The short-handed Baylor Men’s Basketball team (#7, 22-5) travels to Stillwater to take on the underachieving Oklahoma State Cowboys (13-13). Okie State got the better of Baylor back in January when they beat the Bears 61 to 54 in Waco, so they are definitely capable of winning this game.
Here are three stats that Baylor needs to do well in to avenge their previous loss.
Three Point Offense
Oklahoma State has a sneakily good defense. While they only rank 131st in points allowed per game, Ken Pom has them at 19th in the country in defensive efficiency.
Their biggest strength is defending inside. Okie State’s opponents shoot 6 percentage points worse from two when they play Okie State than they average in other games (19th in the country).
Oklahoma State’s success inside does not carry over to the perimeter. They allow their opponents to shoot 0.4 percentage points better from three than their opponents average in other games (236th in the country).
At full strength, Baylor has the tools to take advantage of lax perimeter defense. The Bears average a 35% three point percentage throughout the season (102nd in the country), but I don’t know the availability of two of Baylor’s best three point shooters, LJ Cryer and Adam Flager.
In their previous matchup, Baylor shot a disappointing 8 for 28 (29%) from behind the arc. Baylor needs to do better in Stillwater, potentially without Cryer and Flager, than they did at home with both guards in the lineup.
Two Point Offense
Okie State’s strong defense is not paired with an equally strong offense. Ranked 132nd in offensive efficiency by Ken Pom, the Cowboys only score 70 points per game, and they don’t have a lot of ways to get those points.
A sizeable majority of Okie State’s points come from inside the arc. Only 31% of their field goal attempts are from deep (321nd in the country), and they shoot threes quite poorly (30%, 335th in the country).
Unfortunately (for them), they don’t shoot the two ball incredibly well, either. Their two point shooting percentage is only 50% (176th in the country).
They partially make up for their below average shooting with a high free throw rate (49th in the country), but their free throw shooting percentage is ranked as poorly as their three point shooting percentage (67%, 305th in the country).
Unfortunately (for us), Baylor is better defending outside the perimeter than inside, and the loss of Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua for the season puts even more stress on their interior defense.
Last meeting, Oklahoma State shot 50% from two, right around their season average. In expectation, this will happen again, as Baylor only holds their opponents to a 1 percentage point lower two point shooting percentage than their opponents average in other games (189th in the country).
Given how active both defenses are in creating turnovers, both teams have to be happy with how they did protecting the ball when they last played each other. Okie State had a turnover rate of 16% and Baylor had a turnover rate of 17%.
For the season, Baylor’s offense averages a turnover rate of 18% (211st in the country), and Oklahoma State typically forces their opponents into a turnover rate 3.4 percentage points higher (33rd in the country).
Oklahoma State’s offense averages a turnover rate of 20% (324th in the country), and Baylor typically forces their opponents into a turnover rate 4.8 percentage points higher (18th in the country).
If either team is able to force their opponent to turn it over as frequently as expected, they should have a big advantage in this game.
Ken Pom Prediction: Baylor 73, Oklahoma State 67