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Big 12 Basketball Rankings: Early Edition

OK, it's the early, early edition. But The Oklahoman's John Helsley and Mike Baldwin take a shot at ranking next season's teams in June, with last year's final standings spot in parenthesis:
Oklahoman Published: June 9, 2011

1. Baylor (T7). Bears return the league's premier player in Perry Jones, plus Quincy Acy, and add two elite recruits. Now, can Scott Drew lead them.

2. Kansas (1). The Jayhawks would be the easy pick – the Jayhawks have won seven straight league titles – but the departures and round-robin schedule hurt.

3. Texas A&M (T3). A solid core of returning players, led by Khris Middleton, but it all comes down to the transition to new coach Billy Kennedy.

4. Missouri (T5). Another new coach, Frank Haith, who walked into a great situation. But how will the Tigers adapt away from Mike Anderson's frenetic style?

5. Oklahoma State (9). Finally, Travis Ford has the pieces to push the pedal on offense. And he has a driver in LeBryan Nash, who needs to be as good as advertised.

6. Texas (2). No team took a bigger personnel hit to the NBA Draft than the Horns, who don't return a single starter. They did recruit well, however…

7. Kansas State (T3). Jacob Pullen, Curtis Kelly and Wally Judge are gone, leaving a rebuilding job only Frank Martin could love.

8. Oklahoma (T10). Cade Davis will be missed, but Romero Osby finally gets to show what he can do; expect an immediate lift from Lon Kruger.

9. Iowa State (11). The Cyclones benefit from four major college transfers who sat out a year ago; but they were transfers for a reason, right?

10. Texas Tech (T10). If only Billy Gillispie could have taken over last year's squad. Instead, he returns just one starter in a full-scale makeover of the program.

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