Scott Drew's Bears are 5-2 in-conference and would like to stay within striking distance heading down the homestretch. The losses came in back-to- back affairs against Kansas and Missouri within the last 12 days. Baylor found its way back into the win column earlier this week though, topping Oklahoma in Norman, 77-65.
Rick Barnes' Longhorns have struggled to keep their heads above water in league play. The team is just 3-4 in Big 12 games and suffered three straight losses to nationally-ranked foes in Missouri, Kansas State and Kansas. Texas was able to finally able to end the skein this week with a 62-55 win over Iowa State.
Texas has played more games against Baylor than any other in the school's history. The Longhorns hold a 157-79 advantage in the series and have a 64-46 edge in games played in Waco, including a 12-1 mark under Barnes.
The Longhorns are at their best when they play tough defense and put the ball in the hands of standout guard J'Covan Brown. Texas is allowing just 64.9 ppg this year, holding foes under 40 percent shooting (.392) and outrebounding them by 4.1 rebounds per game. Brown knows how to fill up the basket. Despite shooting a modest .410 from the floor, the veteran guard leads the Big 12 in scoring at 19.1 ppg and the team in three-pointers (48). Sheldon McClellan and Myck Kabongo provide more perimeter depth with 11.5 and 9.8 ppg, respectively. Kabongo is just a freshman, but the young point guard has doled out a team- high 110 assists on the season, ranking third in the Big 12 (5.5 apg). Texas converted a mere 43.6 percent from the floor, but held the Cyclones to 33.3 percent. Kabongo led the team with 13 points in the win. Brown struggled to a 12-point outing, hitting just 3-of-16 shots from the floor. Freshman Julien Lewis added 12 points as well.
Baylor is a team that can win games at either end of the floor, evidenced by an impressive +15.2 scoring margin. The Bears are converting nearly 50 percent of their shots this year (.496) powered by a .414 showing from behind the arc (sixth nationally). All five starters are averaging double figures. Perry Jones III paces the team in both scoring (14.2 ppg) and rebounding (7.5 rpg). Pierre Jackson (12.8 ppg) is next in the scoring column and is leads the Big 12 in assists (6.0 apg). Quincy Acy (12.7 ppg), Quincy Miller (12.5 ppg) and Brady Heslip (10.0 ppg) round out the quintet. Baylor was sharp offensively against Oklahoma, shooting 54 percent from the floor, 50 percent from behind the arc (9-of-18) and 82.4 percent from the free-throw line (14-of-17). Perry Jones was dominant in the low post, finishing with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Jackson tacked on 16 points and doled out seven assists. Acy and Anthony Jones chipped in 13 and 11 points, respectively.