Apart from winning a National Championship, the Big 12 championship is the most sought after trophy for any team in that conference. The past nine years have been absolutely dominated by the Kansas basketball team, who have won all nine years (four of which have been shared). This year, because of all the talent that left the team, people are saying this year’s title goes through Oklahoma State.
Oklahoma State will be very talented with the surprise return of star sophomore guard Marcus Smart. They will also be returning junior forward Le’Bryan Nash and senior guard Markel Brown, who were their top three leading scorers. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind concerning the talent of this team.
How, after nine straight championships do people still doubt the coaching ability of Bill Self? He has an amazing way of bringing a team together that going into the year seemingly will have no chemistry. With the talent that he consistently gets, he faces the struggle of losing that talent early to the NBA. This of course tests his ability of bringing teams together year in and year out considering all the new faces each year. How many more years does he have to win before there is no doubt in his ability?
Look for Kansas sophomore forward Perry Ellis to have a breakout season, building on the sensational end to his 2012 campaign. Highly overlooked freshman guard Wayne Selden, because of the arrival of Andrew Wiggins, will also play very well. Self will rely heavily on the production from these two players, commenting on their consistency.
“These guys have been absolutely great,” Self said according to a Kansas press release. “They work and they’re not scared to work, and for a bunch of freshmen, they probably impressed me as much with their work ethic as anything else. So it’s gonna be a fun group to coach.”
The Jayhawks are going to turn a lot of heads early on in the season. This team is arguably the most talented group Self has ever had the privilege of coaching. It is scary how much potential this team has, and Self seems to have a knack for exceeding potential. The Big 12 championship is, and as long as Self is still coach, will always go through Lawrence.