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2022-2023 Big 12 College Basketball Preview

The Big 12 is the best conference in all the land, once again, so no angry emails if your team is picked 5th+. I have the 9th place team ranked 45th nationally, this conference is that strong in the aggregate.

1-363 rankings

We have pretty distinct tiers that show up within these rankings.

National Rank
5BaylorBig 12
6TexasBig 12
9KansasBig 12
17TCUBig 12
18OklahomaBig 12
35Texas TechBig 12
38Oklahoma StateBig 12
44Iowa StateBig 12
45West VirginiaBig 12
85Kansas StateBig 12

Bracketology

In Lieu of an All Conference teams, I’ve listed the Top Returning Players by Peak Adjusted Efficiency for SOS. Most will likely come from this list anyway, but the awards are more team driven. I’m more interested in who is actually doing the most when they are on the court. The players can’t control the team that was put around them. If they are putting up tangible numbers at top efficiency per possession on bad teams, that is actually more impressive to me. It’s coming under more pressure and game planning for them, with less viable options around them to take the pressure off. This list encompasses the players that have been the best on a D1 court going into the season.

ADJ effRank
15Tre MitchellWest Virginia
34Christian BishopTexas
35Osun OsunniyiIowa State
38Timmy AllenTexas
44Grant SherfieldOklahoma
45Dylan DisuTexas
53Tanner GrovesOklahoma
59Marcus CarrTexas
63Kevin ObanorTexas Tech
77Fardaws AimaqTexas Tech
83Jalen WilsonKansas
105LJ CryerBaylor
136John-Michael WrightOklahoma State
138Emanuel MillerTCU
145Adam FlaglerBaylor
146Chuck O’BannonTCU
150Joe BamisileOklahoma
163Jalen BridgesBaylor
168Sir’Jabari RiceTexas
185Kevin McCullarKansas
196Jalen HillOklahoma

(Last year’s NET, Seed, and Tournament Finish are on the top header line for reference. Deep bench players are not listed, only those in the projected rotation. I also included player ADJ eff rankings. ADJ eff Rankings and qualifying explanation here.)

1. Baylor

Baylor5 NET1 seedPER2R
Flo Thamba6-10, 2456.2ppg, 5.6rpg18.8Sr
Jalen Bridges6-7, 2208.4ppg, 4.8rpg(@WVU)17.1So
Keyonte George6-3, 1855*Fr
LJ Cryer6-1, 18513.5ppg, 1.7apg19Jr
Adam Flagler6-3, 18013.8ppg 3.0apg17.7Sr
Tchamwa Tchatchoua6-8, 2458.4ppg, 6.8rpg23.8Jr
Caleb Lohner6-8, 2307.0ppg, 6.6rpg(@BYU)10.9BYU
Dantwan Grimes6-2 17014.1ppg, 3.2apg (JUCO)JrJUCO
Dale Bonner6-2, 1703.1ppg, 1.5apg8.7Jr
Joshua Ojianwuna6-10, 2304*Fr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
105LJ Cryer
145Adam Flagler
163Jalen Bridges

The big men are proven, the backcourt is experienced, and there is just a lot to like about this team. Personally, I don’t think James Akinjo is as big a loss as the All-American billing that came with him might indicate. He was relatively inefficient for the level of hype and his 3rd team All American award was more of a team award than an individual excellence award. With all the experience the real upside of this team seems tied to the freshman Keyonte George as that third guard and how ready or not he is.

If he’s not in fact ready JUCO transfer Dawanta Grimes probably will provide a decent more experienced option. That may be all they need to rank in the top 10 again anyway with what they return. He made 36% of his three’s last year in JUCO’s on nearly 2 made a game volume so he should at least be able to make open three’s. George was around a 39% three-point shooter on 3 makes a game from the high school stats available as well. They both seem capable of at least filling a lower usage complementary spacer role Baylor needs adequately.

