Baylor's first loss came last night as Kansas thumped them 92-74 at the Allen Fieldhouse. However, it is still one loss and Baylor is still firmly in the Big 12 race and a high seed for the NCAA tournament. Here are three reasons that I don't think it is time to panic:
1) This team has depth: You never know which player will step up on a given night. Pierre Jackson comes off the bench to provide spark, while Quincy Acy, Quincy Miller, Perry Jones III and Brady Heslip alternate as scoring leaders. Senior Anthony Jones provides experience in his first season coming off the bench. Baylor currently has five players who average over 10 points per game, and the Baylor rotation in deep, with 10 players averaging at least 10 minutes per game. The team was lacking its normal chemistry last night, but it does not change the fact that the Baylor Bears have many weapons on the court.
2) This team is resilient: We have seen Baylor battle great teams- such as Mississippi State, West Virginia, BYU and Kansas State and come out on the winning end. Even though last night's game resulted in a loss; the mental toughness of this team will insure that they will bounce back.
3) This team is improving: Quincy Miller, Baylor's freshman starter, has been showing improvement every game. Miller has changed his shot selection and has shown an increase in confidence. Toward the beginning of the season, Miller had low scoring games- shooting 2-8 for only five points against South Carolina, scoring 3 points against Northwestern and scoring only 3 points on 1-4 shooting against BYU. Now Miller is taking more shots, but he is also making more, finishing the game against Oklahoma State with 21 points on 6-10 field goal shooting and 3-5 from the 3-point line. Brady Heslip, who is playing his first season of college basketball, and Pierre Jackson, who is playing in Division I for the first time, both have shown increased confidence in every game.
Though the taste of defeat is bitter, the Baylor Bears are not going to hang their heads. This team has the ability to come back and remain a contender for the Big 12 title.