No team could get to the top of the Big 12 without going through Kansas first. However, it may be the team that shares the same state that will attempt to knock them off their throne. Kansas State’s chemistry should be much better with all of their players returning from their successful 2017-2018 season.

The Big 12 sent seven (7) teams to the NCAA Tournament and three (3) to the NIT in 2019. Out of the seven (7), four (4) made it to the Sweet Sixteen or better and one went all the way to the Final Four. We may see the same numbers play out in 2019. The Big 12 is stronger from top to bottom.

With that said, here is how we predict the Big 12 would look like in 2019:

1. Kansas Basketball

Coach: Bill Self

Off Roster:
Graduate: Devonte' Graham, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, and Clay Young
Possibly Turned PRO: Malik Newman

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Lagerald Vick (SG), Udoka Azubuike (C), Marcus Garrett (PG), Mitch Lightfoot (PF), and Silvio De Sousa (PF)
Key Transfer(s): Dedric Lawson (SF, Memphis), K.J. Lawson (SF, Memphis), and Charlie Moore (PG, California)
Key Freshmen Added: Ochai Agbaji (SG), Devon Dotson (PG), Quentin Grimes (SG), and David McCormack ( )

Kansas will have two (2) of the best all-around Division 1 transfers in the nation on their roster in K.J. Lawson and Dedric Lawson. Both are small forwards who can score, rebound and pass the ball well.

Freshman Devon Dotson is a great floor general who can also defend well. Quentin Grimes is an NBA bound shooting guard who can create his own shot, pass, and defend well.

When you add California’s transfer Charlie Moore to the mix this could be a hell of a team. This team should definitely push deep into the NCAA Tournament in 2019.

2017-2018 Record: 31-8 (13-5) NCAA Final Four Finish
Post Season Predictions: NCAA Tournament Elite Eight or greater
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019: 13+

2. Kansas State Basketball

Coach: Bruce Weber

Off Roster:
Graduate: Mason Schoen
Transferred: Amaad Wainright, Brian Patrick (Purdue Fort Wayne), and Mawdo Sallah (Radford)

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Barry Brown (SG), Xavier Sneed (SF), Dean Wade (SF), Kamau Stokes (PG), Makol Mawien (PF), Cartier Diarra (SG), Levi Stockard III (PF), James Love III (PF), and Mike McGuirl (SG)
Key Transfer(s): Austin Trice (PF, Wabash Valley)
Key Freshmen Added: Shaun Williams (PG) and Nigel Shadd (PF, RS)

Kansas State will return all of their starters from their successful 2017-2018 season. Kansas State has the personnel to challenge Kansas for the top spot in the Big 12. However, Kansas State may not be as good of an offensive team as Kansas - so that’s easier said than done.

Averaging only 71.1 points per game last season as a team, Kansas State ranked only 247th nationally and last in the Big 12 in scoring. That’s going to have to improve in order for this team to take the #1 spot from Kansas and in order to move past the Elite Eight in 2019.

2017-2018 Record: 25-12 (10-8) NCAA Elite Eight Finish
Post Season Predictions: NCAA Elite Eight Finish or greater
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019: 13+ 

3. West Virginia Basketball

Coach: Bob Huggins

Off Roster:
Graduate: Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles Jr.
Transferred: Maciej Bender (Mercer) and Teddy Allen (Wichita State)

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Sagaba Konate (C), Wesley Harris (SF), Lamont West (PF), James Bolden (PG), Chase Harler (PG), Logan Routt (PF), and Esa Ahmad (PF)
Key Transfer(s): Jermaine Haley (PG, Odessa) and Andrew Gordon (PF, Northwest Florida State)
Key Freshmen Added: Derek Culver, Emmitt Matthews (SG), Trey Doomes (SG), and Jordan McCabe (PG)

West Virginia has four (4) starters returning in Sagaba Konate, Wesley Harris, Lamont West, and Esa Ahmad. With the four (4) of them on the roster West Virginia will remain a very balanced team. This team had no problems moving the ball, stopping the ball, scoring, or rebounding.

West Virginia should look for James Bolden to step up at the point guard position. If that happens, West Virginia should remain very competitive in the Big 12.

