Blog Entry

Baylor's win over K-State puts it among elite

Posted on: January 10, 2012 11:06 pm

By Jeff Borzello

Is it time to take Baylor seriously?

Like that seriously? Like Final Four, national champion seriously? As seriously as we take Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio State and Syracuse?

Those four teams have separated themselves as something of an elite quartet this season, the four best teams in the country. After Baylor’s 75-73 win at Kansas State on Tuesday night, though, it might be time to add another team to that group.

The Bears went into Bramlage Coliseum and knocked off a Wildcats team that was coming off a 16-point throttling of previously unbeaten Missouri. They shot 53.7 percent from the field, forced 19 turnovers and grabbed 12 offensive rebounds. Heading into the game, Kansas State was allowing 0.87 points per possession; Baylor scored 1.10 per trip.

Even more impressive, the Bears did it with basically everyone in foul trouble. Perry Jones, Quincy Acy, Quincy Miller, A.J. Walton and Pierre Jackson all had four fouls, forcing head coach Scott Drew to go with some makeshift lineups down the stretch.

From a pure talent standpoint, not many teams can compete with Baylor. Miller and Jones are future lottery picks, and Acy is an athletic forward who makes plays at both ends. In the backcourt, Walton is an aggressive defender, while Jackson is an explosive guard who is a tremendous playmaker when under control. Brady Heslip has provided a consistent perimeter option from 3-point range.

There’s plenty of depth, too. Anthony Jones is one of the more versatile players in the Big 12, and Cory Jefferson has had his moments inside. Deuce Bello is a freak athlete, while California transfer Gary Franklin provides a scoring boost.

The personnel is all there.

With its length and athleticism, Baylor is a nightmare to face on the defensive end. As they showed against Kansas State, the Bears can force turnovers in the man-to-man. It’s difficult to score inside against Baylor because of the size it has down low, and they don’t foul very often (despite the troubles against the Wildcats).

So why don’t people believe in Baylor?

For one, it’s hard to trust Jackson or Walton on a consistent basis at the point guard position. Both players have trouble taking care of the ball, and have a tendency to play out of control at times.

Offensive efficiency in the halfcourt has crept up as a potential weakness as well. While Jones is one of the most talented players in the country, he doesn’t always assert himself on the offensive end. Heslip and Jackson have been the only guys knocking down 3-point shots so far this season.

And the issue of coaching also hovers over the team; can Drew win a big game? He led Baylor to the Elite Eight in 2010, but many people still look at him as a guy who just stockpiles talent and isn’t the X’s and O’s coach that some of the other elite head men in the country.

This season, though, every team has problems. Even Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio State and Syracuse.

It shouldn’t stop Baylor from joining that group. The Bears are elite.

Photo: US Presswire


Since: Jul 23, 2008
Posted on: January 16, 2012 2:33 pm

Baylor's win over K-State puts it among elite

Ummm, they have the #1 RPI & SOS, apparently those things haven't been too much of a problem

And it sounds like you listen to the  ESPN talking heads a little to much rather than forming your own opinion, the whole "they haven't left NY" is a Gottlieb thing because he can't think of anything else negative to say.

Since: Jan 16, 2012
Posted on: January 16, 2012 1:05 pm

Baylor's win over K-State puts it among elite

ummm the problem with Syracuse, which top tier teams have they played, and how many games are outside the state of NY??

Since: Jul 11, 2008
Posted on: January 16, 2012 12:24 pm

Baylor's win over K-State puts it among elite

The Bears are for real...17-0, undefeated in the Big 12.  Yep they are the real deal.
Regardless of tonights showing at KU, this Baylor team has to be considered an elite
team this season.  It's about time to put aside our prejudices, our bias...  This season
is different in many respects, among those is the undeniable fact that several teams
not ordinarily considered in the Top 25, Baylor included, are flat out kicking butt this
season.  More power to these insurgent teams...Gonna be a great NCAA Tourney.


Since: Jan 1, 2011
Posted on: January 16, 2012 8:54 am

Baylor's win over K-State puts it among elite

So you throw out this sentence at the end: "This season, though, every team has problems. Even Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio State and Syracuse."

