Big 12 (21-10, 9-7)
Big Wins: 11/18 vs Notre Dame (68-64), 1/23 at Texas A&M (116-110), 2/23 Kansas State (92-86)
Bad Losses: 1/5 Arkansas (78-85), 2/13 at Oklahoma State (83-93), 3/5 Texas A&M 57-71)
Last NCAA Appearance: 1988, First Round loss to Memphis
Coach: Scott Drew (First NCAA Appearance)
Curtis Jerrells, Junior, Guard, 14.9 ppg, 3.6 apg, 3.5 rpg
Aaron Bruce, Senior, Guard, 8.7 ppg, 2.0 apg
Henry Dugat, Junior, Guard, 12.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg
Kevin Rogers, Junior, Forward, 12.4 ppg, 8.6 rpg
Josh Lomers, Sophomore, Center, 3.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg
LaceDarius Dunn, Freshman, Guard, 13.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg
Tweety Carter, Sophomore, Guard, 9.6 ppg, 2.8 apg
Mark Shepherd, Senior, Forward, 1.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg
Mamadou Diene, Junior, Center, 3.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.6 bpg
Why They Can Surprise:
Don’t let the name on the front, or the back for that matter, of the jersey fool you…this is an explosive offense. Baylor was not known for much of anything on the court, but that has quickly changed under the tutelage of Coach Scott Drew. The Bears have five perimeter players who average over eight points per game. If one or two are cold, there is plenty of scoring punch left to pick up the slack. Curtis Jerrells is the best scorer of the bunch and the junior has now led the Bears in points and assists every year he has been in Waco. At one point in time Jerrells’ backcourt mate, Aaron Bruce, was the team’s leading scorer. Now Bruce ranks sixth on the team in scoring. That is because of the massive upgrade of talent that Coach Drew has brought in over the last three years.
Henry Dugat is the other perimeter starter and his versatility works well in the Bears three guard set-up. Tweety Carter and LaceDarius Dunn would be starting on most other teams. In fact, Carter was a part-time starter last year and he certainly did not lose his starting job due to a poor performance this season. Dunn, just a freshman, is a superb outside shooter, knocking down 41.8 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.
Why They Can Disappoint:
On average, Baylor barely breaks even in the rebounding department. Forward Kevin Rogers is the only player on the team that grabs more than five boards per game. Yet, with all that talent on the perimeter, there is not much that can be done at this point. The other problem is assists. For a team that scores over 81 points a game, they should have more than 12.2 assists per contest. Sometimes it is understandable, like when a team gets to the free-throw line a lot or gets a bunch of put backs on offensive rebounds, but Baylor doesn’t really fit into those categories. They do get to the line quite a bit due to the guards attacking the basket, but there is still too much one-on-one play going on in Waco.
Who To Watch:
Rogers has developed into a decent scorer and rebounder, but he needs some help from his seven-foot centers. Josh Lomers and Mamdou Diene will not put up a lot of points or grab too many rebounds. Diene is a good shot blocker and will work hard on the glass, but he finds himself in foul trouble the minute he steps foot on the floor. Lomers can have the same foul difficulties and there is not much depth behind Rogers, Lomers and Diene in the post.
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 81.4 (11th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 74.4 (284, 12)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.6 (96, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.9 (127, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.6 (27, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.2 (48, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.2 (32, 1)
Rebound Margin: 0.1 (178, 7)
Assists Per Game: 12.2 (249, 11)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.6 (43, 2)
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