The #1 ranked Baylor Men’s Basketball team (15-1) looks to bounce back after a disappointing loss to Texas Tech with a home game against the unranked Oklahoma State Cowboys (8-7). This is not the same team that beat Baylor in the Big 12 Tournament last year, and they should provide the Bears an opportunity to regroup.
Here are three stats to look out for if Oklahoma State makes it a close game.
Three Point Offense
Oklahoma State’s strength lies in their interior defense. The Cowboys hold their opponents to 7 percentage points worse shooting from inside the arc (25th in the country), but opponents essentially shoot their season average against the Cowboys defense from deep (0 percentage point difference, 207th in the country).
Baylor does better shooting inside than outside — 57% from two (26th in the country) and 37% from three (55th in the country), but they should have more success from the perimeter in this matchup. If the Bears continue their streaky shooting from last game (1 for 10 from three in the second half), it will be a frustrating afternoon.
Two Point Defense
Oklahoma State is not particularly accurate shooting from anywhere on the court. They make 50% of their twos (230th in the country), 29% of their threes (333th in the country), and 66% from the free throw line (305th in the country).
Baylor should smother Okie State on the perimeter. The Bears hold opponents to 4 percentage point worse shooting from three (50th in the country) relative to their average in other games.
Unfortunately, Oklahoma State is relatively better where Baylor is relatively worse. The Bears only hold opponents to 3 percentage point worse shooting from two (147th in the country). Baylor needs to play solid interior defense in this game, and they need to do so without fouling. Bonus stat: Oklahoma State is ranked 16th in the country in free throw rate.
Both teams excel at generating turnovers on defense and could use improvement in preventing turnovers on offense. The Bears turn opponents over 6 percentage points more often than their opponents average in other games (12th in the country), and the Cowboys turn opponents over 5 percentage points more often (24th in the country).
On the other side of the ball, Baylor has a turnover rate of 17% (146th in the country), and Oklahoma State has a turnover rate of 21% (331st in the country). The numbers favor Baylor, but as we saw last game, anything can happen on the court.