The Bears try to hold serve against the Jayhawks in a crucial game in the race for a No. 1 seed and a Big 12 title.
After a four-game winning streak against the bottom tiers of the Big 12, No. 6 Baylor will see how far they've come since their consecutive losses to No. 10 Kansas and No. 4 Missouri on Wednesday, when they host the Jayhawks in a nationally televised showdown.
The Bears will be seeking revenge for an ugly 92-74 loss in Phog Allen, where their 1-3-1 zone was overwhelmed by the size and athleticism of Kansas' two stars, 6'9 junior Thomas Robinson and 6'3 senior Tyshawn Taylor. The two All-Big 12 team candidates combined for 55 points, 16 rebounds and 8 assists in the game.
Kansas, a team with more shooters than ball-handlers, is perfectly constructed to beat a zone, which leaves Baylor coach Scott Drew with the tough choice of abandoning his team's defensive identity to go man or playing into the Jayhawks strengths by staying in a zone.
Offensively, the Bears will look for Pierre Jackson to distribute the ball without turning it over, as the 5'10 junior PG has struggled running the offense in place of AJ Walton, coughing up the ball six times in their loss to the Tigers.
Perry Jones III, Baylor's best player, will need to be more aggressive offensively, especially if Kansas sticks the smaller Robinson on him. If he can get Robinson into foul trouble, the Jayhawks will have a hard time scoring enough points to win.
The 6:00 PM game will be nationally televised by ESPN2.