I saw this game two weeks ago on Big Monday in Lawrence except this time, it was worse. This time, instead of National Player of the Year candidate Thomas Robinson beating us down low, it was someone named Jeff Withey. Tyshawn Taylor was basically the same, but this time he had Connor Teahan draining 3s beside him. Worst of all, this time we were embarrassed not only by the score, but by a player that I genuinely like letting his frustration get the better of him and committing what can only be described as a dirty play. You're better than that, Quincy Miller.
Once again Scott Drew doggedly stuck with a defense that makes no sense and once again Kansas figured out exactly how to beat it, clamped down on our offense, and ran us out of the gym. Once again Perry Jones III decided that he had no interest in playing well in front of NBA scouts, shut it down, and gave Baylor absolutely nothing when it needed him most.
Call it bad coaching, call it player effort, call it whatever you want. This was, unequivocally, the worst game Baylor has played this season. Our team had everything to gain from coming out and playing well and at first they did, jumping out to a big lead in the first half and looking exactly the way we wanted them to. But once again, when Kansas got up off the mat and punched them in the face, tying the game up at 30 on a big run toward the end of the half, Baylor had no answer. When the plan fell apart our players looked weak, disinterested, and unable to respond. What they had thought would work wasn't working anymore and they didn't know what to do. Their attitude reflected their leadership; our players reflected their coach.
We came to a point in 2010 where Art Briles realized that Brian Norwood wasn't going to get it done as defensive coordinator. He didn't want to, but he knew that if he was going to focus so much on offense, he had to bring in someone that would focus that much on defense. Baylor would never get where he wanted us to be with Norwood on the other side of the ball. That gave us Phil Bennett, architect of multiple top-10 defenses at Kansas State and Pittsburgh.
The time has come for Scott Drew to find himself a Phil Bennett. If he is going to focus so much on recruiting-- and he is quite possibly the best recruiter in the country-- he has to find someone who will devote themselves that fully to fundamentals like boxing out, playing solid man-to-man defense, and doing the little things that make the difference between a team like Baylor, a high-flying athletic group that should be a lot better than it is, and Kansas, a team with decidedly less talent and decidedly better results.
Scott Drew has done incredible things at Baylor. He has taken us from the depths of basketball Hell to being the #6-ranked team in the country. That progress has created the expectations that now lead to this kind of disappointment. It is a testament to how far we have come how angry our fans are right now. We're still not where we want to be, which is with a Big XII Championship banner in the rafters and at least in the Final Four. To get where you have never been, you have to do things you've never done, and for Scott Drew that means recognizing that he is a fantastic recruiter, a tireless worker, and a genuinely great person for which I have the utmost respect as an ambassador of the University I love, but he needs help actually coaching basketball.