Bears to Battle Sooners

Baylor (2-7) will take it's improved basketball team on the road Saturday to battle the 20th ranked Oklahoma Sooners (15-5, 6-3).

Baylor is 2-2 in it's last 4 games, the two losses coming on the road. Although this isn't the same team that got throttled 82-52 a few weeks ago by Oklahoma, it remains to be seen whether they have made up enough ground to keep the game competitive on the road – much less pull out the victory. Baylor has lost 13 straight road games over this season and lost 23 straight overall to the Sooners; they would love to end both streaks on Saturday.

Baylor continues to get production out of their outstanding freshman. Over the last 4 games, Curtis Jerrells is averaging 17 points (53% from the field and 52% from 3 point range), 2.5 rebounds, 4.25 assists, and 1.75 steals. Over that same period, Henry Dugat is averaging 14 points (43% from the field and 48% from 3 point range) and 4.25 rebounds. Dugat's least productive game of the year came in Baylor's 1st matchup against Oklahoma when he was held scoreless and had 6 turnovers to only 1 assist in 17 minutes of action. He hopes to be able to show Oklahoma that his first game against them was a fluke.

Despite adding a sprained ankle and dislocated finger to his injured foot, Aaron Bruce has been able to provide solid production to this Baylor squad finishing in double figures in points in 4 of the last 5 games. Bruce has seen his minutes decline since the first game of the season against Texas Tech when Bruce played 37 of the 40 minutes in the game; his last 3 games Bruce has played less than 30 minutes in each.

Oklahoma comes into this game on fire – winning 6 of their last 7 with the only loss by 1 point at Kansas. Oklahoma is led by Taj Gray (senior) , Terrell Everett (senior), Kevin Bookout (senior), and Michael Neal (junior); each averages double figures in points and each made that mark in the first outing against Baylor. Everett scored 23 points, dished out 5 assists, and grabbed 5 boards in Oklahoma's 73-65 win over rival Oklahoma State on Wednesday.

Oklahoma has strength all over the court – but it's certainly their inside game that dominates. Baylor showed improvements on the inside against Missouri, but Missouri doesn't come close to the strength and skill of Oklahoma's interior. Interior players Tommy Swanson, Tim Bush and freshmen Mamadou Diene and Kevin Rogers will have to show they've learned something since the 1st matchup. In that game, Gray and Bookout alone outscored the 4 players by 12 points.

Coach Drew will be anxious to see if his young squad has progressed enough to the point where they will be competitive with a top 20 team on the road, and Baylor fans are hopeful that the signs of progress will continue to show in this game.


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