Scouting Baylor

News, notes and quotes on No. 3 KU's matchup with No. 25 Baylor at 8:00 (CT) tonight at Allen Fieldhouse. The game will be televised on ESPN2 with Ron Franklin and Hubert Davis calling the action.

SCOUTING BAYLOR

Baylor (14-2, 2-1 Big 12) returns two starters from last year's 24-15 team. The Bears, who have won 10 of their last 11 games, are coming off an 83-70 home victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday. Baylor's two losses this season have come at Colorado (78-71) on Jan. 12 and vs. Alabama (79-76) on Nov. 26. Some of the Bears' victories include wins over Xavier, at Arizona State, at Arkansas, at South Carolina, and a Big 12-opening ‘W' against Oklahoma (91-60) at home on Jan. 9.

Baylor is shooting an impressive 49.9 percent from the field (No. 2 in Big 12), 40.8 percent from three-point range, and 66.3 percent at the free-throw line. The Bears are holding foes to just 36 percent from the field (No. 2 in Big 12) and 33.3 percent from beyond the arc, while outrebounding foes, 43.0 to 31.6 per game. Their +11.4 rebounding margin leads the Big 12. BU is also tops in the league with 7.6 blocks per game, and second in offensive rebounding percentage (.419).

The Bears are led by 6-4 junior guard LaceDarius Dunn, who averages 19.1 points (Big 12-leading 25.3 ppg in conference play) and 4.4 rebounds per game. He also leads the team in free-throw percentage (.836) and three-pointers made with 56. The other two players in double figures are 5-11 senior guard Tweety Carter (15.6 ppg, 35 treys and team-high 84 assists) and 6-10 junior forward/center Ekpe Udoh (14.1 ppg, Big 12-leading 11.4 rpg and 4.4 bpg).

Other Baylor weapons are 6-7 sophomore forward Quincy Acy (9.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg), 6-10 sophomore forward Anthony Jones (7.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg), 7-0 foot senior center Josh Lomers (7.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 15 blocks), 6-1 freshman guard A.J. Walton (3.9 ppg, team-high 20 steals) and 6-5 freshman guard Dennis Nolan (3.2 ppg).

Dunn has emerged as a star this season, scoring at least 20 points the last three games. He had 25 points in BU's last game against OSU.

"I think Lace, as he continues to grow as a player, has diversified his game a little and has been able to score inside on the post ups," Baylor head coach Scott Drew said. "He has also been able to score off the drive. When you do a little bit of that and then when you're not making jumpers then you can at least have balance. The other thing is that we have other good players around him so his shot selection has been better."

Udoh has also blossomed into one of the best power forwards in the country after siting out last season after transferring from Michigan.

"He's long, he's athletic," KU coach Bill Self said. "He's obviously a very good shot blocker. He's definitely an impact transfer. He's from my hometown (Edmond, Okla.). I watched him play a little bit in high school with Obi Muonelo (now a senior guard at Oklahoma State). They had a great high school team (won a state championship at Santa Fe High School). But he's improved and matured about as much since high school as any kid around. He's gotten a lot better and his body has definitely changed. I'm amazed how big he is."

SELF ON BAYLOR'S HOT START

Baylor is proving the pundits wrong with its hot 14-2 start. The Bears were picked to finish No. 10 in the Big 12 Preseason Poll.

"I knew they'd be good, but I think they probably surpassed other people's expectations other than their own on how well they played," Self said. "If I'm not mistaken, they lost (Kevin) Rogers and (Henry) Dugat and (Curtis) Jerrells. That's a lot. They've gotten better. They're definitely a better team than they were last year.

"Lomers has gotten a lot better, Jones has kind of come into his own, Acy is a good player, but certainly the play of Udoh and Tweety and Dunn I think has been the key of their team. Those guys have played at a high level all year long."

Baylor plays primarily a 2-3 zone, which Self calls a "long zone. They play it well."

"They really hurt us with it in the Big 12 Tournament (in No. 1 seed KU's 71-64 loss to No. 9 seed Baylor in Oklahoma City last March)," Self said. "We're not going to play very many teams, if any this year, that's going to go 7-foot or whatever Lomers is, and Udoh is 6-9 and Jones' 6-10. Those guys are long on top of all that. It's really an effective zone, in large part, because of their length."

SERIES HISTORY

Kansas leads the series with Baylor 14-2, including an 8-0 record in Lawrence and 7-0 mark in Allen Fieldhouse. The series dates back to 1951 with KU winning the first six meetings.

AIMING FOR 200

With a victory over Baylor, KU would become the first team in Big 12 history to notch 200 victories (regular season and conference championship combined). Kansas is 199-43 against Big 12 opponents since the league's inception in 1996-97. The Jayhawks are 174-36 in regular-season play and 25-7 in the Big 12 Championship.

LOOKING TO GET BACK ON TRACK

Freshman swingman Xavier Henry has made just 12-of-39 shots the last four games for 30.8 percent. He's second on the team in scoring at 15.1 points per game, while shooting 47.2 percent from the field, 44 percent from three-point range, and 76.6 percent at the free-throw line.

Despite his recent slump, Self calls Henry the most gifted freshman scorer he's ever coached. Self thinks Henry can still be a more well-rounded scorer.

"As a freshman, he obviously scores the ball more consistently than anybody I've had," Self said, "but I don't even consider ‘X' a great scorer yet. I think his ceiling is very high. I consider him a very good scorer and a real good shooter. But I think he can do more to score, whether it's getting to the hole, getting to the free-throw line more and things like that."

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