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Monday Shootaround: We Got Chery Bombs

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Baylor basketball reached the midpoint of the Big 12 schedule. Let's recap and look ahead.

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Week In Review

Oklahoma State 64 Baylor 53
53
BAYLOR
(15-5, 3-4)
1ST 2ND F
21 32 53
30 34 64

Box ScoreNotesPhoto Gallery

Stillwater, Okla. • Attendance: 7,364

64
OKLAHOMA ST.
(14-6, 4-4)

Hide the women and children because this one was just flat out ugly. Baylor had its lowest offensive output of the season in a 64-53 loss to Oklahoma State in Stillwater last Tuesday night. The Bears were held to a meager 34.5% shooting from the field, getting a combined 6 points from senior leaders Kenny Chery and Royce O'Neale. Baylor actually came out strong out of the gates in building an early 13-6 lead but the Cowboys quickly caught up as the Bears went ice cold offensively. A late run spurred by a couple of ridiculous Phil Forte 3 pointers gave OSU a comfortable lead going into halftime. And while Baylor never let Oklahoma State put the game away, the Bears couldn't get enough consistent offensive production to make the game interesting either. Lester Medford continued his stretch of solid play with 13 points but he just didn't get enough help. This dropped the Bears to 3-4 in Big 12 play and set up a critical Saturday showdown with the Texas Longhorns in the Ferrell Center.

Baylor 83 Texas 60
60
TEXAS
(14-7, 3-5)
1ST 2ND F
27 33 60
39 44 83

Box ScoreQuotesNotesBaylor Photos
USATI Photos

Waco, Texas • Attendance: 9,680

83
BAYLOR
(16-5, 4-4)

And now we're just going to act like the game in Stillwater never evened happened because THIS GAME WAS A THING AND EVERYTHING IS AWESOME. Baylor didn't just cross Rick Barnes' line, the Bears played some dang hopscotch with that line. As has become the norm in recent weeks, Scott Drew's crew got off to a fast start, starting off on a 12-0 run and hitting their first 8 shots from the field. And though Baylor had another cold snap that briefly let Texas back into the game, a big run in the final minute of the first half just about ended the Longhorns. If they weren't already dead, Kenny Chery made sure to bury them, hitting all 5 of his 3 point attempts in the second half. The true moment of greatness came with about 10 minutes to go when Chery put Cameron Ridley on skates and drained the subsequent 3 over Javan Felix (GIF'd below). In addition to Chery, several other Bears had really nice games as well. Royce O'Neale showed up in a big way with 20 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. We had a Johnathan Motley sighting as he had 12 points in the first half, equaling his total from the previous three games. Rico Gathers had 15 more rebounds, ho hum. The most encouraging stat from this game was that Baylor had 24 assists on 30 made baskets to just 9 turnovers. That is fantastic offensive efficiency and if that kind of play can be sustained, Baylor can become an extremely difficult team to deal with. This was also the third consecutive home win against a ranked team. Great job again, students. Your support makes a huge difference.

Looking Ahead

TCU at Baylor
Ferrell Center (Waco, TX)
Feb. 4, 7:30 PM CT
ESPNEWS

Wednesday is a big day on campus not just because it is National Signing Day, but also due to another critical home game for the Bears. This game marks the halfway point of the Big 12 gauntlet and if Baylor can get to 5-4 with some very winnable home games on the back half, the Bears will have to feel really good about not only making the NCAA Tournament but playing for a high seed. This will be a tricky game though against a TCU team that is quite a bit better than their 1-7 conference record would indicate. The Horned Frogs are that team that nobody really likes to play because they're good enough to beat you but they would be viewed as a bad loss on an NCAA resume. Baylor needed overtime to dispatch Trent Johnson's bunch back on January 10th, a 66-59 BU victory in Fort Worth. Point guard Kyan Anderson is the engine that makes TCU go so the Bears will need to keep him out of the lane in order to slow the Frogs' offense. TCU's defense stymied Baylor in the first matchup but the Bears have been a much better offensive team in the Ferrell Center. If the Bears can get performances from Chery and O'Neale like they had against Texas, they should be in good shape to pick up another home win.

