Seeking their first 9-0 start in a decade, the ranked Baylor Bears set up shop in Provo this afternoon as they take on conference action from the Marriott Center.
Baylor is a perfect 8-0 to this point in the campaign, although it can be argued that coach Scott Drew's club hasn't really played anyone yet. The Bears were most recently in action on Wednesday when they took down Bethune-Cookman at home, 69-42. BU's current No. 6 ranking in this week's AP poll is it highest ever, and the Bears are one of only nine remaining undefeated teams at the Division I level. Baylor has won six straight non-conference road games.
Off to a solid start themselves, the Cougars have won eight of their first 10 games, including all four played at home thus far. BYU, which is 48-1 in its last 49 home games against non-conference foes, is riding a four-game win streak entering this contest, with its most recent triumph coming at rival Utah last Saturday in a 61-42 final.
BYU owns a 5-2 advantage in the all-time series with Baylor, and the Cougars have won the last four meetings.
Baylor is getting it done at both ends of the court this season, averaging 77.4 ppg on 49.1 percent shooting from the field, which includes a 39.3 percent showing from three-point range, while the opposition puts up just 54.4 ppg in hitting 33.0 percent of their total shots, and 32.5 percent from beyond the arc. A +6.1 edge on the glass coupled with the fact that the Bears force more than 18 turnovers per game has certainly helped the cause. BU boasts four double-digit scorers, with Perry Jones III (15.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg) leading the way. Quincy Miller (12.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg), Quincy Acy (12.0 ppg, 7.6 rpg) and Pierre Jackson (11.9 ppg, 4.4 apg) round out the group, but there are several others capable of putting up big numbers as well, among them Anthony Jones (9.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg) and Brady Heslip (8.8 ppg). The Bears could get an additional boost today, as former California Golden Bear Gary Franklin is slated to make his BU debut. Acy recently joined the school's 1,000-point club after netting 10 points in the recent rout of Bethune-Cookman. Baylor shot 56 percent from the field in that game, while holding its overmatched opponent to 34.8 percent.
Statistically speaking, BYU is right there with Baylor in scoring offense (77.0 ppg) and defense (58.5 ppg), as well is FG percentage/three-point FG percentage (.486/.398) and FG percentage defense/three-point FG percentage defense (.367/.306). The Cougars also grab more than six rebounds per game more than the opposition, and they come up with more than 15 turnovers per outing. The team has three players averaging double figures in scoring, and another on the cusp, as Noah Hartsock (17.3 ppg, 6.9 rpg), Charles Abouo (12.3 ppg, 7.2 rpg), Brandon Davies (10.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg) and Stephen Rogers (9.9 ppg) have all performed well for coach Dave Rose's club this season -- all of them shooting at least 47.7 percent from the floor. Hartsock was high man once again in the recent win over Utah, netting 19 points, grabbing seven boards and swatting away four shots. The Cougars shot just 38.8 percent from the floor, but held the Utes to a mere 26.9 percent, which included a dismal 18.2 percent effort in the first half.