Happy Valentines Day Bear fans! Your gift of love is your Baylor Bears traveling to Kansas, to take on the 8th ranked Jayhawks. The Big 12 conference leaders have won 6 of their last 7 conference games, with only a loss at Oklahoma State as a negative. They have a 1.5 game lead on second place Oklahoma. Baylor is 6-5 in conference play and coming off a home loss to Oklahoma State.
|No. 16 Baylor (18-6, 6-5) at No. 8 Kansas (20-4, 9-2)|
|Date||Feb. 14, 2015 | 12:00 p.m. CT|
|Location||Lawrence, Kan. | Allen Fieldhouse (16,300)|
|Radio||ESPN Central Texas|
|Online Audio||Listen Online|
Fun Stats of the Game
-Baylor is 0-12 all-time at Kansas, and just 3-14 overall against the Jayhawks under coach Scott Drew
-BU is 7-16 in road games vs. AP ranked teams over the last 8 seasons
-Baylor's defense is holding teams to an average of 10.5 points below their season scoring averages.
-Baylor is 2-0 in the regulrar season on CBS. They are 6-3 overall including NCAA tournament games
Keys to the Game
1. Win the Offensive Glass - The Bears are at their best when they are dominating the glass. Luckily for them, they are the best offensive rebounding team in the nation, gathering 43.2% of their misses. In their home loss to Kansas earlier this year, they gathered 54.28% of their misses. Kansas doesn't have the elite interior defense that we have become accustomed to, but they are still very good. They rank 35th in effective field goal % defense, and 40th best in 2-point field goal defense. Made baskets are difficult to get against them, so the Bears will have to focus on the offensive glass and make Kansas pay. The Jayhawks are actually pretty average when it comes to allowing offensive rebounds, so this is an area where the Bears should have a big advantage.
2. Keep the Pressure On - In the past, the thing that has killed the Bears (as well as many other KU victims) is the long runs that Kansas will go on. With the pressure of the Phog bearing down on you, a 5-7 minute scoring drought to go along with easy baskets, dunks, and transition three-pointers turns a close game to a blow out. You look back and outside of that stretch of time, you held even with KU. It was just that one little segment that cost you. Baylor can't do that in this game. They have to keep pace with Kansas, keep scoring and keep defending. They can't let the roof come off of the Phog and get caught up in trying to do too much. A consistent pressure and performance is the best thing in a game like this.
3. Take away Frank Mason- When Kansas has been at their best this season, it is usually when sophomore point guard Frank Mason has been great. He is the key guy to their offensive attack, scoring 12.5 points per game (2nd on the team) and averaging over 4 assists per game. He is the head of the snake. In their loss to OSU last week, he had just 10 points on 3-9 shooting, and chipped in 4 assists with 2 turnovers. The Bears will need to make sure to take him off of the 3-point line, as he and Wayne Selden are their best shooters from deep.
What Happened Last Time?
The Bears fell short, 56-55 at home against Kansas, as a late turnover on an in-bounds play helped Kansas escape with a 1-point win. Neither team shot the ball very well, but Wayne Selden came up big late in the game with three consecutive baskets to score 8 points to give the Jayhawks the lead for good. Baylor dominated on the glass, out-rebounding Kansas 36-28, but shot only 34% from the field. Kenny Chery led all scorers with 25 points on 8-14 shooting, but the rest of the Bears combined to shoot just 8-29 from the field (27.56%).
KenPom.com – Kansas wins 71-66 (30% chance for win)
Massey.com – Kansas wins 72-64 (22% chance for win)
RealTime RPI – Kansas wins 75-66
Tim Watkins BearsIllustrated.com Writer– Kansas wins 69-62
Kansas, for possibly the 80th year in a row, looks like they are going to win the Big 12. This was suppose to be the year it didn't happen, and yet, here we are again. They are undefeated at home this year, and haven't lost in over 13 months. They have 2 home losses in the last three season combined and three in the last five years. That is the key to their success in the Big 12, simply almost never losing at home. They last lost a conference home game February 2nd, 2013 against Oklahoma State. It is not impossible to steal a win out of Phog Allen Field House, but it is pretty close. Baylor will have to not only play perfectly, but hope that Kansas plays a bad game, as well. I think one of the two could happen, but probably not both.