2017-2018 Record: 26-11 (11-7) NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen Exit
Post Season Predictions: NCAA Sweet Sixteen Finish or greater
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019: 11+ 

4. Texas Basketball

Coach: Shaka Smart

Off Roster:
Graduate: Ryan McClurg and Joe Schwartz

 On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Dylan Osetkowski (PF), Matt Coleman (PG), Kerwin Roach II (SG), Jase Febres (SG), Eric Davis Jr. (SG), Andrew Jones (SG), Jericho Sims (PF), and Royce Hamm Jr.
Key Transfer(s):
Key Freshmen Added: Kamaka Hepa (PF), Gerald Liddell (SF), Brock Cunningham (SF), Courtney Ramey (PG), and Jaxson Hayes (C)

Coach Smart looks to solve his ball handling problem with the addition of Elijah Mitrou-Long, a transfer from Mount St. Mary's, and freshman all American Courtney Ramey. Texas ranked last in the Big 12 and 311th nationally in assists per game last season. Lack of ball movement caused the team’s offense to suffer greatly. Texas should do much better this season with the addition of Long. He is capable of adding another 4 assists per game to go with Matt Coleman’s 4.1 assists per game. He also has the ability to average double digits in scoring. Long average 15 points per game in his final season at Mount St. Mary's.

If Andrew Jones is healthy enough to provide this team with quality minutes, either as a starter of off the bench, this team could be very hard to beat. But if he’s not, this team still has enough quality freshman added to get the job done.

So Look for Texas to do much netter in 2018-2019.

2017-2018 Record: 19-15 (8-10) NCAA Tournament Appearance 1st Round Exit
Post Season Predictions: NCAA Tournament Appearance 2nd Round finish or Greater
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019: 11+ 

5. Oklahoma Basketball

Coach: Lon Kruger

Off Roster:
Graduate: Khadeem Lattin
Possibly Turned PRO: Trae Young
Transferred: Kameron McGusty (Miami), Jordan Shepherd (Charlotte)
 

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Christian James (SF), Brady Manek (PF), Rashard Odomes (SG), Jamuni McNeace (C), Jamuni McNeace (C), Matt Freeman (PF), Kristian Doolittle (SF), and Ty Lazenby (SG)
Key Transfer(s): Aaron Calixte (PG, Maine), Alondes Williams (SF, Triton), and Miles Reynolds (SG, Pacific)
Key Freshmen Added:: Jamal Bieniemy (SG)

Oklahoma will be without Trae Young this season, but no disrespect to Tre Young, that May be a good thing. Tre Young helped to make this team the top offense in the Big 12 by putting up a lot of points. On the other hand, Oklahoma was one of the worst defensive teams in the nation with him. With Tre Young gone this team can now even out.

New additions Aaron Calixte, graduate transfer from Maine; Miles Reynolds, graduate transfer from Pacific; Kur Kuath JUCO transfer from Salt Lake Community College; and Alondes Williams, JUCO transfer from Triton Community College, are all solid defenders who can also put up a lot of points.
Expect this team to continue its high scoring ways and improve greatly on defense. Oklahoma is the sleeper in the Big 12. This team could be very dangerous!

2017-2018 Record: 18-14 (8-10) NCAA Tournament 1st Round Exit
Post Season Predictions: NCAA Tournament Appearance 2nd Round exit or greater
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019: 10+ 

6. Texas Tech Basketball

Coach: Chris Beard

Off Roster:
Graduate: Keenan Evans, Justin Gray, Tommy Hamilton IV, Zach Smith, and Niem Stevenson
Possibly Turned PRO: Zhaire Smith
Transferred: Josh Webster (Missouri State)

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Jarrett Culver (SG), Norense Odiase (C), Davide Moretti (PG), Brandone Francis (SG), and Malik Ondigo (PF)
Key Transfer(s): Matt Mooney (SG, South Dakota), Tariq Owens (PF, St. John's), and Deshawn Corprew (SG, South Plains)
Key Freshmen Added: Kevin McCullar (PG), Khavon Moore (SF), Joshua Mballa (PF), and Kyler Edwards (SG)

Coach Chris Beard is a great defensive coach. We can expect all of his teams to have a defensive identity including the 2018-2019 team. Coach Beard is also a master at recruiting good transfers and winning with them. Graduate transfers Matt Mooney and Tariq Owens should gel well with returning starters Jarrett Culver and Norense Odiase.

2017-2018 Record: 27-10 (11-7) NCAA Tournament Elite 8 Exit
Post Season Predictions: NCAA Tournament first round exit or greater
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019: 9+ 

7. Iowa State Basketball

Coach: Steve Prohm

Off Roster:
Graduate: Jeff Beverly, Hans Brase, and Donovan Jackson
Transferred: Jakolby Long (Southern Utah)
 

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Lindell Wigginton (PG), Cameron Lard (PF), Nick Babb (SG), Zoran Talley Jr. (SF), Solomon Young (PF), and Terrence Lewis (PG)
Key Transfer(s): Michael Jacobson (PF, Nebraska) and Marial Shayok (SG, Virginia)
Key Freshmen added: Talen Horton-Tucker (PG), Zion Griffin (SF), George Conditt (PF) and Tyrese Haliburton (SF)

Iowa State has five (5) starters returning from the 2017-2018 season. The one particular player to watch for is Nick Babb. If Nick Babb remains healthy, this team could be very dangerous. Babb suffered a knee and back injury at the end of the season, which caused him to be sidelined for the remainder of the season. Prior to being sidelined Babb averaged 11.3 points, 7 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game.

