Happy New Year everyone. As the Big 12 begins conference play this weekend, it's becoming quite evident we're in for an exciting season. Oklahoma State and Kansas are still front runners in my opinion, but Iowa State, Baylor, and even Texas are making some noise in one of the most exciting basketball conferences this season.
Kansas State 72, Tulane 41
Coming off a big win against Gonzaga, K-State had no trouble with Tulane Saturday. The Wildcats, who have now won seven straight, are riding high with their defense. Senior Shane Southwell led the offense with a career-high 19 points.
West Virginia 82, William & Mary 45,
The Mountaineers cruised past William and Mary with the help of sophomore guard Terry Henderson, who scored a season-high of 19 points on Sunday. Nathan Adrian and Juwan Stewart also scored 16 and 15 points respectively in the blowout.
Texas 66, Rice 44
Texas rebounded well from the loss against Michigan State last Saturday as Jonathan Holmes helped put the game away early for the Horns. Holmes scored 11 of his team-high 15 points in the first half and also finished the game with 6 rebounds and two assists.
No. 6 Oklahoma State 92, Robert Morris 66
It’s becoming clear that the Cowboys are not only the best team in the Big 12, but one of the best in the country. Granted, it was against Robert Morris, but when Marcus Smart only scores seven and you win by 26, you know you’re pretty good.
Texas Tech 100, Mount St. Mary’s (MD) 66
Jay Crocket and Dejan Kravic each scored 14 as Tech rolled the Mountaineers thanks to some stellar play inside the paint. Jared Tolbert also put up 12 points in the win.
No. 9 Baylor 81, Oral Roberts 51
Cory Jefferson helps Baylor overcome its slow start and finishes with 17 points as Baylor crushes Oral Roberts.
No. 16 Kansas 93, Toledo 83
The 9-3 Jayhawks handed the Rockets their first loss of the season Monday night in Lawrence thanks to some outstanding play by Perry Ellis. In addition to scoring a team high of 21 points, Ellis also got 11 boards
Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid also had good games Monday night as Wiggins scored 20 points and Emiid finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
TCU 77, Texas Southern 64
Kyan Anderson led the way with 21 points and 7 assists Sunday afternoon. Armic Fields put up 17 points and 12 rebounds and Karviar Shepherd added 10 points of his own in the win.
TCU begins conference play this Saturday against West Virginia.
TCU heads into conference play on a five game winning streak, and winners of eight of their last nine, most recently beating Texas Southern 77-64.
Amric Fields returned to the court and made a big impact, scoring 17 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, and Kyan Anderson added 21 points. Over the last six games Anderson is averaging a little over 20 points per game.
TCU took a hit to their free throw percentage on Sunday, shooting just 10-15 from the charity stripe. This is mostly Fields' fault, as he made only two of his five free throw attempts. On the season, the Frogs are shooting just under 75% from the line as a team, much improved from 60% as a team a year ago.
Turning to focus on conference play, the Frogs kick off the Big 12 season with a home game against West Virginia on January 4th, and it should be one of their best opportunities to get a conference win. West Virginia is currently 8-5 on the season, and they've only beaten two teams with winning records (Duquesne and William & Mary, both of whom are 6-5). West Virginia looks different than a year ago without their big Turkish center Deniz Kilicli in the middle, and the Frogs have already faced off against a guy who donned a Mountaineer jersey a year ago in Aaric Murray, who now plays for Texas Southern.
That game will be followed up on January 7th with a home game vs. Kansas State.
Here's a look at the current Big 12 standings, with a few non-conference games left for some teams.