In a season full of great performances, there is just one left to celebrate in front of the home crowd. This Baylor Bears team will be going to the Big 12 tournament of course, but will also be going to the NCAA tournament. Those two are a given at this point. With just 1 more victory (and a little luck), the Bears could end up as high as the second seed in the Big 12 tournament. With that large carrot at the end of the stick, Baylor will celebrate senior night with the focus on Kenny Chery and Royce O'Neale against the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
|No. 14 Baylor (22-8, 10-7) vs. Texas Tech (13-17, 3-14)|
|Date||March 6, 2015 | 8:00 p.m. CT|
|Location||Waco, Texas | Ferrell Center (10,284)|
|TV||ESPN2 and WatchESPN|
|Radio||ESPN Central Texas|
|Online Audio||Listen Online|
Fun Stats of the Game
-Friday is the 130th series meeting.?Baylor is 53-76 in the all-time series, including 14-9 under Scott Drew.
-Baylor is 12-3 against Texas?Tech since 2008, and the Bears have won 8 of their last 9 home games vs. TTU.
-According to KenPom, Texas Tech has both the worst offense and defense in the league during Big 12 play.
-This is a matchup of the two slowest tempo teams in the Big 12
-Texas Tech had lost 6 in a row before their win last weekend over Oklahoma State
-The Red Raiders are 0-9 in true road games this season, with an average margin of defeat of 22.89
Keys to the Game
1. Play Loose and Fun - The Bears are a different team when they are playing loose, and making the game fun. You can see the energy, the passion and the joy of it all. It comes in the extra passes. It comes with the hustling for loose balls. It comes with victories. The Bears are simply a great team when they are having fun and playing loose. Look for them to come out with a ton of energy on the always emotional senior night.
2. Reward the Seniors - Kenny Chery and Royce O'Neale are two guys that might have just spent 2 years in Waco, but both will leave after this season as treasured players. Chery came from Junior College, while O'Neale transferred back home after 2 seasons in Denver. Both have been 2-year starters for the Bears. They also happen to be the biggest indicators of success for this team. When Chery and O'Neale are shooting well, getting assists and leading this team, they can beat anyone in the Big 12. Their teammates feed off of them. This time, it is their turn to feed the two on their last game at the Ferrell Center.
3. Speed it Up - This ties into the first part. The Bears are not an up-tempo team, but have shown that ability and desire to speed up the game when they are playing a slower paced team. We saw it against Kansas State. Well, no one is a slower team than Texas Tech this season. Tech is one of the most turnover prone teams in the nation with almost 22% of their possessions ending in a turnover. Baylor will need to get those extra possessions and run it back at the Red Raiders. Play fast, and get that energy going.
What Happened Last Time?
The Bears won an ugly game in Lubbock, a 54-49 win that saw Baylor struggle all game from the field. Luckily, Taurean Prince scored 22 points and gave the Bears a much needed spark. Prince scored 18 of his points in the first half. Baylor scored a season low 20 points in the second half. The only other Bear in double figures was Lester Medford with 10.
KenPom.com – Baylor wins 68-52 (96% chance for win)
Massey.com – Baylor Wins 63-62 (47% chance for win)
RealTime RPI – Baylor Wins 70-66
Tim Watkins BearsIllustrated.com Writer– Baylor wins 78-57
Simply put, this should be a blowout. Texas Tech is not a good team at all. They are the worst in the Big 12, and have only been competitive in 1 road game all season. They have lost games by 30+ three times this year on the road. Baylor, with plenty to play for in terms of their seniors, but also the standings should be very much into this game. I expect a blood-bath with another big win in front of a very excited Baylor crowd.