Congratulations Baylor Bears!March 10, 2012 by: admin
First off, Baylor Lady Bears rack up another conference title for Baylor (I think we’re at around 50 or so now, which is pretty good for a school many haters continue to say doesn’t belong). What a great way to send off the Texas A&M Aggies in true blowout fashion, beating A&M by the largest margin of any victory in Big 12 Tournament title game history.
Baylor Nation had high hopes we’d avenge two previous losses to Missouri (One by 1 point at home and the other, not as close on the road) and rack up our second title in almost as many hours.
The game didn’t start off well as we turned it over on the first two possessions. This was one of the keys to us winning the game – limiting turnovers. We finished the game with only 11 turnovers. What was a bugaboo for us early in the season is something we seem to have under control as the most important part of the season dawns. Missouri did manage 24 points off those turnovers while we only scored 11 off their 8.
Second key to the game was making sure John Higgins wasn’t a part of the officiating crew. We need to get someone higher up in the Big 12 officiating scheduling office because this guys is awful for Baylor and always has been. Advantage Missouri. Two huge calls indicative of how things went much of the night were the no call on Brady Heslip’s 3 at the end of the half, where he clearly was slapped on the wrst and likely would have cut the lead to 3 at the break.
That could only be topped by these gems of a call on the AJ Walton “phantom clear out” call which erased 2 points from the board at a crucial moment of the game and another ticky tack foul.
Offensive Foul? In real time:
In slow mo:
Missouri got those breaks and we didn’t tonight, but we still managed to have it be a 5 point game with 2:20 remaining.
Third key to the game was taking the home crowd out of it. Unlike the Kansas game, we did not. Make no mistake, we might as well have been playing in Columbia. They really need to rotate this game to Texas or Oklahoma every 2 or 3 years. Baylor had to, in effect, win 3 road games to win the title (beating KSU, KU and MU). We won 2 out of 3 and that’s nothing to be ashamed of, but the advantage is measurable.
Fourth key to the game was rebounding. We inexplicably were out-rebounded by Missouri in Waco. That was a turning point for us in rebounding this year. Since then we’ve been on a tear. Baylor annihilated Missouri on the boards 40-28 with an 18-6 advantage in offensive rebounds.
Finally, we had to limit layups (both in the half court set and in transition) and defend the 3. We did neither. Missouri is the #4 FG shooting team in the nation at 50%. They shot 53% for the game. Couple that with them catching us on a poor shooting night 39.7% overall and 26.3% from 3, and it was a recipe for a loss.
We missed several wide open looks and a couple of layups, which, even with several things going against us – btw, did Missouri not seem to come up with almost every 50/50 ball tonight? hayzuuuuus – we still had a chance to win this game.
We also did this to bring the crowd to their feet:
In real time:
In slow mo:
There are a ton of positives to take from this game. Our man to man defense is much improved. We’ve shown we can apparently hang with the elite in the country (since many make it clear that Kansas and Missouri are, but Baylor is not…yet). We played more 3 guard lineup than I’ve seen us play all year. Winning the NCAA tourney is all about good guard play and we’re getting it.
The following is why we have the potential to make a deep run in March now that we have a 3 seed locked up:
1) Well hello Mr. AJ Walton. Nice to have you back my friend. Defense continues to be stellar. He’s limiting turnovers. He’s contributing in spots on offense and not taking the first shot he’s given early in the shot clock. He’s figured out his role and exploiting it.
2) The Emergence of Deuce – When you’re a freshman and Coach Drew puts you on Missouri’s #1 player to shut him down, that’s trust. Deuce has been asked to play defense first. Tonight he exploited his 22 minutes by crashing the boards, rebounding, drawing fouls and improving upon his 53% FT shooting percentage. he was 4-6 from the field tonight, 5-8 from the line and had 6 rebounds (5 offensive) and only turned it over once. If we can get this kind of production from him the remainder of the season, we can make a deep run.
3) