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.
- Texas vs 6 Baylor Preview - CBSSports.com College Basketball- Previews Video
NCAA College Basketball Preview - Texas Longhorns at Baylor Bears - Jan 28, 2012 - CBSSports.com
Baylor bounced back from two tough losses in time to face one of its biggest rivals as it tries to stay alive in the Big 12 race.
- No. 6 MBB, Texas Battle Saturday on CBS - Baylor Bears Official Athletic Site - BaylorBears.com- After posting its third Big 12 road win of the season, No. 6/7 Baylor (18-2, 5-2) returns home Saturday to host long-time conference rival Texas (13-7, 3-4) at 12:05 p.m. CST on CBS.
- Texas Vs. Baylor: Game Preview, TV Info And More - SB Nation Dallas- While No. 7 Baylor is battling for a top seed in the NCAA Tournament, unranked Texas is struggling just to stay alive on the bubble. At 13-7 and only 3-4 in conference, the Longhorns are running out...
- Texas Vs. Baylor: Big 12 Rivals In Unfamiliar Positions - SB Nation Dallas- The tables have turned in this rivalry, which renews Saturday, with the Longhorns now the scrappy underdogs fighting to get into the Tourney and the Bears the talented but inconsistent favorite.
- Starting Jackson 'best for the team' - Baylor Bears - CBSSports.com RapidReports- Coach Scott Drew on moving PG Pierre Jackson into the starting lineup ahead of A.J. Walton: "When it comes to starters/not starters, it’s really what’s best for the team. And I know A.J. had been picking up some quick fouls, so that was one way to save that as well."
- Texas Longhorns vs. Baylor Bears - Preview - January 28, 2012 - ESPN
- Weekend Watch: Jan. 27-29 - ESPN
- Scout.com: Baylor Hosts the Longhorns- If the last few seasons have taught us anything, it's that there is no love lost when the Bears and Longhorns cross paths. Saturday's matchup between #6 Baylor (18-2, 5-2) and Texas (13-7, 3-4) will be another showdown on I-35.
- Big 12 Rivals Collide in Waco: Texas Longhorns at Baylor Bears | Maddux Sports
- Baylor gears up for huge Junior Day!- BearsTruth.com- ($$$) 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.*
- 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.