Hoping to fill the time between now and the start of the season in November, CBS Sports is breaking down each men’s basketball conference and its members’ off-season exploits.
Who had good off-seasons? Who is positioned well to enter the season. CBS covers it all here.
On Tuesday they took the microscope to the Big 12, and Texas received high-praise.
After landing the conference’s top recruit and deepest recruiting class, as well as receiving good news with the return of sophomore-to-be Andrew Jones, the Big 12’s last-place team from 2016-2017 has landed at No. 4 on CBS’ offseason power rankings.
With Mo Bamba arriving on campus to join Jones and Kerwin Roach (and let’s not forget Eric Davis, Jr), Texas had as good of an offseason a team can have. But the return of Jevon Carter at West Virginia and, well, Kansas being Kansas, has put those two programs at the top of the list. Also, with NIT Champion TCU returning practically its entire team, as well as adding a recruiting class that features two 4-star prospects (including center Kevin Samuel), the Horned Frogs took the third spot.
But a big point that CBS college basketball writer Matt Norlander makes is, outside of Kansas, who returns Devonte’ Graham (who he says “is clearly the best returning player” ) the league is a bit of a mystery. His bottom line: The Big 12 could take a step back this season after being statistically the “best” college basketball conference in the nation the last few years.
Of course, this was a thought by some last season as well, and instead the league was just as tough.
Bamba’s arrival at Texas is the No.2 headline of the conference according to CBS, sandwiched between Kansas becoming transfer university and Johnathan Motley’s decision to enter the NBA Draft, where he wasn’t drafted.