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One Man's Opinions On The Big 12's Off-Season
May 05, 2014
Wendell Barnhouse is a nationally-known and respected columnist who has spent over 20 years covering collegiate athletics. He has reported from 25 Final Fours and more than three dozen bowl games and has written about the Big 12 and its schools since the conference's beginning. Barnhouse will be updating the Big 12 Insider on happenings and behind-the-scenes information about the conference.

Jon Rothstein of offers two opinions about off-season developments in Big 12 men’s basketball.

The addition of UNLV's Bryce Dejean-Jones should give Fred Hoiberg his most complete team since he's been at Iowa State.

The Mayor has had the Cyclones in three consecutive NCAA Tournaments but next season may be his best chance of winning the Big 12 regular-season title. Iowa State's addition this week of Dejean-Jones (13.3 points last season) should give Hoiberg the best all-around starting five since he's been back at his alma mater. Monte Morris will be back as a sophomore at point guard after leading the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio as a freshman, and Dejean-Jones looks to step in at shooting guard and be the next transfer under Hoiberg that goes from program castoff to resurrection phenomenon.

Iowa State's frontcourt is also exceptionally deep next season. Dustin Hogue is back at the three after a breakout NCAA Tournament and Georges Niang, along with Marquette transfer Jameel McKay (eligible after nine games), will round out a frontcourt that could match up with any opponent in America. The 6-8 McKay is the first true rim protector that Hoiberg has had at Iowa State and should provide the Cyclones with a different dynamic since he can block shots and protect the front of the goal.

Texas is a legitimate top-10 team with the addition of Myles Turner.

Rick Barnes proved last season that he didn't forget how to coach. This week he proved he didn't forget how to recruit. The addition of the 7-foot Turner drastically changes the outlook for the Longhorns heading into next season. Texas now will have arguably the best front line in all of college basketball with Turner, 6-9 big man Cameron Ridley, and versatile forward Jonathan Holmes, who will now likely slide to the "three" with Turner's arrival. Texas also has two capable backups up front in pick-and-pop big man Connor Lammert and 6-foot-10 shot blocker Prince Ibeh, two post players who could start for most programs in America. With Isaiah Taylor back at point guard and Javan Felix and Demarcus Holland ready to assume veteran minutes at off guard, the Longhorns are in a legitimate position to challenge Kansas for a Big 12 title and again be a major factor nationally.

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