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Big 12 basketball: 5 bold predictions for 2020-2021 NCAA basketball season

Big 12 basketball: 5 bold predictions for 2020-2021 NCAA basketball season
Jan 11, 2020; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Ochai Agbaji (30) drives against Baylor Bears guard Jared Butler (12) during the second half at Allen Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 11, 2020; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Ochai Agbaji (30) drives against Baylor Bears guard Jared Butler (12) during the second half at Allen Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

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Big 12 basketball

Baylor Bears Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Big 12 basketball predictions for the 2020-2021 NCAA basketball season as Baylor is in line to give Kansas a run for the conference crown in a wildly fun race. 

Widespread success is not a novel concept for Big 12 basketball. Whether you’re talking about Kansas and their perennial contention for a National Championship, Texas Tech’s recent surge to becoming a national powerhouse in their own right, Baylor’s domination of the conference for much of last year or any other teams that have popped up over the years, the league is one of the most entertaining and strongest in the country.

So entering the 2020-2021 season, it would be wise to expect more of the same. And based on what we know, anyone with those expectations isn’t going to be disappointed. Some of the best teams in college basketball should emerge from the Big 12 this season but the question will be how they fare and stack up against one another.

Let’s try and figure that out with some Big 12 basketball predictions for the 2020-2021 season, looking at the best players, the best (and worst teams) and much more.

Big 12 basketball Player of the Year: Jared Butler, G, Baylor

In his freshman season at Baylor, Jared Butler provided some glimpses of his skill and potential as he averaged double figures. But it was last year as a sophomore when he became an established force for the Bears, particularly on offense. He was good enough to test the NBA Draft waters but, now that he’s back in Waco, he’s the best player in the Big 12 this season.

Butler put up 16 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.6 steals per game for Baylor a season ago and returns as their leading scorer and most efficient long-range shooter, hitting on 381 percent of his 202 attempts from 3-point range last season. And with some key departures, Butler could take up an even bigger role in the offense.

Though there is talent around him — though that could increase his assist numbers — it’s not hard to imagine a world in which Baylor relies on Butler to put up roughly 20 points per game, which he appears more than capable of doing.

Throw in a solid defensive effort from Butler and it seems abundantly clear that he not only has the lead in the preseason Big 12 Player of the Year race but that he could also be on the radar for the rest of the country as a potential National Player of the Year candidate.

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