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
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."
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
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
"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."
Phog.net Top Stories
Big 12 Football Roundup: Week 3 Top StoriesAll you need to know about Big 12 teams leading into Week Three of the college football season.
Big 12 Recruiting Notebook (9/15/16)News, notes and recruiting scoop out of the Big 12...
Scout's Inside Recruiting ScoopSep. 14 -- What's the latest on the top recruits in the country? Scout's basketball recruiting team -- Evan Daniels, Brian Snow and Josh Gershon -- break down the latest, including…
Bruin Report Online09/14/2016
Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 2A look at the Big 12 Power Rankings after two weeks of play