Checking in on the teams in the Big 12:
No. 23 Baylor Bears (12-3, 3-0 Big 12, No. 6 seed in ESPN’s Jan. 3 Bracketology)
The recent highlight for Baylor has unfortunately been an off-court controversy, as Kentucky transfer Dre’Una Edwards believes she should be able to play. Kentucky is standing in her way and head coach Kyra Elzy explained that she does have a reason, but according to The Next, allowing players to play anyway is usually a “formality.”
Dre’una Edwards — enrolled at Baylor after transferring from Kentucky — said Wildcats coach Kyra Elzy will not sign a waiver that will allow her the chance to play at her new school.— The Athletic CBB (@TheAthleticCBB) January 6, 2023
More details from @ChantelJennings: https://t.co/wmfFu6uAWG
In a statement to @TheNextHoops, Kentucky's Coach Elzy has stated:— WSLAM (@wslam) January 6, 2023
"We were asked by Baylor to sign an NCAA No Participation Opportunity form, certifying that Dre’una Edwards would not have had an opportunity to participate if she had stayed at Kentucky." 1/2
Continued:— WSLAM (@wslam) January 6, 2023
"That would not have been correct; Dre’una would have had the opportunity to participate if she had stayed. Dre’una transferred with the understanding that she would have to sit out unless she graduated, which she did not do.”
Edwards, most well-known for her game-winning three to defeat South Carolina in last year’s SEC Tournament championship game, averaged 16.8 points and 8.4 rebounds last year and would be a huge asset for Baylor.
The Bears’ loss to now-No. 15 Arizona on Dec. 18 looked pretty ugly on TV. They just didn’t bring it that night, but wins over No. 17 Oklahoma and No. 21 Kansas in their last two have righted the ship. The Bears have won four in a row, with the other two victories coming in blowout fashion over Long Beach State and TCU.
Sarah Andrews has averaged 18.8 points and five assists since our last update on Dec. 17.
No. 11 Iowa State Cyclones (10-2, 2-0 Big 12, No. 3 seed in ESPN’s Jan. 3 Bracketology)
The Cyclones got a big win over then-No. 25 Villanova on Dec. 18 and have since won their first two Big 12 games comfortably: 81-58 over Texas Tech and 70-50 over West Virginia. They moved down from No. 14 to No. 15 on Dec. 26, but moved ahead of UCLA, North Carolina. Iowa and Michigan on Jan. 2 after all those teams lost the week of the 26th.
Emily Ryan had big games against Nova (16 points, nine rebounds, 10 assists) and Texas Tech (15 points, 10 rebounds, six assists). She cooled off in the scoring and rebounding departments against West Virginia, but dished out nine assists. Ashley Joens averaged 19.3 points and 9.3 rebounds over the stretch, while Stephanie Soares averaged 15.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks.
Joens has been named to the Wooden Award midseason Top 25.
No. 21 Kansas Jayhawks (12-2, 2-1 Big 12, No. 4 seed in ESPN’s Jan. 3 Bracketology)
On Dec. 21, the Jayhawks suffered a triple-overtime loss to a Nebraska team that is currently receiving one voting point and has an impressive 23-point win over now-No. 13 Maryland on its resume. The Huskers also took now-No. 6 Indiana to overtime, but on Saturday fell to 7-10 Rutgers.
Since Dec. 21, Kansas has won two Big 12 games: 80-65 over Oklahoma State and 77-59 over Texas Tech. On Saturday, it fell to a Baylor team that seems to be on a roll.
Taiyanna Jackson has averaged 14.5 points, 16.5 rebounds and 3.3 blocks since our last update.
No. 17 Oklahoma Sooners (11-2, 1-1 Big 12, No. 5 seed in ESPN’s Jan. 3 Bracketology)
The Sooners cruised past Southern (Dec. 18), Florida (Dec. 21) and West Virginia (Dec. 31) and rose from No. 24 to No. 17 in the rankings before losing to Baylor 81-70 on Tuesday. Madi Williams averaged 19 points, 7.8 rebounds, three assists and 2.5 steals over the stretch, and, against Florida, Taylor Robertson did this:
ℕ ℝ ℂ ℝ @T_Rob30 has now made five 3-pointers in career games, breaking the previous NCAA record held by Jess Kovatch! #Sooners x @MarchMadnessWBB pic.twitter.com/Ng4gVCCIVJ— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_WBBall) December 22, 2022
Williams has been named to the Wooden Award midseason Top 25.
