Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Big 12 All-Time Series Part 1

LWOS is continuing a series to choose the best player, coach, and team of each power conference team in the NCAA. Next up is part one of a look at the Big 12 All-time. The Big 12 has a great basketball tradition. This conference includes arguably the most important person in basketball history.

Big 12 All-Time Series Part 1

Baylor Bears

Best Team: 2011-2012

The 2011-2012 Baylor Bears were coming off a tough season, however, they were ranked in the preseason top 15. The team more than lived up to those lofty expectations. They rose the rankings to a season-high ranking of third overall. Baylor finished the season with a record of 30 wins and 8 losses before losing in the Elite 8 to the Kentucky Wildcats, the eventual National Champions.

Best Player: Vinnie Johnson

Vinnie Johnson played for the Baylor Bears from 1977 to 1979. Over the course of two seasons, he appeared in 56 games for the Bears and averaged 22.8 points per game over that time. As a senior, he averaged 25 points, six assists, and five rebounds per game. Johnson went on to be the number seven pick in the 1979 draft after his successful college career.

Honorable Mention: Taurean Prince

Best Coach: Scott Drew

Scott Drew took over a struggling Baylor program just three months before the 2003 season. Since then he has taken them to heights not seen in program history. Drew has a career record of 344 wins and 213 losses in his Baylor tenure. He has also made the NCAA tournament eight times, with his best finish being a loss in the 2011-2012 Elite 8. Most recently, he was named the 2020 Big 12 Coach of the Year.

Iowa State Cyclones

Best Team: 1999-2000

The 1999-00 Cyclones team was the most accomplished team in school history. They were unranked to start the season and proceeded to finish the season ranked sixth in the nation. The team had a record of 32 wins and 5 losses. They won the Big 12 that season and entered the NCAA tournament with a number two seed. They eventually lost in the Elite 8 to Michigan State, the eventual champions.

Best Player and Coach: Fred Hoiberg

They do not call Fred Hoiberg the mayor of Ames for just any old reason. As a player, he was with the Cyclones from 1991-95. Over his Iowa State playing career, he started 123 of the 126 games he played in. During that time he was able to amass nearly 2,000 points and averaged 20 points a game in his junior and senior seasons.

As a coach, Hoiberg spent five seasons at the helm in Ames. He brought the program back to national notoriety after a string of losing seasons. Hoiberg’s tenure started in the 2010-11 season. In only his second season at Iowa State, he was named Big 12 Coach of the Year. The Cyclones made the NCAA tournament four times in his five years with Hoiberg in charge. They also won the Big 12 tournament twice over that timespan.

Honorable Mention: Georges Niang, Monte Morris, Jeff Hornacek

Kansas Jayhawks

Best Team: 2007-2008

The 2007-08 Kansas Jayhawks are the best team amongst a list of heavy hitters across program history. The 2007-08 team finished with a record of 37 wins and 3 losses. They finished second in the Big 12 that season but still had a number one seed heading into the  NCAA tournament. They eventually found themselves cutting the nets down in San Antonio after a thrilling title game against the Memphis Tigers.

Best Player: Wilt Chamberlain

Although he played just two seasons at Kansas, Wilt Chamberlain made a lasting mark as the best player in Jayhawk History. Chamberlain was part of the team from 1956 to 1958. He averaged 29.9 points and 18.3 rebounds a game for over his career while leading Kansas in a narrow defeat in arguably the best NCAA title game ever (the 1957 triple-OT heartbreaker against undefeated North Carolina).

Honorable Mention: Danny Manning

Best Coach: Phog Allen

If you have an arena named after you, at one of the most prestigious basketball schools ever, you deserve a spot on this list. This is true of Kansas legend Phog Allen. After playing under the legend James Naismith Allen was the head coach at Kansas for 37 years across two different stints. He had a final record of 590 wins and 219 losses. He also won the 22 regular-season titles, coached in three Final Fours, and won the 1951-1952 NCAA Championship.

Honorable Mention: Roy Williams and Bill Self

Kansas State Wildcats

Best Team: 2009-2010

The 2009-10 Kansas State season finished with a record of 29 wins and 8 losses. They finished second in the Big 12 and had a two seed entering the NCAA tournament before eventually losing to National Runner-Up Butler in the Elite 8. This team was coached by Frank Martin and had future NBA player Jacob Pullen as their leader. They finished with a final ranking of seven after spending portions of the season in the top five.

Best Player: Mitch Richmond

Mitch Richmond was a member of the Kansas State Wildcats from 1986 through 1988. Over his two seasons, he appeared in 64 games. During that time he was the most prolific scorer in program history. He averaged 20 points and six rebounds per game while shooting better thank 40 percent from beyond the 3-Point arc. He eventually went on to a very successful NBA career with several teams.

Honorable Mention: Michael Beasley

Best Coach: Tex Winter

Tex Winter is best known as the creator of the triangle offense. He honed the offense at Kansas State over 15 seasons from 1952 to 1968. During his tenure, he had 261 wins and 118 losses. The team won eight regular-season titles and also advanced to six NCAA tournaments. Twice he took his team as far as the Final Four.

Honorable Mention: Frank Martin

Oklahoma Sooners

Best Team: 1987-1988

The 1987-88 Oklahoma Sooners had the best finish in program history. This team had 35 wins and 4 losses over the course of a very successful season. The team won the conference title, earned a number one seed in the NCAA tournament, and eventually lost 83-79 to Kansas in the NCAA title game

Best Player: Wayman Tisdale

Wayman Tisdale became an incredible scoring threat during his time at OU. He started in 69 of the 104 games he played in during his time in Norman. Tisdale averaged 25.6 points and 10.1 rebounds over three seasons. He won conference Player of the Year and was a first-team All-American during each of his three seasons with the Sooners.

Honorable Mention: Buddy Hield and Blake Griffin

Best Coach: Billy Tubbs

Billy Tubbs was the head coach at Oklahoma from 1980 to 1994. He amassed a record of 333 wins and 132 losses during his time at the helm of the Sooner’s program. Over his 14 year career in Norman, he won four regular-season titles, three conference tournament titles, made nine NCAA tournaments, and also reached the Final Four one time.

Honorable Mention: Lon Kruger

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