2. Texas

Texas16 NET6 seedPER2R
Dylan Disu6-9, 2203.7ppg, 3.2rpg18.2Jr
Christian Bishop6-7 2207.0ppg, 5.6rpg22.1Gr
Timmy Allen6-6, 19812.1ppg, 6.4rpg20.9Gr
Marcus Carr6-2, 19011.4ppg, 3.4apg14Gr
Tyrese Hunter6-0, 17811.0ppg, 4.9apg14.1So
Dillon Mitchell6-7, 1955*Fr
Arterio Morris6-2, 1755*Fr
Sir’Jarbari Rice6-4, 18011.9ppg, 5.1rpg(NM St)14.3Gr
Brock Cunningham6-5, 2042.3ppg, 2.3rpg14.9So
Rowan Brumbaugh6-4, 1804*Fr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
34Christian Bishop
38Timmy Allen
45Dylan Disu
59Marcus Carr
168Sir’Jabari Rice

I had Texas ranked in the top 10 even before Hunter committed. Unlike most, I see Hunter more as a solid P5 level starter with some potential than a star. I do not see him as anywhere near one of the best overall transfers this cycle. Still, it’s a nice get for Texas and helps lock them into what I thought they could be with another solid proven starter. The only slight negative is the fit with Carr. I really expected Carr to be in for a potential big bounce-back season closer to as efficient as he was at Minnesota. Anything that could distract from that and take the ball out of Carr’s hands could hinder the team’s success.

Disu I also expect will play more like he did at Vanderbilt. He should get the minutes now and not have to look over his shoulder for when Tre Mitchell is coming in. These are the two key places I think it’s easy to see improving and mitigating some of the losses. I loved Mitchell but he really didn’t play major minutes. I don’t think Ramey is a big loss, Hunter can make up for that and probably a little more. This was a good team and one with a path to improve with players who have done more in the past already and shown that ceiling like Disu and Carr. When you show me your proven ceiling as a player, I’m going to believe that still exists. Bishop was good last year when he got to play, getting him on the court more is only a good thing as well. He proved he can do more as well when he was in the Big East. This is a team with #1 in the nation type talent.

3. Kansas

Kansas3 NET1 seedPERChamp
Ernest Udeh6-10, 2205*Fr
Jalen Wilson6-8, 21511.1ppg, 7.4rpg18.4Jr
Gradey Dick6-7, 2205*Fr
Kevin McCullar6-6, 20510.1ppg, 4.6rpg15Jr
Dajuan Harris6-1, 1705,4ppg 4.2apg11.1Sr
Zach Clemence6-10, 2252.1ppg, 1.8rpg24.2So
M.J. Rice6-5, 2254*Fr
KJ Adams6-7, 2151.0ppg, 0.8rpg13.6So
Joseph Yesufu6-0, 1802.1ppg, 1.0apg7.4Jr
Zuby Ejiofor6-7, 2154*Fr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
83Jalen Wilson
185Kevin McCullar

This roster is a work in progress but Bill Self is the best coach in the game. It’s got talent albeit inexperienced, but I expect he finds a way to get them up to speed by the end. Harris isn’t amazing, but it will help to have an experienced senior PG to organize the inexperience.

Gradey Dick will likely need to live up to some of the high school billing, although his numbers were a little underwhelming for a 5 star player. (17.9ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.9apg) .McCullar, Wilson, and even Clemence seem capable of doing more, but I do not see an obvious number 1 option and will need to emerge. McCullar and Wilson seems the most likely but that is why this is a concern. I’m not sure I would want either in that role ideally as inefficient as they are. Wilson’s true shooting was .517% when he had higher 23% usage 2 seasons ago. McCullar’s has barely been over .500 true shooting the last 2 seasons, and this was a team that relied on offense more than defense last season as well.

I wouldn’t have Kansas this high if they were almost any other program. That said Self’s track record of finishing no lower than 17th in his 19 seasons at Kansas is incredible. I think you got to give him the benefit of doubt here the way he always seems to have the next team in place or he gets them to that point. That run of avoiding even one off season that nearly every other coach and school have at some point speaks for itself. Pure excellence, but this year might put those standards to the test, and honestly, Kansas is past due.

