Baylor (22-3, 9-3) crushed TCU (17-8, 6-6) 70-52. The win verified the selection committee’s decision earlier in the day that the Bears would be a #1 seed if the season ended today.
The win showcased much of what makes this a truly special team. The Bear’s defense stymied TCU throughout the contest. In the first half, TCU finished 6 of 26 from the field and 0 for 5 from 3-point range. The Frogs 17 ponts were often hard fought too. Jo Lual-Acuil had two blocks and contested nearly everything near the hoop. With Ish Wainright’s usually strong defensive play on display today as well, TCU may have had a plan, but they might as well have not had one. The Frogs finished just 38% from the field and 28% from 3-point range.
Then there’s Johnathan Motley. He entered the game ranked fourth in KenPom’s player of the year list. Today he had 25 points and finished 12 of 15 from the field. When you can do this, you’ll soon be a first round pick in the NBA draft:
That headband life pic.twitter.com/P9P4IOFuGS— Kendall (@kkaut) February 11, 2017
Al Freeman was suspended for the second straight game. King McClure started in his place, and the Bears raced off to a 9-4 lead with him in the lineup. McClure hit 3 of his first 4 looks from deep. McClure finished with 13 points and zero turnovers. Perhaps most impressively, McClure picked his spots too. At times this year has been tough for him. He’s battled injuries and coming off the bench. But today McClure attacked at the right moments and was nearly unstoppable.
Manu Lecomte was wonderful today too. He finished with 17 points. He found teammates too, but one of the best plays of the day was Wainright—on the way to his five assist day—finding him for this 3-point make:
What a country! pic.twitter.com/Y1nl7jwvRy— Kendall (@kkaut) February 11, 2017
Baylor showcased their best today. Motley is one of the best players in the country, and the Bears have one of the best defenses too. If Baylor gets production from McClure like they did tonight, the Bears will return to having a top 20 offense. And they just might return to the Final Four for the first time since 1950.