But I think like a 6 or 7 seed in tourney should be the aim, an 8 or 9 would be a bit more disappointing.
However, how I see the upside is a lot different. Honestly, go ahead and rank the primary creators in the Big 12 right now. I think a fair ranking is:
1. Flagler (Baylor)
2. Miles (TCU)
3. Anderson (OSU)
4. McCullar (Kansas) [important note: I’m not saying McCullar is bad, but he’s a 3 that is going to be playing out of position for Kansas who basically will be playing without a point guard or one with any experience, when you take McCullar’s other assets into the game other than leading a whole offense, he’ll be the deserved favorite for conference player of the year).
5. Hunter (Texas)
6. Harmon (Tech)
Flager is a steady-eddie kind of player unlikely to explode. Anderson is a similar player to Miles and could easily potentially outplay him, McCullar already mentioned that he’ll be playing without a PG so he’ll have to take the full burden of an offense. Avery has outplayed Hunter twice already. Harmon is another version of Flagler.
Long story short, there’s a real chance that Avery is the best primary creator in the Big 12 this season. Some of you will scoff, which is fine, but growth being completely linear is a myth, and I still think he can elevate his game even though it didn’t go quite as expected last year.
The competition for a secondary ball handler is more fierce, Keyonte George for Baylor, Texas has like 3 guys that could be pretty good. But Thompson, has the talent and experience to be the best secondary ball handler in the conference. And vitally, his archetype of player should be a spacer, it’s not another guy who can’t work without the ball in his hands. He has real shooting pedigree that I think will show back up better than his %s last year.
I think Cisse can be the best defensive player in the county, full stop. Don’t tell me anything about perimeter players, they aren’t half as valuable as rim protectors, and I don’t see how anyone in the conference that’s going to come close to measuring up to him. He’s got the pedigree and we’ve already seen it on the court.
If you have 2 guys who are top tier creators in the conference, that can space the court, and a true foundational guy on the defensive end that’s enough for a team to be competing for the conference and at least a 3 seed.
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