On top of that, Iowa State has added two (2) top 100 freshmen and two (2) very good division 1 transfers to their roster.

Iowa State is another team in the Big 12 that could be very dangerous.

2017-2018 Record: 21-15 (8-10) NIT Quarter Final Finish
Post Season Predictions: NIT Appearance or greater
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019: 8+

8. Baylor Basketball

Coach: Scott Drew

Off Roster:
Graduate: Manu Lecomte, Jo Lual-Acuil Jr., Terry Maston, and Nuni Omot

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: King McClure (SG), Mark Vital (SF), and Tristan Clark (PF)
Key Transfer(s): Makai Mason (PG, Yale), Mario Kegler (SF, Mississippi State), Darius Allen (SG, Palm Beach State), and Devonte Bandoo (SG, Hutchinson)
Key Freshmen added: Jared Butler (SG), Matthew Mayer (SF) and Florent Thamba (C)

Baylor will have three (3) starters returning from the 2017-2018 season in King McClure, Mark Vital, and Tristan Clark. However, the remainder of the team will consist of mostly new players. Baylor will have two (2) very good JUCO players on the roster in Darius Allen and Devonte Bandoo.

Allen is known for having really good defense. Bandoo is known for his scoring ability. They will be joined by graduate transfers Makai Mason of Yale and Mario Kegler of Mississippi State. Baylor should continue to be competitive in the Big 12.

2017-2018 Record: 19-15 (8-10) NIT 2nd Round Exit
Post Season Predictions: NCAA Tournament Appearance 1st round exit or less
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019: 8+ 

9. TCU Basketball

Coach: Jamie Dixon

Off Roster:
Graduate: Kenrich Williams, Vladimir Brodziansky, Clayton Crawford, Dalton Dry, and Ahmed Hamdy-Mohamed
Transferred: Shawn Olden

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Desmond Bane (SG), Alex Robinson (PG), Jaylen Fisher (PG), JD Miller (PF), and Kouat Noi (PF)
Key Transfer(s): Yuat Alok (C, Chipola)
Key Freshmen Returning: RJ Nembhard (RS, Kaden Archie (SF), Kendric Davis (PF), Kevin Samuel (RS, C), Angus McWilliam (RS, C), and Lat Mayen (RS, SF)

TCU will return four (4) starters from the 2017-2018 season, which includes one of the best point guards in the Big 12 and in the nation, Alex Robinson. With a healthy Jaylen Fisher back on the roster, TCU should remain one of the best ball moving teams in the nation. Let’s just hope that their defense gets better in 2018-2019 or we will see another early tournament exit.

2017-2018 Record: 21-12 (9-9) NCAA 1st Round Exit
Post Season Predictions: NCAA Tournament 1st round exit or less
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019: 6- 

10. Oklahoma State Basketball

Coach: Mike Boynton

Off Roster:
Graduate: Jeffrey Carroll, Kendall Smith, and Mitchell Solomon
Possibly Turned PRO: Tavarius Shine
Transferred: Brandon Averette (Utah Valley)
 

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Lindy Waters III (SG), Cameron McGriff (PF), and Thomas Dziagwa (PG)
Key Transfer(s): Mike Cunningham (PG, SC Upstate) and Michael Weathers (SG, Miami - Ohio)
Key Freshmen added: Kentrevious Jones (C), Isaac Likekele (PG), Maurice Calloo (PF), Yor Anei (PF), and Duncan Demuth (PF)

Oklahoma State only has ten (10) scholarship players on the roster that’s available to play in 2018-2019. Over 60% of those players are new to the team. Fifty percent (50%) of them are freshmen. With that said, getting to the top of the Big 12 may be an uphill battle for Oklahoma State.

2017-2018 Record: 21-15 (8-10) NIT Quarter Final Finish
Post Season Predictions: NIT Appearance or greater
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019: 6- 

 

Jack Williams
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Big 12 College Basketball Predictions 2018-2019

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Jack Williams is the Owner and Operator of D1Coachcorner.com, a graduate of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, and a member of the USBWA. Twitter: @d1coachcorner

October 11, 2018, 10:00am
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