Big 12 Off-Season Report: Power Rankings, Burning Questions

Can anyone catch Kansas? The Jayhawks are relying on transfers to stay atop the Big 12.
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Big 12 off-season Power Rankings

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1. Kansas Jayhawks

RECORD: 2016-17 31–5

Who else? The Jayhawks have won 13 straight regular-season Big 12 titles, repeatedly showing they shouldn’t be doubted. Frank Mason II and Josh Jackson are gone, but Devonte' Graham is back and Bill Self has filled out his roster via transfers and recruiting.

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2. West Virginia Mountaineers

RECORD: 2016-17 28–9

Losing four seniors from their rotation hurts, but the Mountaineers are set up well. Leading scorers Jevon Carter and Esa Ahmad are back, and Press Virginia should once again be a frightening sight for opposing offenses.

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3. Baylor Bears

RECORD: 2016-17 27–8

All eyes will be on senior guard Manu Lecomte and 7-footer Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. Johnathan Motley is a massive loss, however, so Lual-Acuil and senior Terry Maston will need to step up.

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4. Texas Longhorns

RECORD: 2016-17 11–22

This may seem ambitious for the school that finished dead last in the conference last season, but the Longhorns should be much improved in 2017–18, especially now that Mohamed Bamba has been ruled eligible by the NCAA.

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5. TCU Horned Frogs

RECORD: 2016-17 24–15

The Horned Frogs nearly earned their first NCAA bid since 1998 in Jamie Dixon’s first season as head coach, but in the long run, their five additional NIT games—which culminated in an NIT championship—will likely prove valuable for a team that returns its top six scorers.

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6. Oklahoma Sooners

RECORD: 2016-17 11–20

Hometown kid and five-star recruit Trae Young arrives and will be ready to run the show in Norman. The Sooners struggled after losing a lot from their Final Four run, but they have the tools to be in the mix this year.

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7. Texas Tech Red Raiders

RECORD: 2016-17 18–14

The Red Raiders were one of the most experienced teams in the country last season and bring back their top two scorers, Keenan Evans and top rebounder Zach Smith.

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8. Oklahoma State Cowboys

RECORD: 2016-17 20–13

Juwan Evans and Phil Forte III are gone, but Jeffrey Carroll returns to lead an offense that finished 2016–17 ranked No. 1 in the country in adjusted efficiency on kenpom.com. St. John’s transfer Yankuba Sima will be eligible in December.

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9. Iowa State Cyclones

RECORD: 2016-17 24–11

The Cyclones have to replace 86% of their scoring, including long-time program stalwarts Monte Morris and Nazareth Mitrou-Long, but touted incoming freshman Lindell Wigginton will help. Grad transfers Hans Brase and Jeff Beverly should also provide immediate assistance and experience.

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10. Kansas State Wildcats

RECORD: 2016-17 21–14

The backcourt duo of Kamau Stokes and Barry Brown return, but the Wildcats’ frontcourt situation is less defined. Keep an eye on rising sophomore Xavier Sneed, who’s in line for a starting role at wing. Kansas State may be in the basement for now, but it’s easy to see them not finishing there.