Big 12

Kellis Robinett’s Big 12 Report (Jan. 21)

Bob Huggins hasn’t suffered through a losing season since he was Akron’s coach in 1985. He has won 20 or more games 23 times and advanced to two Final Fours since.

But the way this season is going, with the Mountaineers off to an 8-9 start and one victory in Big 12 games, that streak may be coming to an end. Unless they get things turned around, they will struggle to finish .500.

“We find different ways to shoot ourselves in the foot,” Huggins said. “I’ve never had a season or a team like this.”

Things seemed to reach a low point on Saturday, when Purdue thumped West Virginia 79-52. The Mountaineers should be able to bounce back with a victory over struggling TCU on Wednesday, but upcoming games against Oklahoma State and Kansas won’t be so easy.

Huggins is a quality coach who has made impressive mid-season coaching moves before, but this might be his biggest challenge.

Strange game

Baylor stepped out of conference to host lower-level Hardin-Simmons on Saturday. The Bears won 107-38.

Six players scored 10 or more points, and everyone played. That’s rare for a Big 12 team at this point of the season.

“We got some playing time for guys who don’t normally get on the floor,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said.

Award winner

Rodney McGruder is becoming a regular in the Big 12 player of the week category. The Kansas State senior won the honor for the fourth time. Last week, he led the Wildcats to victories over TCU and Oklahoma by scoring 21 points and 20 points. Kansas guard Ben McLemore won the Big 12’s freshman of the week honors.

Power rankings

1. Kansas (16-1, 4-0): Jayhawks face tough test on Tuesday.

2. Kansas State (15-2, 4-0): Best start since K-State made the Elite Eight.

3. Iowa State (13-4, 3-1): Cyclones receiving votes in top 25 polls.

4. Baylor (12-5, 3-1): Beating Hardin-Simmons wasn’t hard.

5. Oklahoma (12-4, 3-1): Sooners should rebound against Texas.

6. Oklahoma State (12-4, 2-2): Cowboys need to take advantage of easy slate.

7. West Virginia (8-9, 1-3): Huggins may be headed for a losing season.

8. Texas (8-9, 0-4): Losing streak should end this week against Texas Tech.

9. Texas Tech (8-8, 1-4): Is it too early to start looking ahead to next season?

10. TCU (9-9, 0-5): See above.