You'll have to remind me, I guess:  exactly which problem is it that Syracuse has this season?

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: January 16, 2012 8:04 am

Baylor's win over K-State puts it among elite

It's been a great year for Baylor.  The naive fool in me wants to believe that a private school in Texas, previously dwarfed by major competition, has become "The Little Engine that Could."  Sadly, though, whenever I do, the crusty old cynic inside of me starts wondering how much it cost Baylor to assemble both a football and a basketball team that has flirted with top ten and even top five rankings.  
Sorry, but the cynic is going to "win" this one.  I think they are lucky they can't be FOIA'd.   

Since: Nov 13, 2007
Posted on: January 11, 2012 6:27 pm

Baylor's win over K-State puts it among elite

BadMrBunny - to answer your question? ABSOLUTELY we expect to win @ Kansas this year.

Woah there fella, let's not get ahead of ourselves.  Yes, I readily admit Baylor has a very good team this year and has the ability to win just about anywhere they play.  But, to expect a win @kansas implies that you will be surprised/disappointed if Baylor loses.  I don't think there is a team in the country that should expect to go into The Phog and win as it's easily one of the most difficult places to play in the country.  Let me be clear, I'm not saying they can't because they can.  Just don't be too disappointed if it doesn't happen.

Since: Dec 20, 2009
Posted on: January 11, 2012 4:56 pm

Baylor's win over K-State puts it among elite

BadMrBunny - to answer your question?   ABSOLUTELY we expect to win @ Kansas this year. 

As far as Mr. KState fan post earllier about being handed the game?  You my friend are incomopetant to say the least as far as your knowledge of what happened in that game. 4 of our starters who are NEVER in foul trouble had 4 fouls w/ 6 minutes to go.  I never complain about the refs even in a loss but last night was beyond anything I've seen in 15+ years of watching college bball. Before the last minute Baylor had 13 more fouls than K-State did in the 2nd half.  It was insane.   Baylor had 2 less TO's than K-State did so being 'handed' the game is absurd.  I was actually accepting a loss last night because of what I saw on the floor, very few teams can overcome 5 on 8 which is what happened last night.

Aside from the refs - Baylor started the game horribly with 8 turnovers in the first 7 minutes - then they went to man-to-man defense which is what CHANGED the game - we started getting major steals against KSU.   We dominated in almost every facet of the game except when you give 4 fouls to 4 guys who are never in foul trouble then something's a little Fishy.....

Since: Jan 11, 2012
Posted on: January 11, 2012 2:17 pm

Baylor's win over K-State puts it among elite

To continue to discount this team is a mistake. They have met every challenge you could ask and still are not close to their potential. You say they were "handed" the game which is ridiculous they took the game from K-State and the refs that were calling everything they could for the home crowd 27-17 foul difference was obsurd at times during this game. Pierre Jackson is an absolute stud and exactly what this team needed to reach their potential, now AJ Walton can go back to his role he was when we were an Elite 8 team as a ball hawk and serviceable backup point guard. Watch out for the Bears this year the days of being the Big 12's door mat are over

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: January 11, 2012 12:50 pm

Baylor's win over K-State puts it among elite

Kansas beat the crap out of this supposedly "great" K-State team last week. Kansas is 1-1 against your "elite" teams. Go ahead, anoint Baylor as a "great" team, then prepare yourself when Kansas beats the crap out them,too. I realize after winning 7 straight Big 12 titles, you are desperately seeking another storyline other than "Jayhawks on the road to 8th straight conference title". Do any of you Baylor fans REALLY think you're going to beat us at Allen Field House?

Since: Feb 25, 2008
Posted on: January 11, 2012 10:13 am

Baylor's win over K-State puts it among elite

Yes. Baylor is an elite team this year.

I think some fans are confusing being a "premiere" program with being an elite team.

The Bears are a formidable opponent that could beat the best team in the country on a good night. That' means they're an elite team.

Doesn't mean that Baylor will be an elite team next year when some of their players will be taken in the Lottery ... but, this year they are Elite.

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