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Four Takeaways from Baylor’s 89-60 Win Over Nicholls State

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Baylor is 2-0!

NCAA Basketball: Incarnate Word at Baylor Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

No. 9 Baylor (2-0) knocked off Nicholls State (3-1) 89-60. The Bears take on Central Arkansas at 7:00 on Wednesday in the Ferrell Center. The one airs on ESPN+.

Four Takeaways:

1) LJ Cryer is the most underrated player in the Big 12- Cryer finished with 20 points on 5-of-7 shooting from deep. He’s good at getting open and lifting up on the perimeter.

Cryer’s also flying around well on defense. He’s a big favorite to win Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year.

2) Kendall Brown keeps dunking and is making plays!- After the opening game, I gave Kendall Brown a shoutout in the press conference for having a great first name. Maybe inspired by his name, he refuses to stop dunking (that name has not inspired me enough to dunk).

Brown had an all-around day. He finished with 15 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. He also hit his first triple.

3) Flo Thamba worked well as a passer- There’s a limited number of takeaways from early action. The opponent quality isn’t what Baylor will face in the Big 12. And this early, the team is still working out its lineups and some tendencies.

Last season, quite a few teams would ice or trap middle ball screens against the Bears. The goal was to force Thamba or another Baylor big man to make a play. You’d rather make the big man pass or drive than deal with Baylor’s NBA guards making decisions.

In the second half, Thamba had that opportunity. He read the defense and threw a strike for a bucket. That bodes well for conference play when teams will try and make Thamba a playmaker.

4) James Akinjo has plenty of time, but he had a rougher day- Akinjo has not played his best basketball to start the season. He had a decent stat line in game one, but he wasn’t himself today. He went 1-of-6 and had five turnovers.

King McClure did a great job on the broadcast. I love that he’s far more willing to criticize situations than most commentators. McClure thought Akinjo needs to look to be more of a playmaker and focus less on scoring.

Akinjo was the Big East Freshman of the Year and First Team All-PAC 12 a year ago. He’s super talented and can shoot and score efficiently from outside the paint. But the Bears should probably look to get him going early against Central Arkansas on Wednesday. He needs to play better against Stanford for Baylor to feel confident it will win.