4. TCU

TCU33 NET9 seedPER2R
Eddie Lampkin6-11, 3006.8ppg, 6.2rpg20.1So
Emanuel Miller6-7, 21010.3ppg, 6.2rpg18.1Sr
Chuck O’Bannon6-6, 2159.5ppg, 4.2rpg17.7Gr
Damion Baugh6-3, 18510.6ppg, 4.5apg13.8Sr
Mike Miles6-1, 19515.4ppg, 3.8apg15.1Jr
Micah Peavy6-7, 2156.1ppg, 4.0rpg11.1Jr
P.J. Haggerty6-3, 1704*Fr
Xavier Cork6-9, 2353.3ppg, 2.7rpg14.2Jr
JaKobe Coles6-7, 2252.7pg, 1.9rpg13.6So
Rondel Walker6-4, 1704.9ppg, 2.6rpg(@Okl St)10.7So
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
138Emanuel Miller
146Chuck O’Bannon
256Mike Miles

Continuity, Continuity, Continuity. With the portal pulling guys away from teams, it’s impressive what they bring back intact. The coaching is good, I just am not a huge fan of the roster makeup. Seems more like a higher floor type team than ceiling as a defensive-driven team. I think they probably have a top 30 floor, but probably a top 15 type of ceiling. I do think they will benefit from continuity, though, especially early, as so many other teams are in flux in the portal age trying to work in players and work out the rotations. That’s all sorted here, and I expect them to not have early slip-ups and bank some wins.

5. Oklahoma

Oklahoma39 NETNITPER2R
Tanner Groves6-9, 23511.6ppg, 5.8rpg21Gr
Jalen Hill6-7, 2259.1ppg, 5.9rpg16.5Sr
Jacob Groves6-7, 1854.6ppg, 2.9rpg10.1Sr
Joseph Bamisile6-4, 19516.3ppg, 5.0rpg(@George Washington)19.5So
Grant Sherfield6-2, 18919.1ppg, 6.4rpg(@Nevada)19.5Sr
Sam Godwin6-9, 2106.3ppg, 3.1rpg(@Wofford)23.6Jr
C.J. Noland6-2, 2293.5ppg, 1.9rpg14.6So
Bijan Cortes6-3, 1942.0ppg, 1.4rpg6.5So
Otega Oweh6-4, 1954*Fr
Milos Uzan6-3, 1704*Fr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
44Grant Sherfield
53Tanner Groves
150Joe Bamisile
196Jalen Hill

I love this rebuilt backcourt and I believe it’s going to be better than Gibson and Goldwire. Sherfield was a massive get that I think pushed them from a borderline 40ish type team into the top 25. He was individually great last year but he was even better two seasons ago, so we know that sort of upside exists.

Moser’s late bloomer career has always made me a little skeptical of what he can be at this level, and if the later stuff was really who he was. It’s still hard for me to completely ignore the early career failures, still, I like the start so far at Oklahoma. Getting a team like Loyola to the Final 4 and then following up with a Sweet 16 to show it wasn’t a fluke was always amazing but there was still a shred of doubt for me. The growth and ability seem to become more real to me now.

6. Texas Tech

Texas Tech8 NET3 seedS16
Fardaws Aimaq6-11, 24518.9ppg, 13.6 (@UVSU)25Sr
Kevin Obanor6-8, 22510.0ppg, 5.5rpg16.8Gr
Kerwin Walton6-5, 2058.2ppg, 1.7rpg(@UNC 2021)12.9Fr-r
D’Maurian Williams6-5, 19514.5ppg, 4.6rpg(@Gardner Webb)17.5So
De’Vion Harmon6-2, 19810.8ppg, 2.1apg(@Oregon)13.7Sr
Jaylon Tyson6-7, 2101.8ppg, 1.1rpg (@Texas)12.9Fr-r
Rickie Isaacs6-2, 1904*Fr
Clarence Nadolny6-3, 1903.5ppg, 1.2rpg10.4
Daniel Batcho6-11, 2452.2ppg, 2.7rpg16.2So
Lamar Washington6-4, 2104*Fr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
63Kevin Obanor
77Fardaws Aimaq

It’s a completely new team and I think the biggest task will be getting so many new key parts playing together early. I do however like the roster makeup and how Adams has rebuilt for the most part. Fardaws was one of the best transfers in the nation that should be able to anchor a solid defense around. Harmon is a pretty experienced PG to help bring it together, and Williams has some size and shooting ability to space it out. There is a little question about how good a facilitator Harmon can actually be.

