Baylor Men’s Basketball (#10, 19-4) follows up their road loss to the Kansas Jayhawks with another road game in Kansas, this time against the Kansas State Wildcats (12-10).
When these two teams played back in January, Baylor won convincingly, 74 to 49. Here are three stats that will determine if Baylor can bounce back and sweep the Wildcats.
Two Point Offense
As I’ve written before, Baylor’s offense is a threat from both inside and outside the three point line. The Bears make 54% of their two point attempts (58th in the country) and 36% of their three point attempts (55th in the country).
Against Kansas State, interior shots will come much easier than shots along the perimeter. The Wildcats allow their opponents to make their season average from two (240th in the country) but hold their opponents to a 7 percentage point lower three point shooting percentage than their opponents average in other games (3rd in the country).
In Waco, Baylor shot a below average 33% from three but an absurd 73% from two. If Kansas State hasn’t learned how to stop Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua (6 of 7 for 13) or Kendall Brown (4 of 5 for 10) from taking highly efficient shots near the rim, it’s going to be hard for them to win.
Three Point Defense
Kansas State is not a great offensive team; Ken Pom ranks them as the 92nd in offensive efficiency. They are an average shooting team from the three point line (34%, 162nd in the country) but near the bottom of the country in two point shooting (48%, 277th in the country).
Baylor has taken some hits to their two point defense recently, and they now rank 244th in the country in how their opponents shoot from two relative to how well their opponents do in other games. However, Baylor’s three point defense is still respectable, and their opponents shoot 3.5 percentage points worse from three than their opponents typically do in other games (55th in the country).
Previously against Baylor, the Wildcats shot 22% from three and took 38% of their shots from deep. If Baylor can replicate that success, Kansas State will be forced to score in a way they are least comfortable.
Baylor mauled Kansas State on the offensive glass in their last meeting as they grabbed 48% of their available offensive rebounds. To their credit, Kansas State also had a decent offensive rebounding night, collecting 36% of their available offensive boards.
For the season, Baylor has an elite offensive rebounding rate of 36% (5th in the country), and Kansas State has a below average offensive rebounding rate of 25% (242nd in the country).
On defense, Baylor holds their opponents to an offensive rebounding rate 2.9 percentage points below their opponents’ season average (110th in the country). Kansas State is slightly worse, holding their opponents to an offensive rebounding rate 2.1 percentage points below their opponents’ season average (134th in the country).
It must be demoralizing to finally see your opponents miss a shot, just for them to grab the offensive rebound and put it back in for points. I expect Kansas State to be quite demoralized by the end of the game tonight.
Ken Pom Prediction: Baylor 71, Kansas State 65