In the Big 12 last season, there were 5 teams who made the NCAA Tournament. 5 is a pretty low number for this exceptional conference. This year there will be a few players that may surprise some people and lead their team to the NCAA Tournament.
Here is one breakout player from each Big 12 team for the 2019-20 season.
Baylor: Jared Butler-Guard, Sophomore
Coming into Baylor, Jared Butler was a 4-star recruit from Reserve, Louisiana. He originally enrolled at Alabama but transferred to Baylor before college started and received an NCAA Waiver and was ruled immediately eligible to play. As a freshman, Jared Butler averaged 10.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. He was named to the All-Big 12 Freshman team. Butler earned himself a tryout with the USA Men’s U19 World Cup Team Training Camp during the summer. Butler was named a finalist for the team but was unable to participate at the final try out. Butler will look to get Baylor back to the NCAA Tournament.
Iowa State: Tyrese Haliburton-Guard, Sophomore
Tyrese Haliburton was a 3-star recruit from Oshkosh, Wisconsin prior to attending Iowa State. Haliburton started all but one game for the Cyclones. He averaged averaged 6.8 points, 3.6 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game and helped Iowa State win the Big 12 Tournament. Haliburton also earned himself a tryout with the USA Men’s U19 World Cup Team Training Camp. Haliburton made the team and played in the U19 FIBA World Cup in Greece. In the World Cup, Haliburton averaged 7.9 points and a tournament-best 6.9 assists while helping lead Team USA to a gold medal. He was named to All-Star Five in the tournament which is basically the all tournament team. He will be one of the most experienced sophomores in college basketball this season and could lead Iowa State to another NCAA Tournament.
Kansas: Marcus Garrett-Guard, Junior
As a freshman, Marcus Garrett immediately made an impact on the court for the Jayhawks. He averaged 4.1 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. He helped lead Kansas to a Final Four. As a sophomore, Garrett averaged 7.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game. He was named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team. Although he is a good scorer, Garrett is known as a strong defensive player who will be guarding the number one scorer from each team they play. Many people have predicted that Garrett will win Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and Naismith Defensive Player of the Year. As one of the main leaders on the Jayhawks, Garrett will look the lead Kansas back to a National Championship
Kansas State: Cartier Diarra-Guard, RS Junior
Cartier Diarra redshirted his freshman season at Kansas State after undergoing a season ending knee surgery. As a redshirt freshman, he was forced to take on a big role for the team after Kamau Stokes broke his foot halfway through the season. He averaged 7.1 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game. He helped lead Kansas State to the Elite 8. He was awarded the 2018 Ed Nealy Most Improved Award. As a sophomore, Diarra averaged 6.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.7 assists. He was awarded the 2019 Dean Harris Sixth Man Award. During both seasons, he showed his ability to jump out of the gym. This year he will look to be the starting point guard for the Wildcats.
Oklahoma: De’Vion Harmon-Guard, Freshman
De’Vion Harmon is a 4-star point guard from Corinth, Texas. In high school, he won two gold medals with Team USA. He won gold medals at the 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship and the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup. He was named to the USA Nike Hoop Summit Team. Harmon is a candidate for Big 12 Freshman of the Year. Harmon has a great chance to make an immediate impact for the Sooners and could be the teams starting point guard come November.
Oklahoma State: Isaac Likekele-Guard, Sophomore
Isaac Likekele committed to Oklahoma State as a 3-star recruit from Mansfield, Texas. Not many people knew about him but he made a name for himself quickly. Likekele started every game for the Cowboys. He averaged 8.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. He was also invited to tryout with the USA Men’s U19 World Cup Team Training Camp. Likekele made the team and traveled to Greece to compete for gold. He averaged 8.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.7 steals per game. As one of the older players on the team, Likekele helped lead Team USA to a gold medal. Likekele will definitely be the starting point guard this year and will try to get Oklahoma State back to the NCAA Tournament.
TCU: PJ Fuller-Guard, Freshman
PJ Fuller is a four-star recruit from Seattle, Washington. He attended Findlay Prep and played against some very good players this past year. Fuller chose TCU over Florida, Florida State, Iowa State, Saint Mary’s, Texas Tech, UNLV, Washington, and many others. Fuller played in the Big Baller Brand All American Game following his senior season. Fuller is a lengthy shooter that can get to the basket and finish. Fuller has a chance to be an immediate starter for the Horned Frogs.
Texas: Kai Jones-Center, Freshman
Kai Jones is a four-star recruit from the Bahamas. Jones attended Brewster Academy. He played with point guard Jalen Lecque who was signed by the Phoenix Suns following this years draft. Jones and Lecque won the National Prep Championship the past season. Before his senior season, Jones chose Texas over Oregon, Baylor, Florida State, Georgia, Syracuse, Arizona, and many others. Jones is a 6’10 center who will be able to make some big time plays on both ends of the court. The Longhorns are known for producing big time NBA centers and Jones has a great chance at being the next NBA lottery pick from Texas.
Texas Tech: Jahmi’us Ramsey-Guard, Freshman
Jahmi’us Ramsey is a five-star recruit from Arlington, Texas. Ramsey attended Duncanville High School. Ramsey committed to Texas Tech a week before his senior season. Ramsey chose the Red Raiders over Miami, LSU, Virginia Tech, Indiana, Oregon, North Carolina State, Memphis, Louisville, Florida, and many other schools. This past year, Ramsey led Duncanville to a 6A Texas State Championship where they defeated Klein Forest 73-69. Ramsey played in the Ballislife All American Game following his senior season. Jahmi’us Ramsey is known for his athleticism and strength. Ramsey can play tough defense and is a big time scorer. I believe he is the best recruit the Big 12 has had in the last few years. Ramsey will look to help lead Texas Tech back to a Final Four.
West Virginia: Jordan McCabe-Guard, Sophomore
As a freshman, Jordan McCabe slowly started making a name for himself at West Virginia. Coming into West Virginia, McCabe was a very well known recruit throughout the country. McCabe was named Mr. Basketball by the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association. McCabe also played in the Ballislife All American Game. As a freshman, McCabe averaged 5.8 points, 2.5 assists, and 1.6 rebounds per game. Although his stats don’t seem like he had a very impressive season, McCabe didn’t start getting a lot of play time until later in the season. In the final 10 games of the season, McCabe averaged 13.5 points, 5.0 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game. This season, McCabe will likely be the starting point guard for the Mountaineers and will look to lead them to his first NCAA Tournament.