The Big 12 has plenty of great talent entering the 2021-22 season. But there are also plenty of players that are looking for a breakthrough this season.
This is the HeartlandCollegeSports.com list of the top riser for each team for the 2021-22 Big 12 basketball season.
LJ Cryer, G, Baylor: With the glut of veteran guards last season, Cryer didn’t get much of a chance to shine. Sure, the transfer of James Akinjo will siphon off some of the time he expected to get. But Cryer should still be a factor for the Bears this season. Cryer averaged 3.4 points per game last season, and if he doubles that, the Bears have their No. 3 guard locked down. Note: Cryer is returning to health and should be ready for the regular season.
George Conditt IV, F, Iowa State: We’ve been waiting for Conditt to truly assert himself in the Iowa State lineup for a couple of seasons. He averaged just 2.4 points and 3.6 rebounds last season, and new head coach T.J. Otzelberger hopes to get more out of him. What gives him hope? The 14.5 points and 3.5 rebounds he averaged in two games while playing for Puerto Rico at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Serbia. Plus, the dismissal of Xavier Foster opens up more playing time in the frontcourt.
Dajuan Harris Jr., G, Kansas: His time may be here. In his final three games of last season, Harris averaged 6.7 points and 4.3 assists per game. The backcourt is more crowded than it was last season, but there’s a good chance that he will be the No. 1 guard off the bench. He’s already an adept passer, displayed by his 65 assists last season.
Selton Miguel, G, Kansas State: Like Conditt, Miguel played international basketball in the summer. He played with the Angolan Senior National Team in Olympic qualifying. Miguel played in every K-State game last year and averaged 7.2 points per game. Imagine what he can do if he improves on last year’s 22.2 percent clip from the 3-point line, even if he receives less playing time?
Rick Issanza, F, Oklahoma: Issanza didn’t do much last year, as he played in just four games. But, he has one thing that the Sooners need — height. At 7-foot-1, he automatically falls into a rotation in the frontcourt. The real question is how much he improved during the summer and how much of an impact he can make as new head coach Porter Moser puts his stamp on the program.
Donovan Williams, G, Oklahoma State: The Cowboys have a glut of young talent, but Williams has something to prove. He played in just six games before a season-ending injury last season. But the former Mr. Nebraska Basketball averaged 28.3 points per game his senior year of high school. He has the ability to make an impact.
Eddie Lampkin Jr., F, TCU: The Horned Frogs don’t have many choices due to the number of players that transferred out, but Lampkin stands out. With the departure of Kevin Samuel, the center position is wide open for Lampkin to take charge. He didn’t play much last season, but he had a physical transformation in the offseason and he looks ready to assume more playing time.
Brock Cunningham, F, Texas; He’s really the only player on the Texas roster that qualifies here. If you watched Texas play a year ago, you know he’s a gritty, defensive-minded role player. But is there room for his offensive game to grow give the plethora of transfers? Hs scored 1.6 points per game in 15 minutes of action per game.
Chibuzo Agbo, G, Texas Tech: There is plenty of opportunity for playing time in Lubbock, and Agbo is one of the few young holdovers who has the chance to grow into a new role. He averaged two points per game last season, but he scored six points in his final game. Look for him to push for more playing time.
Isaiah Cottrell, F, West Virginia: The Mountaineers are high on Cottrell, and had an Achilles’ injury not gotten in the way last season, he would have gotten more playing time. He ended up playing just 10 games. There is plenty of opportunity for Cottrell to be productive this season, whether it’s as a starter or a backup.
Big 12 Basketball Preview
Top 25 Returning Players: No. 25 Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua| No. 24 Christian Braun | No. 23 Rondel Walker | No. 22 Umoja Gibson | No. 21 Matthew Alexander-Moncrieffe | No. 20 Nijel Pack | No. 19: Marcus Santos-Silva | No. 18 Mike McGuirl | No. 17 Jalen Bridges
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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