|No. 25/23 Baylor (5-1) vs. No. 16/13 Vanderbilt (6-1)|
Dec. 6, 2015 | 7:00 p.m. CT
Waco, Texas | Ferrell Center (10,284)
Radio: ESPN Central Texas
The ranked Commodores of Vanderbilt are in town, and Baylor is ready for them. According to KenPom.com, Vanderbilt is the #12 team in all the land, while Baylor is only two spots behind them at #14. It's almost frightening how evenly matched the two teams appear to be, with Baylor sporting the #22-ranked offense and the #17-ranked defense, and Vanderbilt #24 and #13, respectively. Vanderbilt's lone loss this season came two weeks ago to then-#5 Kansas, while Baylor's came a couple of weeks before that at now-#16 Oregon.
The players to watch for Vanderbilt are pretty easy to spot: Wayne Baldwin IV leads the Commodores with 14.4 points/game from the guard spot, followed by a pair of 7-footers in Damian Jones and Luke Kornet, who are also the top two in rebounding.
Those two players, Jones and Kornet, represent the biggest threat to a somewhat undersized Baylor team led in the frontcourt by Rico Gathers and Johnathan Motley. With those two likely clogging things up in the middle, the Bears will have to rely on outside scoring from Al Freeman, Taurean Prince, and Lester Medford to open things up. We'll just have to see how that goes.
If Baylor is going to win this game, it will have to do it through outside shooting and by forcing turnovers from a team in Vanderbilt that doesn't typically turn the ball over. That means the aforementioned Freeman and sharpshooting freshman King McClure could be the most important players for the Bears.
The game is on ESPNU tonight starting in just a few minutes, so keep it here on ODB and watch with the rest of us!