Week In Review
#25 Oregon 74 #20 Baylor 67
Eugene, Oregon • Attendance: 7,718
Baylor took its talents on the road for the first time this season and were unable to get past a talented Oregon squad, falling 74-67 at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene. The game was a late tip-off as it was a part of ESPN's College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon and it was apparent that neither team had their body clocks in check as both offenses got off to a very sluggish start. Unfortunately for Baylor, the Ducks eventually found their rhythm and were able to beat Baylor's zone with good ball movement giving their shooters open looks from the perimeter. This was not a big surprise as Dana Altman typically has great offensive teams. The part that did surprise was the fact that Baylor had a ton of trouble possessing the basketball against Oregon's press. And it was Baylor's upperclassmen that struggled the most. Taurean Prince was just 1-8 from the field and the Bears as a team shot 29% from the field in the opening 20 minutes. Couple that with 8 turnovers and you have yourself a double digit hole to dig out of in a hostile road environment. Baylor eventually fell behind by as many as 16 before #SexyAlFreeman started a big comeback. Freeman and Johnathan Motley combined for 39 points and some of the younger Bears got the game to within 3. King McClure had an opportunity to tie it with under 3 minutes to go but missed his 3 pointer and the Bears would never get any closer than that. It goes in the loss column but there were certainly positives to be taken from this game, given that it was a one possession game down the stretch when your seniors contributed a big bag of blah. Oregon has a chance to make a run in the Pac-12 this season. This certainly won't go on the record as a bad loss when March rolls around.
#20 Baylor 77 Jackson State 60
Waco, Texas • Attendance: 5,973
Baylor played with its food in the 1st half before eventually putting away a Jackson State team that was fresh off of a 20 point win against Southern Miss. Al Freeman had his second consecutive 20 point game, one of five Baylor players in double figure scoring. Baylor started extremely slowly, falling behind 12-2 at the outset and eventually needed a 13-0 run to take a 5 point lead into the halftime locker room. The Bears were incredibly sloppy in the 1st half, committing 11 turnovers against just 12 made baskets. It was very apparent that they were going through the motions but sometimes that happens in an early season game against a SWAC opponent in front of a less than enthusiastic arena. The energy level picked up after halftime, especially with Rico Gathers who decided to become an absolute menace on the glass. Rico nearly had a double-double in the 2nd half alone and finished with 12 points and 16 rebounds on the night. The freshmen continue to impress as well. King McClure was 3-4 from 3-point range and Jake Lindsey has a 8:0 assist to turnover ratio in his first 3 collegiate games. The other notable event in this game was Baylor's defensive philosophy. Jackson State was shooting over 70% against Baylor's zone but when Scott Drew switched to a man-to-man, the Bears put the clamp down on the Tigers. This might be interesting to keep an eye on against some of the more athletic teams Baylor will face later on in the schedule.
Savannah State at Baylor
Ferrell Center (Waco, TX)
TONIGHT, 7:00 PM CT
Baylor hosts Savannah State of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tonight, the third of four games on Baylor's schedule that are part of the Global Sports Shootout. Savannah State comes in at 3-1 with a 77-59 loss last Friday night against the same Oregon team that beat Baylor earlier in the week. The Jaguars are led by senior guard Christopher Martin who is averaging 14 points/game on the young season and is shooting over 50% from 3-point land. I think the key tonight for Baylor will be protecting the basketball and getting good shots to allow their size advantage down low to take hold. Savannah State has forced 17.5 turnovers/game so far in 2015-16 and they'll look to reek havoc on a Baylor backcourt that has turned it over too much in the last two games. It would also be nice to see Taurean Prince get going as he has struggled to adjust to his new role thus far. It may just take a little bit of time but I have confidence that TP will work his way out of it.
Arkansas State at Baylor
Ferrell Center (Waco, TX)
Nov. 27, 12:00 PM CT
The second game of the week is a Friday afternoon affair against Arkansas State of the Sun Belt Conference (#FunBelt). The Red Wolves are 2-2 thus far and are coached by longtime LSU coach John Brady, who led the Tigers to the Final Four in 2006. Arkansas State is led by a pair of San Jacinto JC transfers, forward Anthony Livingston and guard Donte Thomas. Playing at noon on the Friday after Thanksgiving has all the makings of a dangerous trap game, so I am looking for the Bears to come out strong and create an early lead to keep the Red Wolves at bay. I would expect that the crowd will be slim with the football game against TCU happening on Friday night in Fort Worth. Hopefully this is an opportunity for some of Baylor's younger players to get some additional minutes and live game experience. These games are critical for development as Coach Drew will look to shrink to a 7 or 8 man rotation as we get closer to conference play.
Big 12 Update
#8 Oklahoma 84 Memphis 78
#13 Michigan State 79 #4 Kansas 73
#16 Utah 73 Texas Tech 63
George Mason 71 Oklahoma State 68
Texas Tech 74 Mississippi State 72
South Dakota State 76 TCU 67
AP Top 25
Others receiving votes: Utah 95, George Washington 85, Baylor 81, West Virginia 69, Butler 59, Louisville 40, Northern Iowa 23, Iowa 20, Dayton 18, Tulsa 17, Colorado State 13, Providence 8, Georgetown 4, Michigan 3, Valparaiso 2, Washington 1, Chattanooga 1
|Dropped from rankings: Utah 16, Baylor 20, Butler 22, Michigan 24|