|No. 13/15 Baylor (14-3, 4-1) vs. Kansas State (11-6, 1-4)|
Jan. 20, 2016 | 7:15 p.m. CT
Waco, Texas | Ferrell Center (10,284)
TV: ESPNEWS and WatchESPN
Radio: ESPN Central Texas
In their last game, the Baylor Bears won a squeaker over the Texas Tech Red Raiders with a Lester Medford buzzer beater. Baylor's second half offense was clogged up by Tech's defense. Medford was the only player who could create offense with his quickness, and Terry Maston was Scott Drew's most reliable scorer all game when he got the ball within 8 feet of the basket.
That slog came against a KenPom top 50 defense. Tonight, the Bears go up against a top 25 defense in the Kansas State Wildcats. Bruce Weber's team has thus far forced a lot of misses from deep. Their opponents are shooting an average of 27.6% from three-point range, which would be nearly 10 percentage points below Baylor's season average of 37.5%. The Wildcats are also in the top 70 in forcing turnovers.
On KState's perimeter, junior forward Wesley Uwundu and senior guard Justin Edwards are two players to watch out for, as well as freshman guard Barry Brown. Inside, Rico Gathers, Johnathan Motley, and Maston will have to contend with the freshman forward Dean Wade, who stands at 6-10 and is Weber's most efficient scorer so far this season.
Kansas State is shooting a paltry 28% from three, so packing the paint with a zone would seem to be the obvious tactic that Drew will take defensively. At this level, of course, any team could go off on any night, but better to begin the game by making them prove themselves and adjust accordingly. If Baylor's defense can keep KState away from the rim, it should hold their point total pretty low.
On offense, look for Taurean Prince to be aggressive with his shot after a relative down game against Tech. The Triple M Trio of Medford, Maston, and Motley will have their share of opportunities as well. I would look for some runs to come when those three share the floor with Prince and Al Freeman.
Look for a score somewhere in the vicinity of 78-66, Baylor over Kansas State.
Let's go, Bears!