After Kansas graduated two players that accounted for 34.3 points, 14.2 rebounds and nearly 46 percent of all shots attempted, this may finally be the year the Jayhawks are unseated as Big 12 Regular-Season champions. The most likely team to step up and grab the title is Baylor, yes, the same Baylor team that lost three key pieces, all starting forwards to the NBA Draft in 2012. Let's take a closer look:
Point guard Pierre Jackson is one of the most dynamic playmakers in the nation. In his first season in Division I (after two years at a junior college), Jackson started more than 20 games, most of which were in the second-half of the season when the Bears really started to gel. Jackson has electric quickness and underrated strength to get into the paint and dump the ball off to one of Baylor's remaining talented big men, but he also has the range to pull-up off the bounce and knock down 3-pointers from deep.
Speaking of deep 3-pointers, meet Brady Heslip, the team's designated perimeter specialist. 220 of Heslip's 277 field-goal attempts came from behind the arc, and with good reason as he connected with nearly 46 percent of his shots, ranking him tops in college basketball in offensive rating.
There are still plenty of talented big men in Waco. High school All-American, Isaiah Austin, headlines the frontcourt due to his tremendous 7-foot size and even more impressive wingspan. But Austin is not your typical 7-footer as he has developing perimeter skills such as range and ball handling to make him a versatile threat. On the interior, Cory Jefferson was stuck at the bottom of last season's rotation of Perry Jones, Quincy Acy and Quincy Miller. Yet when he earned minutes, the 6'9" big man produced a stellar blocked shots percentage of 12.6 percent and a solid defensive rebounding rate of 20.5 percent. And let's not forget about the tough interior addition of freshman Rico Gathers and senior J'Mison Morgan.