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Random Takes 5/25- Baylor/KU Basketball, Football Returns and a Hot Take

Some takes

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Kansas Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

I’m going to try to write at least once a week in a more jumbled format like this.

All of these topics seem better suited to quick blurbs than full pieces. I will occasionally touch on things that may seem semi-political, but I will only try to do that when it intersects with something relevant to Baylor sports. So I might discuss my thoughts on paying players sometime (hopefully not because we’ve discussed nearly everything there) or NCAA enforcement, but I’m not going to comment on a major political issue that only indirectly impacts Baylor.

Baylor-KU Basketball:

I would have loved to see those teams play at least one more time and hopefully two more. Baylor won in Allen Fieldhouse by holding Udoka Azubuike to six points, and the Bears also won by shooting well.

In Waco, Azubuike went insane. Kansas worked the middle of the court and Azubuike finished with 23 points on 13 shots. The Bears had no answer for him. Baylor also shot 42% from two and 55% from the line.

In the third game, I think Baylor would have mixed things up defensively. The Bears finished with the nation’s No. 3 defense playing almost exclusively man-to-man. But I think they might have played a bit of zone in game three. The Jayhawks have been excellent beating zones in Self’s tenure, perhaps best evidenced by their overtime performance against a more talented Duke team in the 2018 Elite Eight. But this Kansas team could struggle to hit threes.

My feeling is that Baylor would have also tried to go under more screens. Oklahoma tried that game-plan well in Allen Fieldhouse, but Marcus Garrett went insane from the floor. That can happen. But I think the Bears would have been better situated daring Garrett or Devon Dotson to go wild from beyond the arc than hoping they could handle Azubuike.

Football Returns:

Baylor football will return to campus on June 15th. I’m optimistic we’ll have at least some fans in the stands for Baylor-Ole Miss. The positive test rates are going way down throughout much of the country. France hasn’t reported deaths in two days. Many major American suburbs have had single digit positive rates. Yes, there are some places where the virus shows troubling signs of growing or staying the same. But we’re undoubtedly in a better place now than we were a month ago. The reopenings in Georgia and Florida haven’t led to surges in new cases. Maybe that changes, but that provides optimism that things won’t turn disastrous.

Barring a massive second wave and mutation, I think schools will be open. Remote learning, despite valiant efforts from many teachers, parents and students, is not close to the value of in-person education. The infection and case fatality rate for those in college is very low. And I don’t see us keeping kids home for another semester.

Hot take:

I maintain that Baylor’s 2012 basketball team was better than the 2010 team. The 2010 team’s fourth, fifth and sixth best players were Quincy Acy, Anthony Jones and A.J. Walton. Those guys were all much better two years later. The 2012 team had so much depth, and Pierre Jackson was electrifying.

The 2012 team was insanely deep. They were hurt by facing Kentucky 2012 in the Elite Eight and matching up poorly with Missouri. But that team was incredibly talented, and when they got rolling—like they did against Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament—they were one heck of a team.