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The Shootaround: On That Big 12 Grind

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4 game winning streak? Terrific! Now here comes another big week

Week In Review

#22 Baylor 82 TCU 54 (lol)
54
TCU
(9-7, 1-3)
1ST 2ND F
31 23 54
41 41 82

Box ScoreQuotesPhoto Gallery USATSI Photo Gallery

Waco, Texas • Attendance: 5,764

82
BAYLOR
(13-3, 3-1)

I was curious to see how Baylor would respond after picking up a huge road win at Iowa State and then coming home to face a conference bottom feeder in TCU. And although the start was not the best, the Bears punched the throttle late in the 1st half and absolutely left the Horned Frogs in the dust, cruising to a 28 point win. Terry Maston continued his torrid play to lead the way with 17 points as Baylor dominated the Frogs in the paint. Lester Medford pitched in with another double digit assist game and the Bears assisted on 27 of their 31 baskets, which is just straight up ridiculous. And as strong as Baylor was offensively in this game, it was their man-to-man defense that locked up TCU’s hot shooting start and allowed the Bears to make their big run. This extended Baylor’s home winning streak to 14 games dating back to last season. Baylor is also now 8-0 against TCU since the Frogs joined the Big 12 prior to the 2012-13 season, winning those games by an average of 20 points per game. The Revivalry may be heated on the football field but it’s been pretty one-sided on the basketball court.

#22 Baylor 63 Texas Tech 60
63
BAYLOR
(14-3, 4-1)
1ST 2ND F
36 27 63
29 31 160

Box Score | Quotes | Notes | USATSI Photo Gallery | Postgame | Medford's Shot

Lubbock, Texas • Attendance: 12,827

60
TEXAS TECH
(11-5, 1-4)

There is a saying that there is no such thing as an ugly road win in the Big 12. I’ve heard Coach Drew say this before among others, but man did this game put that theory to the test. Games in Lubbock always seem to be low scoring, scrappy, physical battles and this game was no different. Baylor played a solid 1st half to take a 36-29 lead into halftime. But the 2nd half started with one of the more brutal offensive stretches that the Bears have had in a long time, scoring just 2 points in the first 7 minutes of the half and allowing Texas Tech to get right back in the game. BU was able to build a late 58-51 lead with the help of some key buckets by Al Freeman and Jake Lindsey but that lead would not last as the Red Raiders took advantage of some defensive lapses by Baylor and tied the game at 60 on a short corner jumper with 22 seconds to go. It just had the feel of a game that Baylor was going to let slip away. There were ample opportunities to put the game away but here we were needing a last second shot to get out with the win. Overtime seemed like a bad proposition since Tech had all the momentum. So the ball comes inbound to Lester Medford and…

BUTT GAME IS OURS. This was Baylor’s first game winner with zeroes on the clock since Ekpe Udoh had one in a non-conference game against Hartford early in the magical 2009-10 season. For Medford, he continued his knack for hitting HUGE shots this season, as he also had critical late game 3s in wins over Vanderbilt and Iowa State. And just like that, a game with defensive struggles and turnovers and overall sloppy play turns into a big conference road win over a Tech team that at #34 in the RPI and #51 in KenPom is no slouch this season. Baylor has now won 4 straight games and enters a week with two home games. It may have had its ugly moments but it was a beautiful win indeed.

Looking Ahead

Kansas State @ #13 Baylor
Ferrell Center (Waco, TX)
Jan. 20, 7:15 PM CT
ESPNEWS

The Bears begin the week with a matchup against a solid K-State team that has exceeded expectations in the early going in 2016. The Wildcats performed well in non-conference with a win at Georgia and close losses to North Carolina and Texas A&M, but have skidded to a 1-4 start in Big 12 play. K-State is led by junior forward Wesley Iwundu and senior Justin Edwards to go along with promising freshman guard Kamau Stokes. KSU is a top 25 defensive team according to KenPom and they will make a game ugly and physical if the situation calls for it. Baylor needs to come in expecting to go up against a team that will try to outwill them as the Bears have more talent than the Wildcats, especially along the frontline. K-State also ranks towards the bottom of the conference in shooting percentage, both overall (42.7%) and behind the 3 point line (28.7%), so look for Baylor to sit back in the zone and try to force K-State to beat them from the outside. I’d also expect that Baylor will look to push in transition as they know if they allow K-State to set their defense in the halfcourt, they can be difficult to score against. This is a home game that Baylor should win, but the Wildcats are more than capable of stealing one on the road if the Bears aren’t up to the task. It would be nice to get a good student crowd for a midweek game to give the team some energy as I’m sure they’re aware of the opportunity that awaits on Saturday.

