Well that game last night was certainly unpleasant to watch. For a while it seemed like Baylor came ready to play at the Phog and even lead for a good portion of the first half after trailing early, but when Kansas went on a 13-0 run to close the half Baylor was never able to recover. The halftime score of 39-29 was as close as Baylor would get for the rest of the night.
Several things from the night were especially troubling outside of the simple fact that we lost the game. First and foremost, Kansas scored 53 points in the second half. For a team that lives off stout defense and forcing turnovers, the second half marked what was easily Baylor's worst defensive play of the entire season. Everything Kansas wanted to do they did, and part of their success did stem from the fact that Kansas absolutely drained shots, but they also just plain beat Baylor on the boards, in the paint, and in executing their offense. I said last night that if Kansas plays like that and makes those shots, there's nobody in the country that can beat them. I stand by that. They probably won't play that well or look that good, but wow. That was a really impressive performance.
The second area of concern was our offensive play once PJ3 was hurt in the first half. That injury precipitated the Kansas run and put Baylor out of sorts offensively for the rest of the game. We couldn't get the ball inside to PJ3 because he couldn't move like he wanted to, and without having to guard Jones as closely as normal, Acy didn't have the space he needed, either. On the outside, Brady Heslip couldn't shake the Kansas defenders and Pierre Jackson's size finally seemed to catch up to him versus the bigger Kansas guards.
It's frustrating to watch a game like that because this Baylor team has spent six weeks refuting everything said about them in the past-- that they didn't play defense, lacked toughness, and were poorly coached. Basically that they were a collection of athletes and not a team. In last night's debacle, instead of proving those critics wrong, that's exactly what they were. I believe in Coach Drew and the resiliency of this team; the look on Perry Jones III face as they walked off the floor of Allen Fieldhouse was enough for me to believe that they will bounce back and improve. How they do that going forward with a schedule that doesn't get any easier (Mizzou at home Saturday before going back on the road Tuesday against an improved Oklahoma team) will be interesting to see.
The biggest positive I took away from last night is that Quincy Miller continues to gain confidence. I think people often forget that he was nearly as big a recruit last year as Perry Jones III was the year before, and though he seems to have taken a little time to get used to the speed of the college game, he seems to be improving. He still takes weird shots and needs to get better on defense (how he's not a better defender with his length and speed is beyond me), but the potential is there. If he can continue to improve both offensively and defensively, it will obviously make our entire team better because the Kansases of the world won't be able to shut down PJ3, body up on Pierre Jackson, and stifle our entire offense.
I'm going to do a post later recapping the incredible streak in Baylor's big 3 sports of the last month, but I wanted to mention it here. Though it is now over, something like that -- 40 wins in a row from MBB, WBB, and FB-- is something to be celebrated no matter how it ends. Congratulations to those programs for their outstanding run.
And now the links...
- No. 7 Kansas Hands MBB First Loss of Season - Baylor Bears Official Athletic Site - BaylorBears.com
- Jayhawks Send Baylor to First Loss of Season - ABC News
- Bob Lutz: Baylor gets lost in the Phog | Wichita Eagle
- No. 7 Kansas drops No. 3 Baylor to 17-1 – USATODAY.com
- Taylor, Robinson help deal Baylor first loss - Stats & Info Blog - ESPN
Morning Dribble: No. 7 Kansas Deals No. 3 Baylor Its First Loss - SBNation.com- Kansas claimed sole possession of first place in the Big 12 by defeating previously unbeaten Baylor, 92-74.
Tyshawn Taylor helps Kansas hand Baylor its first loss of season - The Early Lead - The Washington Post- Tyshawn Taylor played the best game of his college career to lead Kansas to a rout of previously unbeaten Baylor.
Who's in, out of the Big 12 in 2012? - Big 12 Blog - ESPN- Sunday was the final deadline for players to enter the NFL Draft, so here's a look at who's in and who's out for 2012.
2012 NFL Mock Draft: Everything After Andrew Luck Is A Mystery - SBNation.com- The offseason starts today for the four teams that lost in the NFL Divisional Playoffs. With a clearer picture of the draft order and prospect all-star games right around the corner, it's time to revise our 2012 NFL Mock Draft.
Senior Bowl snatches up more from Big 12 - Big 12 Blog - ESPN- Eighteen players from the Big 12 will be on the Senior Bowl roster, set for Jan. 28.
Checking the Big 12 recruiting scorecard - Big 12 Blog - ESPN- We're exactly two weeks and one day away from national signing day, so it's time to check in one last time with the Big 12 recruiting scorecard...
Brittney Griner Earns Big 12 Player Of Week Honors- Baylor’s Brittney Griner was selected Phillips 66 Big 12 Women's Basketball Player of the Week by a media voting panel for games from Jan. 9-15.