.
Game Notes: Texas has a plethora of solid players such as; Isaiah Taylor, Javan Felix and Eric Davis Jr., but lacks ultimately lack a true leader. This has been seen evident as the Longhorns have had a different leading scorer in each of their last three games.
Next Up: V. TCU Horned Frogs
Texas Tech Red Raiders (12-6) (2-5): Another tight loss for Texas Tech as they gave up a seven point lead and lost, 80-76 to the West Virginia Mountaineers at home. The biggest enemy for Tech is the end of games as most their losses have come within the last five minutes of the game.
Game Notes: Just like Texas, the Red Raiders lack a true team leader, mainly because of their youth. This game, Tech was lead by forward Zach Smith who tallied 18 points-four rebounds-two blocks in their defeat.
Next Up: @ No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners
Kansas State Wildcats (12-7) (2-5): The Wildcats second victory was a blowout, defeating the Oklahoma State Cowboys, 89-73 at home. The blowout was ignited by Kansas State scoring in bunches as all five starters reached double figures in the win. Kansas State was lead by the guard duo of Kamau Stokes and Justin Edwards who poured in 13 points apiece.
Game Notes: The Wildcats defense was stingy holding the Cowboys to just 29% shooting behind the arc. Kansas State also did a terrific job containing Cowboys guard Juwan Edwards who just scored 11 points in the defeat.
Next Up: @ No. 9 West Virginia Mountaineers
Oklahoma State Cowboys (10-9) (2-5): The Cowboys have had one of the strangest weeks. Oklahoma State started the week off defeating No. 3 Kansas, 86-67 only to get blown out themselves, 89-73 to the Kansas State Wildcats on the road. The Cowboys were outscored quickly finding themselves down by 19 at half and couldn’t do enough in the second half to pull out a victory.
Game Notes: Player To Watch: Guard Tyree Griffin. Griffin, a sophomore from New Orleans came up big off the bench for the Cowboys leading Oklahoma State with 18 points-five assists-two rebounds in the defeat.
Next Up: V. No. 17 Baylor Bears
TCU Horned Frogs (9-10) (1-6): Another blowout for the Horned Frogs, this one a 73-60 defeat to the Iowa State Cyclones at home. TCU’s defense was porous surrendering a 54% shooting output to the Cyclones while only connecting on just 39% field goals. The Horned Frogs simply don’t have enough weapons to stay competitive in this tough Big 12 league.
Game Notes: Guard Chauncey Collins is a young star guard that led TCU with 14 points-four assists-three rebounds in this contest.