This article is strictly to help out the average fan or even above-average fan who hasn’t had time to get a feel for the upcoming basketball season. There is more new than old this year including new teams, arenas, players, and rules!
Hopefully, this helps your brain understand the new changes as the season approaches. Some of these are shocking and some are “that happened?” or “he’s on that team now?” The transfer portal and conference realignment turned us into a pretzel but now it’s time to untangle.
Block/Charge: A defender must be in a position to draw a charge before the offensive player plants his foot to jump during a field goal or pass attempt. The old rule stated that a defensive player needed to be in position before the offensive left the ground.
This was called a charge, but it will be a block this year 90% of the time. Offensive player plants last foot as defender is sliding in position. That’s why it’s an exhibition game. pic.twitter.com/hDYDcEJ647— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) October 29, 2023
Live Footage: Prerecorded or live video can be transmitted to the bench area during the game, on an optional basis. This had been an experimental rule since 2021–22 but is now permanent.
Move it or Lose it: If a coach requests a review of an out-of-bounds play in the last two minutes, that team will be charged a timeout if the challenge is unsuccessful.
New Numbers: All numbers from 00–99 will be allowed. Previously, player numbers could only include digits from 0 to 5.
Baylor is working to finish their new arena, Foster Pavilion, by the time conference play begins. They are currently set to open on January 1st.
The new facility includes the following: seating for 7,000 fans, two 2,000-square video boards, separate practice courts, and weight rooms while costing around $213 million.
The 7,000 seats would rank dead last in the total number of seats within Big 12 Arenas.
New Kids on the Block
Houston: Since 2020 they have a 93-14 record, a Final Four appearance, two Elite Eight appearances, two-time AAC Tournament champs, and two-time AAC Regular Season Champs.
Their team includes: *2022-23 Stats
LJ Cryer (G) > From Baylor (Starter, 15 points, 2 assists, 2 rebounds, 45.3% FG, 41.5% 3PT)
Damian Dunn (G) > From Temple (Starter, 15.3 points, 3 assists, 3.7 rebounds, 34.8% 3PT)
Jamal Shead (G) (Starter, 10.5 points, 5.4 assists, 3 rebounds, 1.7 steals, 41.5% FG)
Jarace Walker (F) (Starter, 11.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.3 blocks, 46.5% FG)
J’Wan Roberts (F) (Starter, 10 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.3 blocks, 61.2% FG)
Cincinnati: Since 2020 the Bearcats’ record is 53-39 and have not made the NCAA Tournament since 2019.
Key Players for Cincinnati: *2022-23 Stats
Viktor Lakhin (C) (Starter, 11.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 1.4 blocks, 61.7% FG)
Mika Adams-Woods (G) (Starter, 9.1 points, 3.2 assists, 1.1 steals, 36.6 3PT)
Rayvon Griffith (G) (4-star Freshman)
UCF: Since 2020, a record of 48-39 and have not made the NCAA Tournament since the Taco Fall era (2019).
Key Players for UCF: *2022-23 Stats
C.J. Walker (F) (played just four games last season due to a foot injury)
Shemarri Allen (G) > From UMKC (Starter, 17 points, 5 rebounds, 41.4% FG)
Darius Johnson (G) (Starter, 10.0 points, 4.2 assists, 3 rebounds, 26.9% 3PT)
Jaylin Sellers (G) > From Ball State (13.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 45% 3PT)
BYU: Since 2020, a record of 63-33 and have not made the NCAA Tournament since 2021.
Key Players for BYU: *2022-23 Stats
Fousseyni Traore (F) (Starter, 12.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists)
Marcus Adams Jr. (F) (4-star Freshman)
Ques Glover (G) > From Samford (Starter, 14.7 points, 2.1 assists, 48% FG)
Notes About Each Team
-Lost both Ron Holland (5-star) and AJ Johnson (4-Star) this year after they decommitted
-Gained Chris Johnson (4-star) after he de-committed from Kansas
-Max Abmas, the point guard from Oral Roberts’ 2021 Sweet 16 run is now a part of Texas’ backcourt.
-Both 4-stars Chris Johnson and Marcus Adams Jr. decommitted from Kansas and went to conference opponents (Johnson to Texas and Adams to BYU).
-Arterio Morris, a Texas transfer, was dismissed from the program for sexual assault.