Baylor at West Virginia
WVU Coliseum (Morgantown, WV)
Feb. 7, 11:00 AM CT
ESPNU

As for the weekend slate, beware of "Press Virginia". This will be Baylor's first look at the retooled Mountaineers, who have created living hell for opposing offenses this season. WVU has racked up an astounding 261 steals through 21 games, an average of over 12 per game. The Mountaineers don't have much in the way of size down low but Bob Huggins' rotation is 10 deep and all are active on the defensive end. West Virginia is led by Big 12 preseason player of the year Juwan Staten who averages close to 15 points/game. Devin Williams and Jonathan Holton are two other impact players to keep an eye on. Baylor will need to minimize the number of live ball turnovers and get WVU into foul trouble to have a good shot in this game. If the Bears can control the tempo, I think they are the better team in the half-court game. That is extremely difficult against a West Virginia team that is 14th in KenPom adjusted defense and 11th in adjusted tempo. Combine those numbers with playing on the road in Morgantown and the Bears have a major challenge on their hands on Saturday.

Big 12 Update

STANDINGS CONFERENCE OVERALL
Big 12 W-L GB PCT W-L PCT STRK
#8 Kansas 7-1 -- 0.875 18-3 0.857 W4
#15 West Virginia 6-2 1 0.75 18-3 0.857 W3
#11 Iowa State 6-2 1 0.75 16-4 0.8 W2
#21 Oklahoma 5-4 2.5 0.556 14-7 0.667 W2
Kansas St 5-4 2.5 0.556 12-10 0.545 L2
#19 Baylor 4-4 3 0.5 16-5 0.762 W1
Oklahoma St 4-5 3.5 0.444 14-7 0.667 L1
#25 Texas 3-5 4 0.375 14-7 0.667 L3
TCU 1-7 6 0.125 14-7 0.667 L4
Texas Tech 1-8 6.5 0.111 11-11 0.5 L2

KenPom

Strength of Schedule NCSOS
Rank Team Conf W-L Pyth AdjO AdjD AdjT Luck Pyth OppO OppD Pyth
9 Oklahoma B12 14-7 0.9265 109.1 49 87.5 5 68.6 35 -0.075 314 0.7128 5 106.1 4 98 15 0.562 109
12 Kansas B12 18-3 0.9206 114.5 16 92.6 30 67.3 72 0.172 2 0.7819 1 105.8 7 94.7 1 0.7444 9
13 Baylor B12 16-5 0.9083 113.5 22 93 33 62.1 307 -0.009 202 0.6911 7 104.4 30 97.3 6 0.5139 168
17 West Virginia B12 18-3 0.8983 109.3 45 90.5 14 70.7 11 0.038 107 0.5833 73 101.8 154 98.9 38 0.4479 255
23 Iowa St. B12 16-4 0.8767 117.2 7 98.8 115 70.6 12 0.014 159 0.614 48 103.4 73 99.3 45 0.4546 244
26 Texas B12 14-7 0.8692 109.1 48 92.5 29 64.7 194 -0.023 231 0.6627 20 103.7 59 97.8 9 0.4697 220
28 Oklahoma St. B12 14-7 0.8554 106.5 80 91.2 21 64.6 200 -0.026 239 0.6691 15 103 94 96.9 2 0.4736 215
48 TCU B12 14-7 0.7996 103.6 120 91.9 25 63.6 260 -0.077 319 0.4331 260 100.9 210 103.3 282 0.1837 351
73 Kansas St. B12 12-10 0.7439 103.9 112 94.7 59 62.7 293 -0.012 208 0.6644 19 104 42 98 14 0.4891 191
182 Texas Tech B12 11-11 0.4508 95.7 277 97.4 88 63.9 248 0.021 141 0.545 109 102 146 100.4 96 0.2553 345

AP Top 25

AP Top 25
RK TEAM RECORD PTS
1 Kentucky (65) 21-0 1,625
2 Gonzaga 22-1 1,503
3 Virginia 19-1 1,470
4 Duke 18-3 1,416
5 Wisconsin 19-2 1,381
6 Arizona 20-2 1,338
7 Villanova 19-2 1,209
8 Kansas 18-3 1,177
9 Louisville 18-3 1,114
10 Notre Dame 20-3 1,072
11 Iowa State 16-4 892
12 North Carolina 17-5 861
13 Utah 17-4 824
14 Northern Iowa 20-2 792
15 West Virginia 18-3 779
16 Wichita St 19-3 678
17 Maryland 18-4 508
18 Virginia Commonwealth 17-4 479
19 Baylor 16-5 420
20 Ohio State 17-5 358
21 Oklahoma 14-7 312
22 Butler 16-6 250
23 SMU 18-4 221
24 Georgetown 15-6 162
25 Texas 14-7 106