Big 12 Power Rankings, 1/14 Part One

No surprises here. After one week of Big 12 play, Kansas still tops.

1) Kansas (14-1, 2-0)

KenPom: 7 (Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 12, Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 13)

The Jayhawks, long thought to be the juggernaut in the Big 12, had kind of an 'eh' week, at least by Kansas standards. The Jayhawks needed a last-second three-pointer from super freshman Ben McLemore (32 points on 12 shots, are you kidding?) to send the Iowa State game at Allen Fieldhouse to overtime, then sleep-walked through a half against Texas Tech before turning things on in the second half. Kansas has been one of the country's hotter teams, and now has a game to get up for on Monday against Baylor. Historically speaking, these are the kinds of games that Kansas coach Bill Self is able to get his squad laser-focused on. Expect to see a more impressive effort.

Next Game: Baylor (Monday)

2) Oklahoma (11-3, 2-0)

KenPom: 42 (Offense: 71, Defense: 37)

Most people would say that this is too high for the Sooners at this point, and I don't necessarily disagree. I think Kansas State is probably the second-best team in the league at this point. But notice that the Sooners and Wildcats started with the exact same two teams in conference play — at West Virginia and Oklahoma State at home — and Oklahoma was more solid in each win. The Sooners are rolling right now, and will only get better as freshman guard Buddy Hield and transfer Amath M'Baye continue to mature. Getting a healthy Sam Grooms couldn't hurt, either.

Next Game: Texas Tech (Wednesday)

3) Kansas State (13-2, 2-0)

KenPom: 46 (Offense: 96, Defense: 28)

The Wildcats have had a nice start to conference play, grabbing both a road win and a home win over one of the league's better teams. But how good is Kansas State, really? The Wildcats, while in the top-25 of the polls, don't come across nearly as strong when looking at the pure statistics. The Wildcats were soundly thumped by Michigan and Gonzaga, but were able to beat Florida in non-conference play. The Wildcats allowed an offense-challenged West Virginia team to shoot 51.1 percent form the floor, so that could be a concern, though the 17 points and one very, very key block from Shane Southwell is a great sign. The Wildcats get a break game against TCU before hosting Oklahoma on Saturday.

Next Game: at TCU (Wednesday)

4) Baylor (11-4, 3-0)

KenPom: 29 (Offense: 19, Defense: 81)

From a pure talent perspective, the Bears are in the league's top two teams, with their Monday opponent, Kansas. But Baylor has been typically inconsistent this season, boasting nice wins at Kentucky and over BYU, but falling to a pair of teams ranked 100th or worse in KenPom in Northwestern and College of Charleston. In Big 12 play, Baylor has a home overtime win over Texas and more comfortable wins over the bottom of the table teams Texas Tech and TCU. Pierre Jackson is arguably the league's top point guard, and Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin give the Bears maybe the Big 12's top frontcourt. This team would be helped dramatically if Brady Heslip would start connecting at the same rate he did a year ago.

Next Game: at Kansas (Monday)

5) Iowa State (11-4, 1-1)

KenPom: 27 (Offense: 14, Defense: 97)

Much like when Texas Tech's Air Raid took the Big 12 football world by storm, Iowa State sits as maybe the league's toughest matchup because of the way they get, and take, three-pointers. All five starters are willing three-point shooters, and the Cyclones are willing to bomb in transition, in the penetrate-and-kick game, but also off offensive rebounds. Iowa State hit 14 three-pointers in taking Kansas to overtime in Lawrence, and hit another 11 long-range shots in blowing out Texas late in Ames. This isn't the Big 12's most talented team, but with the three-point shot as a major foundation (and the back-cuts they're able to get when teams overplay), and the Cyclones' spot as an excellent rebounding team, Iowa State could be much better than many thought. Wednesday's game is the type of contest the Cyclones have to win.

Next Game: West Virginia (Wednesday)

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