Shut your eyes, clear your thoughts and provides me the reply to 1 easy query: Which faculty basketball program is one of the best within the Large 12? Do not cheat and scroll forward to our personal conclusions. There is not any proper reply (but). Simply take 4 seconds and provides it your greatest go.
OK. Your first thought was in all probability Kansas, proper? KU has received at the very least a share of 15 convention crowns because the 2004-2005 season. Or possibly you guessed Texas Tech, the upstart program Chris Beard helped jumpstart right into a contender 12 months in and 12 months out. Or maybe you are a Okay-State fan and also you went with the Wildcats. (In that case, please do not scroll to the underside.)
No matter you answered, you may wind up being proper! However our panel of consultants have compiled their preseason prognostications for the Large 12, and Baylor — the workforce that spent most of final season because the No. 1-ranked workforce within the sport — is available in because the unanimous No. 1. The Bears get again their high three scorers, probably the greatest gamers within the league in Jared Butler, and the nucleus of one of many sport’s most deadly defenses a season in the past. We have shaken the eight-ball a couple of occasions, and nearly every little thing is developing Baylor.
Large 12 Preseason Participant of the 12 months
Jared Butler, Baylor
Baylor’s large offseason rating was getting Butler again into the fold after testing the draft waters. He is the Large 12’s high returning scorer, its high returning 3-point shooter by way of share and 3-pointers made per recreation, and usually simply probably the most well-rounded returning participant within the league. Butler is a microwave scorer who can create within the decide and roll and helped key Baylor’s offense to a top-20 mark nationally final season. He averaged 16.0 factors, 3.1 assists and three.2 boards per recreation, and must be on the radar as a top-five candidate to win Naismith Participant of the 12 months honors this season and is a first-round expertise primed to take it up a notch.
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Large 12 Preseason Coach of the 12 months
Scott Drew, Baylor
We have got Baylor as our preseason No. 1 Large 12 workforce, and so Baylor’s coach, Scott Drew, will get the nod right here because the league’s preseason Coach of the 12 months. Drew guided his bears to a 26-4 mark final season, throughout which they received a exceptional 23 video games in a row and established a No. 1 seed-like resume. Dropping defensive stalwart Freddie Gillespie is a tricky alternative, however he is returning many of the items that helped ship one of many program’s greatest seasons ever.
Large 12 Preseason Freshman of the 12 months
Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State
(Full disclosure: Cade Cunningham is my preseason participant of the 12 months decide. And I am not alone in that.) People round Oklahoma State are raving concerning the true freshman five-star import from Texas. He is the projected No. 1 decide in subsequent 12 months’s NBA Draft, and he is set to raise an Oklahoma State workforce that is solely as soon as received 20 video games underneath Mike Boynton right into a workforce that might problem within the high half of the Large 12 standings.