It’s that time of the year where we look at some of the best and worst of the Big 12 men’s basketball season, separated by players and teams.
Mar 4, 2014; Waco, TX, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Monte Morris (11) drives against the Baylor Bears during the first half of a mens basketball game at The Ferrell Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports
Most surprising player: Iowa State’s Monte Morris. His assist-to-turnover ratio was ridiculous, dishing it out 110 times compared to coughing it up 20 times. He’s been a stud as a freshman, and he only gives the Cyclones a lot of depth at the guard position as both Matt Thomas and Naz Long will continue to improve.
Most disappointing player: Kansas senior forward Tarik Black. Remember when he was the Preseason Newcomer of the Year in the Big 12? He’s nowhere to be found in the Big 12 awards that were handed out on Sunday. He averages just 12.2 minutes per game, averaging 4.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.7 personal fouls per game.
Biggest breakout star: There’s plenty of candidates in this league, but I’ll take West Virginia’s Juwan Staten. He was one of the bright spots on the Mountaineers, but not many people expected him to end up leading the Big 12 in points per game (18.4) and assists per game (5.94). Another solid candidate is Oklahoma’s Ryan Spangler.
Most surprising team: Obviously, Oklahoma. I really didn’t think the Sooners would overachieve like this, calling for either West Virginia or Texas to have a better season than the pundits thought. That second place finish is legit, but that defense will need to continue to improve if they really want to advance in the tournament.
Most disappointing team: Both Baylor and Oklahoma State were on the path toward this award, but they’ve both stepped up their play late in the season that neither merits it. Honestly, and it may sound weird, but TCU is the most disappointing team. They couldn’t win a single game in the Big 12 conference and over half of them were non-competitive. That’s regressing from a dismal season last year. Kyan Anderson, Amric Fields, and Karviar Shepherd will all be back next year. If they can’t improve significantly, then I doubt this school will ever contend in Big 12 men’s basketball.