Preview: Baylor at Kansas

When the Baylor Bears (2-10) take on the Kansas Jayhawks (19-6, 10-2) Tuesday night in Lawrence, perhaps more than a basketball game will be on the line. The recruiting world is buzzing with rumors about the recruitment of Darrell Arthur, a forward out of Dallas that is considered one of the best unsigned prospects in the nation. Kansas and Baylor are two of the final teams he's interested in, with Kansas recently being declared the leader.

On the court the Bears will face one of the hottest and scariest teams in the nation – the perennial "you don't want to face this team in the tourney" team. Kansas, all the way up to #16 in the AP poll and #18 in the coaches after spending a good deal of the season out of the polls, has won 9 games in a row. After starting slow in non-conference, they are now in strong contention for the Big 12 championship.

Baylor often talks about the inexperience and youth as a primary reason for their losing woes this season, but Kansas doesn't want to hear about it. The top 7 scorers for Kansas are sophomores or younger. Those top 7 are led by freshman Brandon Rush, who is averaging 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists. It should be interesting to see who tries to guard Rush from the Bears – starter Tim Bush will probably get the nod out of the gate but he will have a difficult time containing him alone.

The last time Kansas took the floor, they paid back Missouri for an earlier 3 point loss by crushing them by 33. Freshman Mario Chalmers, the team's overall second leading scorer, led the way with 14 points as Kansas shot better than 50% from the field while holding Missouri to 32%.

Baylor meanwhile is coming off a tough 4 point home loss to in state rival Texas A&M. The Bears have kept the score close on the road only once, that was a two point loss to the Aggies earlier in the year. In all, Baylor has lost all 6 road games this year by an average of 20.5 points. Against ranked opponents that average gets even worse – 27.5 points.

Despite the bleak prospects of winning this tough road match-up, the Bears led by guards Curtis Jerrells and Aaron Bruce will no doubt give it all they have. Much like their road games against Oklahoma and Texas, the Bears will hope to keep it competitive before worrying about the win. Not that the outcome of the game will effect the recruitment of Darrell Arthur, but I bet he'll be watching to see where he can fit on each team.

Bears Illustrated Top Stories