#1 Oklahoma @ #13 Baylor
Ferrell Center (Waco, TX)
Jan. 23, 11:00 AM CT
ESPN2

Safe to say, get your tickets now because this one is going to be fun as hell. For the third time in program history, Baylor will host the #1 ranked team in the country, having previously lost to #1 Houston in 1983 and #1 Kansas in 1997. Oklahoma enters the week at 15-1, with the only loss coming in an epic triple overtime game at Kansas. The Sooners are highly talented and also very experienced, which makes for a lethal combination in today’s college basketball landscape. Buddy Hield has gotten most of the attention for OU and rightfully so, ranking 2nd in the country at 26 points/game and firmly putting his name in the Naismith Award discussion (Heisman for college hoops). But it’s not just the Buddy Hield show. Jordan Woodard, Isaiah Cousins and Ryan Spangler all are double figure scorers as well and Khadeem Lattin provides some shot blocking prowess on the defensive end. The Sooners do a great job of spacing the floor and offense and getting the shot they want, not necessarily what the defense is trying to dictate. It’ll be interesting to see what Scott Drew does defensively in this one. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of the triangle and two that was so effective in the 2nd half against Iowa State last week. Oklahoma scores over 86 points/game as a team so whatever the Bears’ approach is, it is going to be tough to slow the Sooners. Baylor has been a much better offensive team in the Ferrell Center this season than they’ve been elsewhere but they’re going to need to shoot it at a high clip to have a shot in this game. Scott Drew has accomplished a ton in his 13 years in Waco, but he’s never knocked off the #1 team. It should be an awesome atmosphere regardless. I know it’s a dreaded 11:00 start but I need to see the Ferrell PACKED on Saturday. For those who will be in attendance, we’re doing a #StripeFerrell. So check your ticket and wear your color.

Big 12 Update

Baylor is now in a four way tie atop the conference at 4-1 along with Oklahoma, Kansas and West Virginia.

Standings

CONFERENCE OVERALL
W-L GB PCT W-L PCT STRK
#1 Oklahoma 4-1 -- 0.800 15-1 0.938 W3
#3 Kansas 4-1 -- 0.800 15-2 0.882 W1
#6 West Virginia 4-1 -- 0.800 15-2 0.882 L1
#13 Baylor 4-1 -- 0.800 14-3 0.824 W4
Texas 3-2 1 0.600 11-6 0.647 W2
#19 Iowa State 2-3 2 0.400 13-4 0.765 W1
Kansas State 1-4 3 0.200 11-6 0.647 L1
Oklahoma State 1-4 3 0.200 9-8 0.529 L4
Texas Tech 1-4 3 0.200 11-5 0.688 L4
TCU 1-4 3 0.200 9-8 0.529 L2

Notable Results

TUESDAY
#11 West Virginia 74 #1 Kansas 63
Texas 94 #17 Iowa State 91 (OT)
Kansas State 83 Texas Tech 70
WEDNESDAY
#2 Oklahoma 74 Oklahoma State 72
SATURDAY
#1 Kansas 70 TCU 63
#2 Oklahoma 70 #11 West Virginia 68
#17 Iowa State 76 Kansas State 63
Texas 74 Oklahoma State 69

AP Top 25

Baylor moves from 22 all the way up to 13, the Bears' highest AP ranking in over 2 years. Oklahoma jumps up to #1 for the first time this season. OU along with Kansas and West Virginia give the Big 12 half of the top 6. The league is ridiculous this year.

RK TEAM RECORD PTS
1 Oklahoma (65) 15-1 1,625
2 North Carolina 16-2 1,515
3 Kansas 15-2 1,499
4 Villanova 16-2 1,403
5 Xavier 16-1 1,321
6 West Virginia 15-2 1,278
7 Maryland 16-2 1,259
8 SMU 17-0 1,179
9 Iowa 14-3 1,167
10 Texas A&M 15-2 994
11 Michigan State 16-3 950
12 Arizona 15-3 801
13 Virginia 13-4 649
13 Baylor 14-3 649
15 Miami (FL) 13-3 645
16 Providence 15-3 609
17 Louisville 14-3 608
18 Butler 13-4 439
19 Iowa State 13-4 411
20 Duke 14-4 375
21 USC 15-3 338
22 Purdue 15-3 322
23 Kentucky 13-4 276
24 South Carolina 16-1 252
25 Indiana 15-3 210
Others receiving votes: Pittsburgh 184, Clemson 53, Wichita St 38, Valparaiso 30, Notre Dame 14, Dayton 9, Saint Mary's 8, Gonzaga 5, Utah 3, Hawaii 3, Arkansas-Little Rock 1, Monmouth 1, Navy 1, Oregon 1
Dropped from rankings: Pittsburgh 20, Gonzaga 25