Baylor Bears

Three Biggest Takeaways From Week 7 of Big 12 Basketball

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma at Oklahoma State

The seventh week of Big 12 men’s basketball saw the Oklahoma State Cowboys zoom up the standings. Here are three takeaways from the sixth week of the league slate.

Don’t forget about our new feature for men’s basketball — Daily Fantasy Lineups. Every night a Big 12 team is part of the Draft Kings pool, I’ll provide my picks for the game, along with my complete lineup. The hope is that by Big 12 play I’m able to put together a full Big 12 lineup during conference games.

The road to Kansas City and the Big 12 Tournament is here. Follow Heartland College Sports all season.


Could the Cowboys Be ANY Hotter?

I wrote about Oklahoma State having won five of its last six games, but it was preparing to live without guard Avery Anderson III, who had wrist surgery this past week.

I was wondering how the Cowboys would react. They reacted with a 2-0 week in which the entire team pulled together and contributed to extend the Cowboys’ run to seven of its last eight games, along with five straight wins. Now the Cowboys are in the Top 30 in NCAA NET.

Not that it was easy, of course. This is the Big 12. At home against Texas Tech, it took a Jon-Michael Wright put-back with one second left to lift the Cowboys past the Red Raiders, 71-68. Bryce Thompson had a huge first half with 21 points. But Quion Williams (who?) came off the bench with 10 points and eight Cowboys scored.

By the way, Williams is a freshman who has played about 11 minutes per game this season. He’s just not the player you would expect to give you 10 points off the bench.

On Saturday the Cowboys went into Ames, Iowa, and knocked off Iowa State, 64-56. It was the Cyclones’ first home loss of the season. Wright had the big game this time, scoring 19 points. But Thompson scored 12 and Caleb Asberry added 10 points.

I was a little surprised at the final on Saturday, given how hard Iowa State is to play at home (the Cyclones beat Kansas at home the weekend before).

But Oklahoma State is proving to be a hard team to deal with, home or road. The Cowboys are now tied for fourth in the Big 12 with the Cyclones. They play some of the best defense in the league, and if players like Asberry, Wright, Williams, Chris Harris Jr. and other can give the Cowboys the offense they need without Anderson, these Cowboys are going to make the NCAA Tournament and be a hard out in Kansas City at the Big 12 Tournament.

After last year’s postseason ban, a Cowboys NCAA Tournament appearance would be most welcome.


Let’s Chill on the Coaches

This past weekend I found some dissatisfied Kansas State fans on Twitter, those who were a little upset with coach Jerome Tang and the team’s current valley of three losses in its last four games.

Meanwhile, Twitter is turning into a place that Texas Tech coach Mark Adams shouldn’t dip into that often, as there are some Red Raider fans who aren’t happy with the team’s performance this season.

Good rule of thumb on Twitter — don’t look at the replies.

Look, I get it — fans can get unhappy with team performance and that falls on the coach. But Kansas State wasn’t going to be on that high of beating Kansas at home forever. Texas Tech has battled an injury to Fardaws Aimaq all season, a player that Adams himself said in October was a player they were “counting on.”

But you’re also getting a taste of life in this new world of college basketball.

The transfer portal allowed Tang to flip the Wildcats from losers to winners in one year. The danger in that is that the chemistry can more easily go wonky.

The transfer portal also allowed Adams to maintain the standard last season with a Sweet 16 performance. This year? The Red Raiders will be lucky to get to the NIT.

The transfer portal can give and take away in a season. Coaches have to be equipped to manage those highs and lows.

Fans are going to have to get used to it, too.


Could Baylor Win This League?

Baylor’s 0-3 start took them off my radar to win the Big 12 regular-season title. I mean, that’s a steep hill to climb.

Now? The Bears have won eight of their last nine games and are a game out of first place in the Big 12 standings behind Texas (the Longhorns are their only loss in that stretch).

This turned out to be a good week for Baylor. The Bears handled Oklahoma at home and then overcame a double-digit deficit at TCU to beat the Horned Frogs, 72-68.

Is the schedule ahead favorable? Well, I mean it’s the Big 12, so no. But it does allow the Bears to control their own destiny. Why?

Five of Baylor’s final six games are against the other top six teams in the Big 12 — Texas, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Oklahoma State. Win them all, plus beat West Virginia, and the Bears will have no worse than a share of the Big 12 title.

If Texas loses an additional game, then Baylor wins it all.

Did you have that on your Big 12 bingo card? Probably not after that 0-3 start.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

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