It’s all solid, the hope is just Tyson can live up to the hype. He didn’t get much chance at Texas to discredit the rankings in a small sample, but I do think you have to worry some about why he wasn’t playing more. Texas was loaded sure, but guys with his hype typically find their way into the rotation especially early, and he did not.

I thought their season kind of hinged on if Tyson was overrated or not, and can play the role they need him to. The other 4 projected starters seem experienced and solid enough to keep them competitive. Adding Kerwin Walton from UNC changed that calculus. I think that solidly put them in the top 40 if they can get him to play any level of defense at all.

Fortunately, that is what this team was known for last year. We know Walton is a solid shooter who could average 8ppg on a pretty good UNC team. He was all but forgotten last year but he’s the kind of proven wing Tech needs. The post players between Fardaws and Obanor should be among the best in the nation, it’s just what’s around them coming together now.

7. Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State45 NETon probation last year
Moussa Cisse6-10, 2207.2ppg, 6.5rpg21.9Jr
Kalib Boone6-9, 2209.4ppg, 5.4rpg(2021)23.9Sr
Caleb Asberry6-3, 17013.6ppg, 4.5rpg(@Texas St)20.4So
Avery Anderson6-3, 17012.1ppg, 3.2rpg13.9Sr
John-Michael Wright6-1, 18520.7ppg, 5.2rpg (2021@HighPoiint)25.9Sr
Russell Harrison6-7, 20013.1ppg, 5.5rpg(@ULM)17Gr
Bryce Thompson6-5, 18810.6ppg, 2.3rpg11.8Jr
Tyreek Smith6-7, 2203.5ppg, 2.8rpg18.6Jr
Woody Newton6-8, 2002.1ppg, 0.9rpg10.7So
Chris Harris6-2, 2003.4ppg, 1.1rpg(2021)4.1So-r
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
136John-Michael Wright

This was a great defensive team last year and returning Cisse, I don’t see that changing. This is a team that could easily move into the top 25 if Wright and Asberry can transition to a P5 conference and just be solid enough. Not even great, just help the terrible offense out of the gutter. Wright was incredible individually 2 seasons ago at High Point, but down a little last year. I think he has the better chance, and they really need the offensive help. This is a nice, deep team with upside tied mostly to how Wright transitions up several levels and if Boynton will actually play Boone more than 11 minutes a game. He was awesome last year when he did play. If I knew for a fact he would play 25 to 30 minutes, I would have them top 30.

8. Iowa State

Iowa State41 NET11 seedS16
Osun Osunniyi6-10, 22011.3, 7.5rpg(@St Bonny)24.5Sr
Alijaz Kunc6-8, 2126.0ppg, 4.1rpg15Gr
Jaren Holmes6-4, 21513.5ppg, 5.0rpg(@St Bonny)15.1Sr
Gabe Kalscheur6-4, 2009.6ppg, 2.4rpg6Sr
Jeremiah Williams6-5, 1859.5ppg, 4.3apg(@Temple)15.1So
Hason Ward6-9, 2006.5ppg, 4.8rpg(@VCU17.8Sr
Tre King6-9, 22514.9ppg, 6.2rpg(@EKU 2020)20.9Jr
Caleb Grill6-3, 1966.4ppg, 2.6rpg12.2Sr
Tamin Lipsey6-0, 1704*Fr
Eli King6-3, 1854*Fr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
35Osun Osunniyi
282Jaren Holmes

One of the biggest turnarounds you will ever see last year for 1st year coach T.J. Otzelberger. I like the rebuilt roster again. Osunniyi with his 7’8″ wingspan should help anchor another solid defense. Having his teammate from St Bonaventure who he’s played so many minutes together should help with some continuity earlier than most transfer-heavy classes.

