Biggest Big 12 basketball questions
CAN bAYLOR TOP kANSAS?
Baylor has more experience than Kansas and just as much talent. It’s Baylor that has the preseason first team All-American (Jared Butler), not Kansas. Everything is in line — on paper, at least — for the Bears to be the dominant force in the conference, but they’ve never won a Big 12 title in program history. Last year’s team hit a skid to close the season, going 2-3 in their last five games starting with a home loss to the Jayhawks, costing them last year’s conference championship.
Kansas was the giant that slayed them again and, despite the major pieces it loses, the Jayhawks have excellent pieces returning as well. They may get off to a slow start because of their new pieces yet, at the end of the year, I would expect them to be playing as well as anyone else in the country (again), making for an exciting race for the title. Can Baylor hold them off this time around?
hOW FAR CAN CADE CUNNINGHAM TAKE OKLAHOMA STATE?
Oklahoma State is a solid team that returns a good deal of talent from a middle-of-the-road group in 2019-20 and they added some quality role players, too. But this group’s ceiling will be determined by Cunningham and Cunningham alone. The nation’s top recruit is a generational kind of talent who isn’t just an elite scorer but a true playmaker who elevates the play of everyone around him. He will immediately be the most talented player in the Big 12 and the do-everything guy for the Cowboys. Elevating a program from average to a contender is a huge ask of a freshman, but the 6-8, 220-pounder may just have the skill set and mindset to do it.