Quote by Conference 4 – Battle of the giants
The favorite: Kansas
Just like the Targaryens reigned for three centuries over the Seven Kingodoms, Kansas has reigned for twelve years (and counting) over the Big 12 and there are no signs of rebellion. The Jayhawks are an experienced team and a tough defensive match-ups for anyone, while on offense they live off their usual high-low combination, penetrations and smart plays. The big question mark for the season is who will run the offense, but coach Bill Self has plenty of options.
Runner up: West Virginia
Who will try to overturn this reign? Enemy number one for the conference throne is West Virginia. The team lost two good rebounders (Devin Williams and Jonathan Holton) but they still have hopes of a great season thanks to a well balanced backcourt and coach Bob Huggins’ press defense, ranked sixth in the nation last year per Kenpom. And it was one of the few teams to grab a win against Kansas last year.
Outsiders: Texas, Oklahoma State, Iowa State
Texas has seven player at roster with less than three years of experience, all of them very athletic and perfect for Shaka Smart gameplan. Coach Brad Underwood found a young core to build on, and he installed an efficient offense that will be pleasing for the eye as well. Coach Steve Prohm still has a team that was mostly built by coach Fred Hoiberg, but it’s the last chance for his players to leave their mark in college basketball. While the first two are long term projects who are supposed to get immediate results, the latter is at the end of its cycle and will soon start a new one.
Stars: Monte Morris (Iowa State, PG, Sr), Johnathan Motley (Baylor, PF, Jr)
Monte Morris is one of the most accurate PG in the Ncaa. He had an assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.23 last season, he can manage the pace and create good looks for his teammates. Jonathan Motley is a great athlete who can attack the paint, crash the boards and protect the rim. He might be an Nba prospect but he is a bit undersized to play center.
Freshmen: Josh Jackson (Kansas, SF), Andrew Jones (Texas, SG), Jarrett Allen (Texas, C)
Josh “The Beast” Jackson is a serious candidate for the number one pick next June. A powerful frame, dangerous when attacking the rim, he has everything to be in the Nba. Shaka Smart will count on two youngsters, Andrew Jones and Jarrett Allen, both perfect for the havoc system: Jones is a combo guard who will have a size advantage over most of his peers, Allen is an extremely mobile center with a 7-5 wingspan who can run the floor and dominate the boards.