I believe the key is getting more from Kalscheur. His shooting has left him in a big way, but if he can revert to Minnesota-Kalscheur then this team has upside. It’s harder to believe in a guy who hasn’t done it at a high level since the 20teens, but generally, when you show me the ceiling as a player I’m going to believe he can get back if there was no major injury.

Unfortunately, here there is a finger surgery that seems to have done that. He was trending down even prior to the injury, still I find it hard to believe a broken finger is all of the problems here now. I think he can get back to at least a passable average level (34%) shooter. He doesn’t have to be 41% from three like in 2019 on high volume, just don’t be 23% would help a lot.

9. West Virginia

West Virginia73 NET
Mohamed Wague6-9, 20014.8ppg, 11.9rpg (JUCO)Jr
Tre Mitchell6-9, 24018.8ppg, 8.2rpg(2021@UMass)26.9Sr
Emmitt Matthews Jr.6-7, 21511.7ppg, 4.7rpg(@Washington)14.4Gr
Erik Stevenson6-3, 19811.6ppg, 4.7rpg(@S. Carolina)16.1Sr
Joe Toussaint6-0, 1904.3ppg, 3.2apg(@Iowa)14.9Sr
Kedrian Johnson6-3, 1805.3ppg, 1.7apg12.2Gr
Patrick Suemnick6-8, 22012.0ppg, 6.1rpg (JUCO)Jr
Jimmy Bell6-10, 2709.3ppg, 9.1rpg (JUCO)Jr
Kobe Johnson6-3, 2101.5ppg, 0.7rpg7.6
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
15Tre Mitchell
270Erik Stevenson

This is really just a ranking for Tre Mitchell and Bob Huggins. It’s a weird partnership but I am a lot higher on Mitchell than most. I think he’s one of the best transfers even though he didn’t play much at Texas. I don’t think he did anything there to discredit his resume from UMass while there. He was still highly productive when he played.

Huggins is still one of the best coaches, so I think he’s going to figure this out. They played such a brutal SOS last year, but he should be on the other end of the wins more this season. If they could shoot 3’s at all I would consider moving them higher.

Maybe this is the year Stevenson makes some outside shots. That’s what he’s supposed to be good at in theory you would think even though he’s a career 30% three point shooter. He somehow made 61-62 FT’s last year so maybe he can have some anomaly year from three. I do worry about the 3 point shooting overall.

10. Kansas State

Kansas State69 NET
Abayomi Iyiola6-9, 2307.1ppg, 7.1rpg(@Hofstra)24.1Sr
Ismael Massoud6-8, 2206.8ppg, 2.8rpg9.9Jr
Tykei Greene6-4, 20514.4ppg, 8.1rpg (@Stony Brook)24.4Sr
Desi Sills6-1, 20210.6ppg, 3.0rpg (@Arkansas 2020)11.9Sr
Markquis Nowell5-8, 16012.4ppg, 5.0apg18.7Sr
Nae’qwan Tomlin6-8, 19513.8ppg 5.6rpg (JUCO)So
David N’Guessan6-9, 2053.7ppg, 2.9rpg (@Virginia Tech)Jr
Taj Manning6-63*Fr
Jerrell Colbert6-10,2600.5ppg, 1.2rpg (@LSU)10.9So

For several months I watched as this team added no one, I even commented on the podcast about inaction. The point finally came some time in June when most programs (and essentially all Major and Power 6 programs) had filled their roster and were done. Kansas State suddenly became the hot player in the portal and proceeded to get their pick seemingly of what was left. Surprisingly, it worked out pretty well, certainly for what the prospects were just a week or 2 before that point.

1st year coach Jerome Tang was able to add several proven contributors, including a couple that hit the market late. The old saying I guess applies here as good things come to those that wait or at least the best of what they could expect. I’ll give K-State credit for not panicking and adding a tier of players lower than what they did sooner. I think they actually were able to put together a respectable team in the 11th hour. Tykei Greene, Desi Sills, Abayomi Iyiola were all major gets at the time they got them.

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  1. Pingback: NCAA College Basketball Rankings: All 363 teams in 2022-23 – The Hoops Resource

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