No. 2 Baylor (9-0, 2-0) takes on Oklahoma (6-2, 2-1) at 8:00 p.m. tonight in Waco. The game airs on ESPN2.
The Bears are 12 point favorites on most books. I’m working on a long profile on Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, and have been traveling some/a scrub, so we’ll wait a little while before returning to the long previews. But those will return sometime soon!
- Limit Brady Manek- Baylor elected to switch screens late, which makes me a bit nervous about the big man’s ability to slip some screens. I asked Scott Drew about him in the press conference this week, and he said, “I think Brady’s biggest thing is that he can score inside and out.” He’s a unique challenge, and because he played with Trae Young, he feels so old.
- Take triples- Oklahoma plays elements of a packline defense. They give up a ton of triples, ranking 244th in number of 3-point attempts allowed. While teams are shooting out of their minds against the Sooners, they will give up plenty of quality looks. The Bears should take them.
- Don’t force too much inside- Oklahoma ranks 276th in percent of shots allowed at the rim, per hoop-math. They also are No. 4 in foul rate (meaning they don’t foul much). There are plenty of good jump shots to take against Oklahoma.
Oklahoma is a good squad—they rank No. 44 on KenPom. The Bears are 86% favorites on KenPom, which seems right.
I’ll say one of Baylor’s guards has a big game (though that seems like a very safe bet in any game), and Mark Vital has a nice defensive effort. The Sooners keep it closer than the spread (again, I don’t bet these, so you run the risk of going broke), but I’ll take Baylor 82-74.