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UPDATED Big 12 Basketball Projections

It's only been a week or so since we took a stab at some Big 12 projections (South, North), but things have changed a little bit.  Avery Bradley has declared for the draft (though he hasn't hired an agent, and I think there's a decent chance he returns), Willie Warren has declared for the draft (and will quite likely hire an agent), and Mizzou's transfer rumors, while still not at full fruition, certainly appear to be taking shape.  It appears all but certain that both Miguel Paul and Tyler Stone will not be in Mizzou uniforms next year (never say never, but the rumors are twelve steps beyond rampant).  What does that do to last week's projections?  Let's take a look.


It's a big recruiting weekend for Mizzou, with two high-profile JUCOs -- Matt Pressey (brother of Phil) and Rivals' #1 JUCO Ricardo Ratliffe -- in town.  (Initial word from open scrimmages is that they're both as good as advertised or better ... though this comes from open scrimmages, and I guess we know how impressions from them should be taken with a grain of salt).  Regardless, with any luck, I'll be having to update these projections again in the next week after a couple of commitments roll in, but for now we'll stay conservative and pretend that nobody else is coming to campus.  Here are the new projections, assuming Paul and Stone are indeed gone.

Player 09-10
Laurence Bowers (6'8, 205, Jr.) 0.54 0.52 13.9
Marcus Denmon (6'3, 185, Jr.) 0.45 0.46 11.9
Kim English (6'6, 200, Jr.) 0.41 0.43 11.6
Mike Dixon (6'1, 175, So.) 0.40 0.38 9.0
Justin Safford (6'8, 230, Sr.) 0.37 0.36 7.2
Tony Mitchell (6'8, 220, Fr.) N/A 0.35 6.9
Phil Pressey (5'10, 160, Fr.) N/A 0.28 5.6
Steve Moore (6'9, 264, Jr.) 0.13 0.25 3.4
John Underwood (6'9, 208, So.) 0.22 0.27 2.1
Ricky Kreklow (6'5, 185, Fr.) N/A 0.23 1.8
TOTAL 73.6

Previous Projected Difference: -0.7.

Without Paul, Phil Pressey would take on more minutes, and as a freshman, that's not necessarily a good thing.  Plus, this has a further negative impact on Mizzou's overall team defense.  At this point, Mizzou will need strong defensive performance from both a sophomore (Mike Dixon) and a freshman (Pressey), and that's never guaranteed.

This really is a pretty big weekend for Mizzou.  We've all talked and read about Ratliffe's prowess -- nothing like bringing in a guy who averaged 27 & 12 in JUCO last year -- and clearly he's the #1 attraction for the weekend ... but Matt Pressey could be as important.  He's a 6'2 combo guard known as much for his defense as his offense.  If he plays for Mizzou next year, he could potentially be good for 10-14 MPG and steady defense, and for a suddenly thin backcourt, that's a big deal.


When I drew up OU's projections the first time around, I mentioned that I was expecting Tiny Gallon to be gone and Willie Warren to return.  In massive projected minutes, I had Warren averaging 16.9 AdjGS/Gm.  Now that he has jumped for the pros ... wow.  Assuming Gallon is gone, OU is down to eight scholarship players, three of which would be freshmen next year, and three sophomores.  The Sooners are still heavy on the recruiting trail and have at least a couple of JUCO transfers on the immediate radar screen, but at this exact moment, things are horrible.  Warren is basically replaced in the rotation by a walk-on (T.J. Franklin), and OU absolutely plummets.  This is more extreme than the projections will probably end up, but as with Mizzou, I wanted to run projections based on no further commits, so here you go.

Player 09-10
Cade Davis (6'5, 199, Sr.) 0.33 0.33 10.9
Andrew Fitzgerald (6'8, 258, So.) 0.30 0.33 9.5
Steven Pledger (6'4, 217, So.) 0.24 0.28 9.5
T.J. Taylor (6'3, 205, Fr.) N/A 0.28 8.5
Orlando Allen (6'10, 288, Sr.) 0.19 0.24 4.6
Kyle Hardrick (6'8, 229, So.) 0.21 0.26 4.5
Cameron Clark (6'7, 200, Fr.) N/A 0.28 4.2
Tyler Neal (6'6, 175, Fr.) N/A 0.18 2.6
T.J. Franklin (5'11, 166, Jr.) -0.22 0.10 1.0
TOTAL 55.3

Previous Projected Difference: -7.4

Whereas Mizzou has six players projected at 0.35 AdjGS/Min or higher, OU currently has ... none.  Wow.  They were already projected in a tie for last place without Warren, and now ... well, now there's no tie for last place.


