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The Shootaround: A Swift Punch to the Feels

Baylor played Texas A&M in basketball. I'll just leave it at that.

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Week In Review

#16 Baylor 104 Hardin-Simmons 59
(6-4, 0-0)
32 27 59
48 56 104

Box Score | Quotes | Notes | USATSI Gallery | Postgame

Fort Hood, Texas • Attendance: 2,000

(8-1, 0-0)

This game was played at Abrams Gym on base at Fort Hood and was a great experience for the players on both sides to get to play in front of those who defend our country. As both coaches hinted after the game, hopefully it was a chance for those soldiers and their families to have some fun and think about something else for a couple hours watching the first ever college basketball game at Fort Hood. As for the game itself, Hardin-Simmons hung around for a while in the 1st half with some hot shooting from the outside but the Bears pulled away late in the half, capped off by a fantastic full court inbounds pass from Ish Wainright to Rico Gathers for a dunk to end the half. Several bench guys got to see big minutes in the 2nd half and nine different Baylor players scored in the game, led by 23 from Johnathan Motley. The Bears set a school record with 40 assists, including a career high 13 from Lester Medford. Baylor outscored the Cowboys 74-16 in the paint as they imposed their will on their Division III opponent. And with that, it was on to College Station…

#24 Texas A&M 80 #16 Baylor 61
(8-2, 0-0)
30 31 61
51 29 80

Box Score | Notes | Photo Gallery | Postgame

College Station, Texas • Attendance: 9,056

(9-2, 0-0)

Game recap from PocketChange

Woof. This was bad. The Aggies jumped out to a 14-2 start and never let the Bears back in to the game, leading by as much as 29 in the 2nd half before ending up with an 80-61 win. This was Baylor’s biggest margin of defeat since losing to Kansas State by 20 in February 2013. And frankly, Baylor just didn’t look like it was ready to play Saturday night. The defensive intensity that we’ve become accustomed to seeing from this group simply wasn’t there and the Aggies took advantage, getting consistent penetration and allowing for open looks as A&M put up 51 points in the opening 20 minutes. As the Bears were able to clamp down on A&M’s offense in the 2nd half, the Baylor offense went completely down the tubes, shooting a whopping 26% in that half on 9-34 from the field. This is now twice that Baylor has come out flat on the road and in Big 12 play, that’s going to get you beat on a regular basis. Some credit also needs to be given to a Texas A&M team that has the look of a real contender in the SEC. The Aggies are a senior laden team with a lot of talent that seems to finally be meshing under fifth year coach Billy Kennedy, who to this point has yet to reach the NCAA Tournament in his time in College Station. I said before the game that I thought shutting down Danuel House and Jalen Jones would be the key to what the Bears did defensively. Well those two guys had 25 points between them in the 1st half and they’ll give a lot of teams trouble the rest of the way. This game doesn’t have to be an indictment on what 2015-16 Baylor basketball will end up being, but it certainly shows some areas of concern as we are 12 days away from embarking on the journey known as the 18 game Big 12 schedule. The Bears have veteran leadership in Rico Gathers, Taurean Prince and Lester Medford so I’m confident that they’ll eventually figure out what has ailed them on the road so far this season. By the way, that first conference game? It’s on the road at Kansas of course.

Looking Ahead

New Mexico State v. #23 Baylor
Ferrell Center (Waco, TX)
Dec. 23, 7:00 PM CT

Just one game on the slate this week as the Bears take on another bunch of Aggies, this time the New Mexico State version. NMSU is led by forward Pascal Siakam who is averaging 22.4 points/game through 11 games, the highest average of any player left on Baylor’s schedule this season outside of Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield. Siakam does much of his work inside so the Bears’ interior defenders will need to do a better job on him than they did Saturday night against the Texas A&M bigs. New Mexico State has been an NCAA Tournament team each of the last four seasons, averaging just under 25 wins per year in that span. So Baylor will need to come out ready to get the bad taste of Saturday out of their mouths. I anticipate that the Bears will play well since they’ve taken care of business with ease so far this season at the Ferrell Center. But even better than the game might be these shirts that are being given out to the first 2,000 fans in attendance on Wednesday night.

Rico 1000 Watch

With 18 rebounds in the game Saturday against Texas A&M, Rico Gathers picked up his 11th career game of 15 or more rebounds and now has 965 rebounds for his career. At his current rate this season, Rico will likely crack the 1000 rebound mark in the first week of conference play. The Big 12 record of 1318 is probably out of reach but there is a very real chance Rico could end up as the #2 rebounder in conference history by the end of the year.

Big 12 Update


#3 Oklahoma 0-0 -- 0.000 8-0 1.000 W8
#11 Iowa State 0-0 -- 0.000 9-1 0.900 L1
#2 Kansas 0-0 -- 0.000 9-1 0.900 W8
#19 West Virginia 0-0 -- 0.000 9-1 0.900 W2
Texas Tech 0-0 -- 0.000 8-1 0.889 W7
#23 Baylor 0-0 -- 0.000 8-2 0.800 L1
Kansas State 0-0 -- 0.000 8-2 0.800 W1
Texas 0-0 -- 0.000 8-3 0.727 W6
Oklahoma State 0-0 -- 0.000 7-4 0.636 L1
TCU 0-0 -- 0.000 6-4 0.600 W2

Notable Results

#20 West Virginia 86 Marshall 68
#3 Oklahoma 87 Creighton 74
Kansas State 61 Colorado State 56
Northern Iowa 81 #5 Iowa State 79
Florida 72 Oklahoma State 70
Texas 75 Stanford 73

AP Top 25

AP Top 25
1 Michigan State (64) 12-0 1,623
2 Kansas (1) 9-1 1,537
3 Oklahoma 8-0 1,495
4 Maryland 10-1 1,428
5 Virginia 9-1 1,350
6 Xavier 11-0 1,287
7 North Carolina 9-2 1,215
8 Arizona 11-1 1,056
9 Butler 9-1 947
10 Providence 11-1 911
11 Iowa State 9-1 907
12 Kentucky 9-2 856
13 Miami (FL) 9-1 851
14 Purdue 11-1 833
15 Duke 9-2 809
16 Louisville 9-1 652
17 Villanova 8-2 649
18 SMU 9-0 628
19 West Virginia 9-1 470
20 George Washington 10-1 366
21 Texas A&M 9-2 327
22 Cincinnati 10-2 315
23 Baylor 8-2 141
24 Utah 9-2 107
25 South Carolina 10-0 87
Others receiving votes: UCLA 49, Connecticut 46, Oregon 34, Gonzaga 33, Colorado 27, Dayton 17, Pittsburgh 16, Northern Iowa 15, Arkansas-Little Rock 14, Vanderbilt 8, Monmouth 6, Iowa 5, Texas 3, Florida 3, Northwestern 2
Dropped from rankings: UCLA 22, Connecticut 25