Oklahoma faces a big test in Iowa State on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET (ESPN2).
RV (nine points) Texas Longhorns (11-5, 2-1 Big 12, No. 9 seed in ESPN’s Jan. 3 Bracketology)
Just when it seemed Texas had things turned around, they fell to Oklahoma State in a close one Saturday night. The Cowgirls were the “last team in” in ESPN’s Jan. 3 Bracketology, so it isn’t a terrible loss, but it will set the Longhorns back a bit. This comes after they made a big statement to open Big 12 play: beating Kansas State by 46. They also beat a pretty good USC team 62-48 on Dec. 18. Since our last update, they have added wins over Houston Christian 96-34, Texas A&M Commerce 96-53 and TCU 81-69. They had won eight in a row entering Saturday.
Rori Harmon recorded a triple-double of 17 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists against TCU. She has averaged 8.5 assists over the six games since our last update.
.@_sonyaann, @TexasWBB’s leading scorer and 3-point shooter, has formed deep bonds with her teammates and coaches at both DePaul and Texas and leaves a mark everywhere she goes. Her passion for basketball is why she enjoys Vic Schaefer’s high demands. https://t.co/YpcBwl0518— Swish Appeal (@SwishAppeal) December 21, 2022
Kansas State Wildcats (12-4, 1-2 Big 12, No. 10 seed in ESPN’s Jan. 3 Bracketology)
The Wildcats could be on the bubble soon as their Saturday loss to a non-projected tournament team in West Virginia wasn’t helpful. They also suffered the embarrassing 46-point loss to Texas on Dec. 31, though that was without the 21.6 points per game of Gabby Gregory, who was out with a lower leg injury.
It hasn’t been a great start to Big 12 play and the team has fallen a long way since beating then-No. 4, now-No. 16 Iowa on Nov. 17, leading our update on Nov. 18 and being ranked their highest so far (No. 24) on Dec. 5. At least they picked up a good win over Oklahoma State in-between the Texas and West Virginia losses. They also have wins over Northern Colorado and Morgan State since our last update.
Gregory averaged 22.8 points in the four games she played in over the last stretch.
Oklahoma State Cowgirls (11-4, 1-2 Big 12, “Last team in” in ESPN’s Jan. 3 Bracketology)
The Cowgirls’ win over Florida State is looking more and more impressive as the Seminoles continue to roll. Now, OK State has another signature win; it defeated preseason-No. 3 Texas 86-82 on Saturday night. Will that be enough to keep the Cowgirls in the projected tournament field after they lost to Kansas State on Jan. 4?
The Cowgirls have also defeated UNLV 87-62 and Air Force 62-44 since our last update. They lost to Kansas 80-65 on Dec. 31.
Texas Tech Lady Raiders (13-3, 1-2 Big 12, No. 81 in the NET rankings)
The Lady Raiders closed out non-conference play with wins over McNeese State (Dec. 19), UC Riverside (Dec. 22) and Mississippi Valley State (Dec. 27), but started conference play 0-2 with blowout losses to Iowa State and Kansas on Dec. 31 and Jan. 4, respectively. Now, those were both ranked opponents, so it doesn’t hurt Texas Tech’s resume too much. The Lady Raiders got back on track by defeating TCU on Saturday.
Bre’Amber Scott averaged 19.7 points over her last three contests.
West Virginia Mountaineers (10-4, 1-2 Big 12, No. 87 in the NET rankings)
The Mountaineers didn’t seem to be able to hang with Oklahoma and Iowa State, losing by 21 and 20, respectively. However, they defeated a pretty good Georgia team and blew out Miami Ohio at the West Palm Beach Invitational and picked up their first conference win over a good Kansas State team on Saturday.
JJ Quinerly averaged 22 points over her last three outings.
TCU Horned Frogs (6-8, 0-3 Big 12, No. 127 in the NET rankings)
The Frogs have, not surprisingly, started 0-3 in the conference. They lost to Baylor by 22, but their 12-point loss to Texas certainly wasn’t that bad considering how good the Longhorns can still be. The Frogs’ loss to Texas Tech was also not a blowout, coming by eight points on Saturday. Perhaps TCU can compete a little bit down the road as it gets more and more battle-tested. Teams that were projected to be among the weakest in other conferences now have people saying those conferences are wide open. BC, projected to finish 13th in the ACC, beating No. 10 NC State is one example.
Tomi Taiwo dropped 33 points in the Texas Tech game.