Big 12 (20-14, 5-11)
NIT Seed: #3
Big Wins: 11/28 vs Arizona State (87-78), 1/17 Oklahoma State (98-92), 3/12 vs Kansas (71-64)
Bad Losses: 2/7 at Texas Tech (76-83), 2/24 at Iowa State (62-71), 3/7 Nebraska (62-66)
Coach: Scott Drew
Curtis Jerrells, Senior, Guard, 16.0 ppg, 4.7 apg, 4.8 rpg
Tweety Carter, Junior, Guard, 10.6 ppg, 2.9 apg, 2.5 rpg
LaceDarius Dunn, Sophomore, Guard, 15.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg
Kevin Rogers, Senior, Forward, 12.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg
Mamadou Diene, Senior, Center, 1.9 ppg, 1.6 rpg
Quincy Acy, Freshman, Forward, 5.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.0 bpg
Henry Dugat, Senior, Guard, 10.3 ppg, 2.3 apg
Anthony Jones, Freshman, Forward, 2.9 ppg, 1.5 rpg
Why They Can Surprise:
Coach Scott Drew has built Baylor back into a successful program with talented guards. And none are more talented than Curtis Jerrells. The senior point guard has led the Bears in scoring each of his four seasons in Waco and will score in a variety of ways. He is a decent outside shooter and knocks down nearly two three-pointers per game, but most of the time the 6-1 Austin, Texas native is driving to the basket. The opposition will foul Jerrells quite a bit while he is blowing by them and that is not a good way to stop him since he shoots 77.8 percent from the charity stripe. But Jerrells is more than just a scorer. He is the point guard and dishes out 4.7 assists per game and has one of the best assist-to-turnover ratios in the nation.
Jerrells did lead the team in scoring once again, but the competition was fierce between him and super sophomore LaceDarius Dunn. Dunn is a superb three-point shooter and hits 2.7 per contest. He is not as explosive getting to the basket as Jerrells is, at least not yet, but he is much more than just a shooter.
Why They Can Disappoint:
On average, Baylor loses the battle in the rebounding department. Forward Kevin Rogers is the only player on the team that grabs more than five boards per game. Rogers has developed into a solid interior scorer, but he cannot do all the work on the glass himself. Quincy Acy is a very talented freshman who is a solid shot blocker and a capable rebounder, but he has not been playing enough minutes to put up great numbers. If he can stay out of foul trouble and stop making freshman mistakes, Acy can at least partially turn around Baylor’s rebounding woes. Anthony Jones, another freshman, has had some decent games down the stretch, but he needs to add more muscle before he will be a consistent rebounder.
Who To Watch:
Believe it or not there are more guards on the roster that can score 20 or more points on any given night. Tweety Carter is the most consistent three-point shooter on the team and that is saying a lot. He knocks down 2.2 three-pointers per game and his teammates will get him the ball when he is feeling it…like when he scored 30 points against Oklahoma State in late February. Henry Dugat is a high energy player who will do a little bit of everything. He can pass, he always works hard on the glass, he is a solid defender and he can score in a multitude of ways. Baylor has enough offensive firepower to outscore just about any team in the nation. The question is whether or not they can stop the other team and hold their own on the glass.
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 77.4 (36th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 71.2 (256, 10)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.0 (73, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.6 (189, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.3 (20, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.2 (89, 9)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.8 (108, 5)
Rebound Margin: -0.7 (213, 7)
Assists Per Game: 12.1 (238, 11)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.9 (84, 7)
Joel’s Bracket Says: Elite Eight loss to Northwestern