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Monday Shootaround: The Big 12 is a Meat Grinder

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After another up and down week, the Bears look ahead to a huge home game on Saturday against Oklahoma.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Week In Review

Baylor 74 Iowa State 73
73
IOWA STATE
(12-3, 2-1)
1ST 2ND F
34 39 73
46 28 74

Box ScoreQuotesNotesPhoto Gallery

Waco, Texas • Attendance: 6,576

74
BAYLOR
(13-3, 2-2)

The Bears got off to a roaring 16-1 start to get the Ferrell Center crowd behind them and were able to do just enough to hang on to a 74-73 win over #11 Iowa State. This is the closest thing to a signature win that Baylor has so far this season as the Cyclones look to have the makings of a Big 12 championship caliber team. Iowa State climbed back into the game after the Bears' torrid start but Baylor was able to make a late 1st half run to go into halftime with a 12 point lead. In the 2nd half, Baylor had as much as a 14 point lead before the Cyclones got hot from 3 point range and came all the way back to take a late lead. It looked grim for the Bears when Bryce Dejean-Jones hit a corner 3 to give Iowa State a 1 point lead with 30 seconds to go but with no timeouts left, Scott Drew put the ball in the hands of his senior point guard and Kenny Chery delivered the game winning bucket with just over 4 seconds to play. Georges Niang had a decent look at the buzzer for ISU but it clanged off the rim, giving Baylor a hard fought home court win. Royce O'Neale led the Bears with 15 points but 3 other players pitched in at least 13 of their own, led by Rico Gathers' 14 point, 15 rebound effort. A big shout out is due to the Baylor students that showed up and were loud throughout the game.

Kansas State 63 Baylor 61
61
BAYLOR
(13-4, 2-3)
1ST 2ND F
33 28 61
24 39 63

Box ScoreNotesPhoto Gallery

Manhattan, Kan. • Attendance: 12,528

63
KANSAS STATE
(11-7, 4-1)

And then this game happened. Baylor jumped out to another big early lead, 24-10 on the road in Manhattan, but this time they were unable to hold off a late charge from the Wildcats as K-State pulled out a 63-61 win at Bramlage Coliseum. Baylor was led by Kenny Chery with 21 points and Taurean Prince added 20, but the offense had one too many long scoring droughts to overcome a hot shooting 2nd half from Kansas State. The Bears were able to slow down K-State's main playmaker Marcus Foster. The Wildcats had big contributions from Nino Williams and Wesley Iwundu to make up for the off game from Foster. Baylor again had issues finishing at the rim as Johnathan Motley and Rico Gathers shot a combined 3-11 from the field. The Bears had a chance to tie or win the game in the final seconds but Chery missed a contested layup at the buzzer. Baylor now sits at 2-3 in Big 12 conference play and 13-4 overall.

Looking Ahead

Huston-Tillotson (?) at Baylor
Ferrell Center (Waco, TX)
Jan. 21, 7:00 PM CT
Fox Sports SW

I have no idea why we're playing an NAIA opponent in the middle of conference play but this is what is going to happen:

Oklahoma at Baylor
Ferrell Center (Waco, TX)
Jan. 24, 5:00 PM CT
ESPN2

Potentially the biggest game of the season to date goes down on Saturday evening at the Ferrell Center as Oklahoma comes to Waco. This is the second meeting of the season between these two teams as the Sooners won in Norman back on January 3rd. Baylor will need to do a better job against OU big man TaShawn Thomas if they want to come away with the win this time around. Thomas controlled offensively inside of 15 feet, scoring 24 points to complement noted-Baylor killer Buddy Hield's 20 in the first matchup. Johnathan Motley had a huge game for Baylor but the guards were completely absent from the Bears' offensive attack. Expect a better game from Kenny Chery and Royce O'Neale, especially in the friendly confines of the Ferrell Center. This is Baylor's first Saturday home game in conference play so a loud, enthusiastic crowd in the Ferrell could be a big difference maker in this game. We haven't had a sellout of a men's basketball game since February 18, 2012 so let's make it happen on Saturday.

Big 12 Update


KenPom

Strength of Schedule NCSOS
Rank Team Conf W-L Pyth AdjO AdjD AdjT Luck Pyth OppO OppD Pyth
10 Oklahoma B12 12-5 0.9252 107.5 56 86.4 4 69.6 24 -0.073 303 0.6774 8 105.2 7 98.7 41 0.5838 89
13 West Virginia B12 15-3 0.9049 110.7 31 91 21 69.9 20 0.013 156 0.5915 69 101.7 138 98.5 35 0.4605 241
16 Iowa St. B12 13-3 0.9017 113.8 15 93.8 50 70.5 15 0.011 160 0.5949 65 103.8 25 100.4 140 0.4527 250
18 Kansas B12 14-3 0.8983 111.8 24 92.5 38 67.3 81 0.162 5 0.7619 2 105.3 6 95.2 1 0.7388 11
20 Baylor B12 13-4 0.8927 112.3 22 93.4 47 62 318 -0.004 193 0.6531 17 103.4 47 97.8 17 0.5167 168
21 Texas B12 13-4 0.891 106.8 68 89 9 64.6 216 0.003 180 0.6127 48 101.9 127 97.9 18 0.5262 154
24 Oklahoma St. B12 12-5 0.8773 107.3 64 90.5 15 66.3 128 -0.007 203 0.6705 10 102.4 95 96.3 4 0.5162 170
38 TCU B12 14-3 0.8366 103.9 109 90.1 13 63.8 260 -0.039 260 0.3074 349 98.2 337 105.4 349 0.1912 351
85 Kansas St. B12 11-7 0.7142 104.1 106 96.2 79 62.5 304 0.025 128 0.5916 68 101.8 137 98.6 38 0.4886 201
191 Texas Tech B12 10-8 0.4493 95.7 280 97.4 96 65 201 -0.006 201 0.4171 294 99 301 101.9 242 0.2485 347

AP Top 25

AP Top 25
RK TEAM RECORD PTS
1 Kentucky (63) 17-0 1,623
2 Virginia (2) 17-0 1,562
3 Gonzaga 18-1 1,467
4 Villanova 17-1 1,429
5 Duke 15-2 1,345
6 Wisconsin 16-2 1,282
7 Arizona 16-2 1,228
8 Notre Dame 17-2 1,055
9 Iowa State 13-3 1,004
10 Louisville 15-3 1,003
11 Kansas 14-3 943
12 Utah 14-3 940
13 Maryland 17-2 937
14 Wichita St 16-2 857
15 North Carolina 14-4 803
16 Virginia Commonwealth 15-3 670
17 Texas 13-4 554
18 West Virginia 15-3 501
19 Oklahoma 12-5 445
20 Northern Iowa 16-2 387
21 Baylor 13-4 260
22 Dayton 15-2 241
23 Indiana 14-4 93
24 Seton Hall 13-4 91
25 Iowa 13-5 85