I'm almost hesitant to go ahead and count Avery Bradley as gone -- I think there's a very good chance he comes back next season after getting draft feedback.  He's not a physical freak (he's 6'2, 180), and he was only good in 2009-10, not great.  But for now, we'll count him as gone and see what happens when his projected 33.5 MPG are removed from the equation.

Player 09-10
Jordan Hamilton (6'7, 226, So.) 0.43 0.45 12.9
Varez Ward (6'2, 192, Jr.) N/A 0.36 12.2
J'Covan Brown (6'1, 185, So.) 0.32 0.34 11.5
Gary Johnson (6'6, 238, Sr.) 0.40 0.40 8.0
Shawn Williams (6'6, 215, So.)
0.24 0.29 6.6
Tristan Thompson (6'9, 240, Fr.) N/A 0.35 5.6
Dogus Balbay (6'1, 175, Sr.) 0.30 0.31 4.3
Jai Lucas (5'10, 150, Sr.) 0.20 0.26 3.3
Alexis Wangmene (6'7, 241, Jr.) 0.25 0.35 2.9
Clint Chapman (6'10, 239, Sr.) 0.30 0.33 1.3
TOTAL 70.2

Previous Projected Difference: -8.7.

Without either Bradley or any further commits, then J'Covan Brown, Gary Johnson and former 4-star wing Shawn Williams all get more minutes, particularly Williams.  While there's still a ton of raw talent on the Texas roster, Bradley is a pretty big key to the overall production and chemistry, and without him, Texas will be relying on more offensively challenged guards like Ward and Balbay.

And again ... I expect to end up adjusting Texas back when Bradley withdraws his name from the draft.


As with last time, all teams decline thanks to conservative projections, so adjustments need to be made so that the total difference is 0.0.  Here are the raw differences between last year and next year, along with adjusted differences.

Team Raw Diff. Adj. Diff.
Kansas -2.1 +4.8
Missouri -3.7 +3.2
Kansas State -3.7 +3.2
Nebraska -4.7 +2.1
Colorado -4.9 +2.0
Texas Tech -5.1 +1.8
Iowa State -6.6 +0.3
Texas A&M -7.0 -0.2
Baylor -7.2 -0.4
Oklahoma State -9.7 -2.8
Texas -11.0 -4.1
Oklahoma -16.8 -9.8
TOTAL -82.6 +0.0

Thanks to OU's extreme decline, the adjusted numbers show only three teams declining by more than 0.5 points.  And despite losing two All-Americans (Collins, Aldrich), Kansas is now actually projected to lose less production than anybody else in the conference ... you know, the conference they've won for most of the last decade?  Yikes.

2010-11 Projected Standings
Team Adj. Diff. 2009-10
Conf. Pt.
"New" Pt.
Kansas +4.8 +12.4 +17.2 15-1
Kansas State +3.2 +6.0 +9.2 12-4
Missouri +3.2 +3.8 +7.0 11-5
Baylor -0.4 +6.6 +6.2 10-6
Texas A&M -0.2 +3.2 +3.0 9-7
Oklahoma State -2.8 +2.2 -0.6 8-8
Texas -4.1 +3.1 -1.0 8-8
Colorado +2.0 -4.6 -2.6 7-9
Iowa State +0.3 -5.8 -5.5 6-10
Texas Tech +1.8 -8.6 -6.8 5-11
Nebraska +2.1 -10.1 -8.0 5-11
Oklahoma -9.9 -8.1 -18.0 1-15

I again stayed quite conservative in projecting records.  If KU were to really average a +17.2 point margin, they would almost certainly be 16-0, whereas if OU really averaged -18.0, they would almost certainly be 0-16.  But with OU as an extreme anchor, we do have an interesting race set up in the bottom half of the conference, where the teams in 8th-11th place win between five and seven games.  Really, this would be perfect for the Big 12 in a year where the NCAA might be expanding to 96 teams.  At 5-11, Nebraska and/or Texas Tech could see a tourney bid if their non-conference record is good.  (For instance, an 11-2 non-con record would lead to a 16-13 overall record with a decent RPI.)

I'll try to resist re-drawing the projections with every bit of recruiting news that emerges over the next couple of weeks, when at the very least, Missouri and Oklahoma could be seeing some additions.  Therefore, I'll go ahead and unload a spoiler alert here: with commits from both Older Pressey and Ratliffe, Mizzou's projections would move up to 13-3 ... which would be, um, fun.  It sounds at this point as if the odds of landing Pressey are very good or excellent, but Ratliffe will almost certainly still take another visit next weekend (to Cincinnati, I believe) before making a decision.  We'll see what happens, but what we do know for sure at this point are a) the loss of Paul really would land a significant blow to Mizzou's backcourt depth if they don't land anybody else, and b) the worst-case scenario for Mizzou next year is still pretty damn good.