No. 1 Baylor (15-1, 5-0) takes on Oklahoma (12-5, 3-2) at 8:00 tonight in the Ferrell Center. The game airs on ESPN.
Due to the Chiefs making the Super Bowl—and taking up a bunch of my Sunday—we’ll have the shorter three keys preview. We’ll return to a long preview for the Florida game.
1) Limit 3-point chances: Oklahoma isn’t as dominant from the field as they’ve been in prior seasons (210th in 3-point percentage), but they’re capable. Brady Manek and Kristian Doolittle are both shooting above 42% from three. Austin Reaves has only hit 25% of his threes this season, but he hit 43% two years ago at Wichita State. Like Cam McGriff going wild in the Oklahoma State game, there’s a risk these guys get going. Baylor is a good deal better than OU, so they need to avoid giving OU a ton of chances from deep.
2) Hunt for triples- Oklahoma is 342nd in 3-point attempt rate and 305th in turnover rate. Lon Kruger’s teams don’t like to foul or get super physical. The Bears can pass and play less isolation ball against the Sooner’s defense. MaCio Teague and Matt Mayer could have excellent opportunities.
3) Run- Oklahoma ranks 296th in percent of shots allowed in transition. They don’t offensive rebound to try and get back and defend, but Baylor had a ton of success last year in Norman running on the Sooners. Time to do that again.
Baylor is an 85% favorite on KenPom, and the Bears are a good deal better than Oklahoma. Maybe the Sooners have a ridiculous shooting day, and Baylor uncharacteristically plays poorly as they face the pressure of being ranked No. 1.
The Bears are just a good clip better than Oklahoma. There’s not much to think they are a big problem in any area for Baylor. I’ll take Baylor 74-60.