-Hunter Dickinson joins the Jayhawks as the Preseason Player of the Year.
-Langston Love, a top recruit from 2021 is back after tearing his ACL in October of last year.
-The Bears add Ja’Kobe Walter, a 5-star Freshman to the roster.
-BYU is 0-6 all-time against Iowa State.
-The 4-star Marcus Adams Jr. joins the Cougars after decommitting from Kansas and Gonzaga.
-BYU now has the largest arena in the Big 12, containing 19,000 seats.
-LJ Cryer transferred from Baylor to Houston and is poised to have a huge year.
-Houston ranks second to last in seating, with just 7,100 in the Fertitta Center.
-Houston has dominated the AAC since 2019, interesting to see if their domination continues in the Big 12.
-Jameer Nelson’s son, transferred from Delaware to TCU this offseason. Jameer Nelson Jr. is his name, pretty easy to recognize.
-Avery Anderson III transferred from Oklahoma State to TCU as well. Another in-conference transfer.
-Bob Huggins is out and Josh Eilert is in as the interim coach. Eilert was a bench warmer for K-State in his “playing days” in the early 00’s.
-The Mountaineers lost seven players to the portal and then brought in seven new transfers.
-Kerr Kriisa and Jesse Edwards headline the top transfers for West Virginia. Kriisa is suspended for the first nine games of the season.
-The Sooners face Iowa, Seton Hall or USC, Providence, North Carolina, and Arkansas in the non-conference. Yikes.
-In Porter Moser’s first two years he was 34-33 and now has a questionable roster this season.
-The Cowboys have the 10th-best recruiting class this year with three 4-stars and two 3-stars.
-Mike Boynton was not pleased with Kansas’ penalty with the NCAA after his penalty included an NCAA Tournament ban. Something to watch....especially when they play Kansas.
-Arthur Kaluma (Creighton) and Tylor Perry (North Texas) are a veryyyyy similar combo to Keyontae Johnson and Markquis Nowell this year. Which is scary.
-The Wildcats have a 4-star freshman named Dai Dai Ames. Somehow he isn’t a Cyclone.
-Nae’Qwan Tomlin was suspended indefinitely for getting into a bar fight, he may not return this season. Was a projected starter, and a top four player for K-State.
-Third times a charm? Grant McCasland is the new head coach for Tech as he arrives for North Texas.
-Joe Toussaint heads to Lubbock after appearances at Iowa and West Virginia.
-Two transfers to watch include graduate seniors from Arizona State, Warren Washington (7-footer) and Devan Cambridge.
-Antwann Jones is entering his sixth year in college basketball. He was in school at the same time as Ja Morant and Zion Williams.
-Iowa State and UCF have never faced each other in basketball until this season.
-Former Iowa guard CJ Fredrick transferred to Cincinnati.
-Viktor Lakhin is one of the top big men in the conference and an excellent defender.
-Officially the seventh-best recruiting class this season.
-JT Rock and Jelani Hamilton are both redshirting this year.
-Tre King is 24 years old and he faces JT Rock who is 17 years old in practice. Kinda wild.
-Keshon Gilbert (UNLV), Curtis Jones (Buffalo), and Josh Paveletzke (Wofford) are the new transfers wearing the red and gold.
-Keshon Gilbert was ejected last season in a game against Nevada for head-butting an opposing player.
-Kansas and Iowa State face each other on January 27th on CBS. It’s the first time Iowa State has played on CBS (in a non March Madness game) since 2001....when they defeated Kansas.
Games to Watch
Jan. 13: Kansas State @ Texas Tech (Grant McCasland vs. his old point guard, Tylor Perry)
Jan. 27th: Kansas @ Iowa State (First CBS game for ISU since they faced KU in 2001)
Jan. 31st: Cincinnati @ West Virginia (rivalry renewed after not playing since 2012)
Feb. 5th: Kansas @ Kansas State (Sunflower Showdown)
Feb. 24th: Texas @ Kansas (last matchup for the foreseeable future)
Feb. 24th: Houston @ Baylor (LJ Cryer’s return to Baylor)
March 9th: Kansas @ Houston (last Big 12 game and potentiality major stakes on the line)
*Obviously every game in the Big 12 is a must-watch but these games have a little more importance and storylines than others.