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1.28.2012 Daily Bears Report: Baylor vs. Texas Previews, Huge Junior Day Weekend

The big news today is obviously the nationally-televised game against Texas in Waco starting at noon. Because it's still relatively early on a Saturday (for the newsies, anyway), there aren't that many stories available today. We'll begin with MBB, who are trying to continue their solid play from the Oklahoma game.

Just one more link to post and it's from our friends over at Baylor's 247Sports site.
  • Baylor gears up for huge Junior Day!- ($$$) Baylor's first Junior Day is packed with talent.
  • Baylor is rumored to have 4 2012 recruits on-campus this weekend for official visits, so if you see them at the game, take note. Don't try to talk to them, though, because it is a secondary violation, and we all know the NCAA takes those EXTREMELY seriously.*
*Unless you are a major school or football program. Then they couldn't care less.

The GDT for the game will go up 30 minutes before the game -- 11:30 CST-- and I look forward to seeing everyone there!

Head below the jump for a few thoughts on this game.

  • KenPom's ratings have Baylor at 9th in the country and UT 24th. That's actually a little higher than I expected for UT and it comes on the strength of a solid offense (28th in adjusted O) and defense (33rd in adjusted D). For reference, Baylor is 8th in adjusted O and 26th in adjusted D.
  • The key to Baylor winning this game is going to be containing UT's best player, J'Covan Brown. Brown leads the Longhorns in scoring with 19.1 points per game and is also their best crunchtime scorer. When UT plays well, it is almost certainly because Brown has played well. He has a tendency to take over games down the stretch, shoot a lot of 3s (averages 6.4 attempts per game this season), and makes free throws when he takes them (85% from the line). If he gets hot from the outside, it could be a rough day for our zone defense.
  • I hope Perry Jones III can build on his strong game against OU (probably the best game of his career) today against a relatively undersized Texas team. Texas's only player of height down low is Clint Chapman, 6-10/245, who is more of a banger than anything else. He shoots a fairly high percentage mostly through layups and dunks and will probably be charged with keeping PJIII in check. Jones needs to use his speed and range to keep Chapman out of the paint so Quincy Miller and Quincy Acy can crash the boards (if they choose to do so, obviously).
  • Texas starts most games with a 3-guard lineup including Brown, Myck Kabongo, and and Julien Lewis. Neither player is much of a threat from behind the arc (shooting 30.4% and 34.7% from 3, respectively), but they are both relatively quick players that like to drive, so I'm concerned about asking Brady Heslip and Miller to guard them, particularly Kabongo.
  • A big theme of what I've read about Texas seems to be the maturity (or lack thereof) of Brown and Kabongo. If Baylor can get out to a big lead early, it might be able to run away from a Texas team that can't/won't catch up. If Baylor lets Texas hang around late into the game, it could also benefit from those pivotal Texas players making key mistakes.
  • The keys for Baylor in this game are going to be familiar to Baylor fans: turnovers and rebounding. Baylor has to keep Texas off the boards and limit its own turnovers to make sure Texas doesn't get too many opportunities to score. Baylor can and should win this game if it plays to its potential, but we've already seen that is hardly a given.
  • I'm looking forward to seeing how Quincy Miller bounces back from a poor game against OU. I hope he is confident and assertive and that Drew gives him the chance to play aggressively. He could be the difference for us today.