Big 12 basketball is, consistently, one of the most thriving conferences in the country since its inception for the 1996-1997 season. The women who participate in this sport for the members of this strong conference display their talented skills night in and night out. The 10-member conference will continue to produce extraordinary basketball and the 2018-2019 season should be no different the years prior to this upcoming season.
Henceforth, the 2018-2019 season will be an exciting season in the Big 12 Conference.
On September 4, the women’s basketball conference schedule was released, and it shows how tough this conference is going to win this season. Moreover, many teams have already displayed their season schedule and each docket is filled with tough matchups against teams who participated in postseason play (NCAA Tournament, Women’s NIT, etc.).
Equally important, the Big 12-SEC Challenge is back, and each game will be competitive from the moment jump ball takes place.
Last season, there were numerous players who were able to shine for their programs and will be returning for the 2018-2019 season. Numerous players who were counting on will be coming back and will exhibit their gifts on a national scale.
FOX Sports will televise 28 Big 12 games this season and the breakdown of the games goes as follows:
- 19 regular season games
- 3 non-conference games (2 of which are a part of the Big 12-SEC Challenge)
- December 2: Mississippi State at Texas
- December 2: Tennessee at Oklahoma State
- December 19: UConn at Oklahoma
- 16 conference games
- 3 non-conference games (2 of which are a part of the Big 12-SEC Challenge)
- 9 conference tournament games
- 12 games will be televised nationally on FOX Sports 1
With these games being televised on FOX Sports networks, it’ll be a great chance to watch some high-profile programs square off on the court. For example, the conference tournament games will be televised on those networks. The final three games will be nationally televised on FOX Sports 1. The regular season begins on November 6 and the conference schedule begins on January 2.
Something else worth bringing attention to; the Big 12 has also made an announcement regarding the TV schedule with ESPN. Five games, including 4 conference games, will be televised on the ESPN Family of networks. One of those games includes a December 9 matchup of two NCAA Tournament teams from last year as Tennessee will travel to Austin to face Texas.
As for the teams, here’s a breakdown of how each program will look this season
To say nothing of how much talent is on the squad would be an understatement. The Baylor Lady Bears will be the favorites to win the Big-12 conference this season. Outside of the conference, the team will face some stiff competition from the likes of South Carolina, UConn, and Stanford in the non-conference portion of the schedule. It is something that Baylor will be ready for with this roster.
Head Coach Kim Mulkey will be bringing back another talent laden roster, one that will be spearheaded by All-American Kalani Brown. The daughter of former NBA player P.J. Brown, the former McDonald’s All-American will be looking to leave a mark this season while leading Baylor to a national championship.
Along with All-Big-12 performer Lauren Cox and a talented recruiting class, look for the Baylor Lady Bears to be making some noise this season.
Although the program saw Ariel Atkins move on to play in the WNBA and Tina Thompson take the head coach position at the University of Virginia, do not count out the Longhorns.
Texas is looking to take the crown away from Baylor this season under the leadership of Karen Aston. All-Big-12 performer Lashann Higgs is back for the Longhorns. Her defensive ability will be key for the team to go along with her offensive ability. The Longhorns have a balanced style of play by providing good offense and good defense.
To go along with Jatarie White, Texas has the core group of players to possibly make a run at the Big-12 Championship this season.
Oklahoma State and Oklahoma
This is the word that comes to mind when you think of these in-state rival programs. Oklahoma State and Oklahoma have been two consistent programs for the conference and this season should be no exception. Both teams went 11-7 last year and are looking to improve on these records.
Starting with the Cowgirls, losing talented players Loryn Goodwin and Kaylee Jensen will usually be a huge loss for some programs. Fortunately for Oklahoma State, they still have Braxtin Miller. The All-Big-12 Freshman player was very good in her first year on campus and is looking to help lead the way for head coach Jim Litell and this Cowgirls program. In addition, one thing this team will have to improve on is their defense.
Last season, Oklahoma State was ranked seventh in the conference in scoring defense and was in a tie for last place in field goal percentage defense. This squad this year must be better on the defensive end to really make some waves in the Big-12.
With the Sooners, like the Cowgirls, will be bringing back a talented group that will need to see several improvements on the defensive end. Oklahoma was ranked ninth in scoring defense, allowing 72.7 points per game last season.
Not only were the Sooners close to last in scoring defense, but also, they were close to last in field goal percentage defense. They will need to progress on the defensive end this season. By the same token, this team will be looking to their offense to help mask the struggling defense.
Head coach Sherri Coale will look to Shaina Pellington and Ana Llanusa to help push this offense forward.
TCU was able to produce a top-5 offense in the Big 12 (ranked 5th in total offense, 3rd in field goal percentage). The team’s biggest issue is their defense. The Horned Frogs were in the bottom half of the conference when it came to scoring defense and field goal percentage defense.
Raegan Pebley will look to seniors Amy Okonkwo, Jordan Moore and South Dakota transfer Jaycee Bradley to help lead the charge in Fort Worth this season.
The Mountaineers’ strongest attribute of their team is defense. West Virginia is looking to take that top defense (2nd in scoring defense, 2nd in field goal percentage defense) from last season and vamp it up for another run in the Big-12 this season.
Up in Morgantown, they will rely on Naomi Davenport and Katrina Pardee to help lead the way for an offense that was average. The non-conference schedule will get West Virginia ready to compete in the Big-12.
The Rest of the Conference
The bottom four in the conference (Iowa State, Kansas State, Kansas, and Texas Tech) will be looking to make some big splashes to regain some traction in the already competitive Big-12.
Beginning with the Cyclones, Bill Fennelly is going coach these young women and make some big improvements this season. Defensively, they can take another step and be very good on that end of the floor. Last season, they were number 6 in scoring defense and field goal percentage defense.
The Cyclones will be led on the court by All-Big-12 performer Bridget Carleton and Madison Wise this season. If they can continue to improve defensively and bring the offense up (8th in scoring offense last season), the Cyclones can scare numerous teams this season in the Big-12.
Kansas State will need to bring their offense up to the skill level of their defense. Last season, the Wildcats were one of the top defensive teams in the conference and was able to exhibit some flashes on the offensive end. Jeff Mittie is coming into this season with three of the starters from last season — and that includes All-Big-12 performers Kayla Goth, Peyton Williams, and Rachel Ranke. The Wildcats will have to improve offensively, and they will be a potential threat to teams competing at the top.
The Kansas Jayhawks are returning all five starters this season and they will have to progress more on the offensive end. Last season, Kansas was in last place in terms of scoring offense. Equally important to note, they also did not shoot the ball well from the floor last season (10th in field goal percentage).
Kansas does have the defense that can help win them some games. With the talent of Christalah Lyons and Kylee Kopatich, head coach Brandon Schneider can win a number of games and cause havoc within the Big-12 with this roster. They just have to put it all together and make it work.
Texas Tech is coming off a disappointing season in the Big 12 and are looking to change their fortunes this upcoming season. Brittany Brewer, Zuri Sanders and Erin Degrate will be among some of the players to help lead the way during Marlene Stollings first year under the helm in Lubbock.
Stollings is looking to bring some of the success she was able attain at the University of Minnesota to Texas Tech and bring the program up from the dreadful 1-17 record in the Big 12. It’ll be a tough task, and Stollings can be the coach to do it with the roster she has.
The Big 12 Conference will be on everyone’s radar this season. It’s been competitive basketball and we should expect the same for the 2018-2019 season.
As always, don’t forget to subscribe to our email newsletter below. It’s the only way to survive the impending alien invasion.