Big 12 Preview Men’s Basketball 2021 Season Preview
Last season, the Big 12 proved itself to be one of the best conferences in college basketball as they sent seven teams to the NCAA tournament.
Going down the list, the reigning NCAA champion Baylor Bears came away with the conference title last season following a 28-2 season and an 11-1 record in the Big 12.
Despite losing big talent to the NBA such as Davion Mitchell and Jared Butler, the Bears still possess a few quality guards for this season including junior Adam Flagler and senior Matthew Mayer who both averaged over eight points per game last season.
The biggest contender for Baylor last season was the Kansas Jayhawks who finished with a 12-6 record in the Big 12 and gave the Bears their only loss in the conference.
Unlike the Bears, Kansas returns its top three scorers from a year ago as Ochai Agbaji, David McCormack and Jalen Wilson all come back for another go.
The Texas Longhorns also come in as one of the more experienced teams in the Big 12 as they are led by two senior guards in Andrew Jones and Courtney Ramey. Jones led the team last season in points per game with 14.6.
West Virginia tied with Texas in terms of conference record last season but they lost arguably their best player in Miles McBride who is now with the New York Knicks in the NBA as well as their second-leading scorer Derek Culver who is now in the G-League.
Senior Taz Sherman averaged the third-highest amount of points on that roster last season as he had 13.4 points per game which included a season-high of 26 points against Baylor during the regular season.
Oklahoma State arguably loses the biggest name in college basketball from a year ago as Cade Cunningham became the number one overall pick going to the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Draft.
Aside from Cunningham, junior Avery Anderson III was the only player on last year's Cowboys team to average double-digits in points as he had 12.2 per game as he likely checks in as the team's best player for this season.
The Cowboys however will not be able to play in the NCAA tournament this season following a bribery scandal.
Like Oklahoma State, Texas Tech lost one of the top players in college basketball as Mac McClung, who led the Red Raiders in points a year ago, is now gone which gives more of the spotlight to Terrence Shannon Jr. who finished with 12.9 points per game.
Oklahoma was the final team to make the NCAA tournament from the Big 12 and a majority of the talent that got them there will not be on the team this season. Their leading scorer Austin Reaves left for the Los Angeles Lakers while both De'Vion Harmon and Brady Manek left via the transfer portal.
Only time will tell if the Bears will repeat as conference champions but it should be a fun year for the Big 12 conference.
Logan Bourandas is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Third-Year / Broadcast Journalism