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October 30, 2007
Beasley helps put K-State in Big 12 race
Big 12 predicted order of finish
2. Kansas State*
4. Texas A&M*
8. Oklahoma State
9. Texas Tech
10. Iowa State
Out with the not-so-old, in with the new.
The Big 12 trades one freshman who became the first in his class to be the consensus national player of the year, Texas' Kevin Durant, for another with the potential to make it a repeat.
Michael Beasley, Rivals.com's No. 1 overall prospect in the class of 2007, arrives at Kansas State with much fanfare. He's a 6-foot-10, 235-pound power forward with a wide array of skills. He and former five-star prospect Bill Walker have expectations for the Wildcats soaring to heights they haven't seen since Mitch Richmond and Steve Henson reached the Elite Eight in 1988. K-State also has a new coach, Frank Martin, who was an assistant to Bob Huggins a season ago.
Kansas remains in its familiar role as conference favorite. The Jayhawks have a ton of talent, though their season could ride on the health of small forward Brandon Rush. A first-team all-conference selection last season, Rush suffered a torn ACL in a pickup game in May. School officials are counting on a December return for the standout, who averaged 13.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
The Durant-less Longhorns won't be anybody's patsies. They return their other four starters, including point guard D.J. Augustin, who will be one of the best in the nation at his position.
Texas A&M and Oklahoma welcome five-star prospects to mix with some talented returning players, and Missouri fans will get their first look at Vanderbilt transfer DeMarre Carroll. He could make it two league newcomer of the year awards in a row for the Tigers, as he joins last year's winner, guard Stefhon Hannah.
Here is the Rivals.com preview of the upcoming Big 12 season:
Bob McClellan is the college basketball editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.