Big XII Basketball Power Rankings

LAWRENCE, KS - MARCH 02: Brady Morningstar #12 of the Kansas Jayhawks celebrates after making a three-pointer during the game against the Texas A&M Aggies on March 2, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

As the regular season is now over, this will be the last Big 12 power rankings of the year. And to mournebrate (that's mourn and celebrate) the end of the regular season I'm going to do a couple different things with these rankings. First, rather than rank them how I think they should be, I'll just put them in the order they finished. And secondly rather than grabbing a random nugget for each team I'm going to say one thing each team did well and one thing each team did poorly. And there may be some open ended discussion questions for a couple of the teams as well.

1. Kansas (14-2)

What they did well: Kansas has probably the best offense in the country. They led the Big 12 with a 57.8% eFG in league play, and led the country with a 58.2% eFG. They also shot 40.5% from three in conference play.

What they did poorly: turnovers and free throws. Kansas was 6th in the conference, turning it over on 19% of their possessions and 9th in terms of forcing turnovers, forcing turnovers on 18.7% of their opponents' possessions. They shot 67.5% from the line both overall in the regular season and in Big 12 play, which ranked 220th and 10th respectively. Their opponents shot very well from the line, converting at a 79% clip in Big 12 play. Obviously there's nothing the Jayhawks can do to defend that, but it seems that if their opponents have some bad free throw luck in the tournament our defensive efficiency will look much better.

Discussion question: Where does Marcus Morris rank in terms if the best Jayhawks of the last decade or so? I think he's right up there with Hinrich, Collison, Simien and Chalmers. And just a notch below Boschee.

2. Texas (13-3)

What they did well: Defense. The Horns led the nation with a 88.5 adjusted defensive efficiency, and allowed only .89 PPP in Big 12 play. They had the best eFG defense, 2 point defense, 3 point defense and FT defense (for what that's worth) in the conference.

What they did poorly: For all their good defense, the Horns did it without forcing turnovers. They were 11th in the Big 12 in that regard. They also were the one of the only two teams in the Big 12 to shoot free throws worse than Kansas, shooting 63.8% from the charity stripe. 

Discussion question: Is this late season swoon the same as last year for the Horns? Also, would you rather be an elite defense like Texas and have a so-so offense, or have an elite offense and a so-so defense. (the answer, kind of, is coming soon).

T-3. Kansas State (10-6)

What they did well: Offensive rebounding. Despite not having anyone ranking terribly high individually in terms of offensive rebounding, the Wildcats grabbed 37.9% of their misses in conference play, best in the Big 12, and 41% of their misses on the season, which was 4th best in the country.

What they did poorly: Turnovers and two point shooting. The Wildcats turned it over on 22.2% of their possessions in conference, 11th in the Big 12, and shot only 46.1% from two. Oddly they shot 64.9% from the free throw line overall, but upped that to 72.9% in conference play.

Discussion question: Are they really our rivals? (kidding)

T-3. Texas A&M (10-6)

What they did well: rebounding. Though they were just 4th in the conference in offensive rebounding, they were 13th in the country, grabbing 37.9% of their misses.

What they did poorly: blocks. I covered this before, but they got 12.1% of their shots blocked and only blocked 4.8% of their opponents shots. Each ranked 330th in the country. They were also last in Big 12 play in both.

Discussion question: If the unthinkable should happen and Bill Self would retire, is Turgeon the guy? Tad Boyle? Or would we go outside the family and go for a really big name?

T-5. Missouri (8-8)

What they did well: running and turnovers. The Tigers were the fastest team in the Big 12, their games averaging 71.7 possessions in conference play. They were also the 18th fastest team overall. Despite playing helter skelter basketball, they turned it over on just 17% of their conference possessions, best in the league. They certainly inflicted their will on their opponents however, forcing turnovers on 23.1% of their opponents' possessions.

What they did poorly: rebounding. The Tigers were the worst defensive rebounding team in the conference, allowing a 37.5% offensive rebounding rate. They were also the 9th best offensive rebounding team in the conference, snagging only 31.2% of their misses.

Discussion question: The Tigers are ranked 25th in KenPom, but their best out of conference wins are Old Dominion, Illinois and Vanderbilt and only won 1 Big 12 road game. Is their NCAA tournament spot that safe? What if they lose their first Big 12 tourney game?

T-5. Colorado (8-8)

What they did well: give the ball to Alec Burks, and play very efficiently. The Sophomore used 32.6% of the Buffs' possessions, 11th in the country. They also were efficient, turning it over on 16.8% of their possessions, which ranked 15th in the country. They also had two players in the top 70 in offensive rating, with Austin Dufalt in 69th and Levi Knutson in 9th.

What they did poorly: Defense. The Buffs allowed a 52.2% eFG in conference, which was 11th, and allowed opponents to shoot 50% from two.

Discussion question: Tad Boyle, Big 12 coach of the year?

T-7. Nebraska (7-9)

What they did well: Defense and defensive rebounding: Though they were 5th in the Big 12 in terms of PPP allowed, they had the 2nd best two point defense, allowing conference opponents to shoot just 45% from two. They also only allowed their opponents to grab 28.1% of their misses

What they did poorly: offensive rebounding and taking care of the ball: The Huskers, despite their defensive rebounding prowess, grabbed only 29.9% of their misses in conference play. This is likely because they preferred to get back on defense: their games featured an average of 64.7 possessions, 2nd slowest in the conference. They turned it over on 20.4% of those possessions, which was 9th in the Big 12.

T-7. Baylor (7-9)

What they did well: Make me look like an idiot. With LaceDarius Dunn coming back and with Perry Jones, Anthony Jones and Quincy Acy in the front court, the Bears were my sleeper pick for the 2011 national title. Whoops.

What they did poorly: Take care of the ball. Baylor's turnover percentage was 24.6% in conference games, which was last, and 23.7% overall, which was 326th nationally.

9. Oklahoma State (6-10)

What they did well: getting to the free throw line. The Cowboys had a FTA/FGA of 47.5, which is 2nd in the conference, and overall it was 46.6, 22nd nationally.

What they did poorly: Shooting the three. Okie State shot 29.2% from three overall, 335th nationally, and 26% in Big 12 play, which was last.

T-11. Texas Tech (5-11)

What they did well: Shooting the three. The Red Raiders shot 38.8% in Big 12 play from beyond the arc, 2nd in the league.

What they did poorly: Shooting the two. Really I could have put "almost everything else" but highlighting their poor two point shooting illustrates an interesting dichotomy. They shot just 45% from two in Big 12 play, and probably would have been better off shooting all threes.

T-11. Oklahoma (5-11)

What they did well: Force turnovers and shoot a lot of threes. Oklahoma forced turnovers on 20.7% of their opponents' possessions, which was 4th in the conference. They also took one fourth of their field goals from beyond the arc.

What they did poorly: shooting the three accurately, rebounding. Just because they took a lot of threes doesn't mean they made a lot of them, obviously: they shot only 29.4% from beyond the arc, 11th in the conference. The Sooners were also the worst offensive rebounding team in the conference, grabbing only 25.1% of their misses.

12. Iowa State (3-13)

What they did well: Shoot free throws, and give Kansas a test. The Cyclones shot 77.1% from the line in Big 12 play, which was 2nd best. They also only lost by 5 at home to Kansas early in Big 12 play.

What they did poorly: pretty much everything. Hey they were 3-13; what do you expect? Especially bad was their defense, which allowed 1.11 PPP in Big 12 play, worst in the conference. They also allowed a conference worst 53.4% eFG.

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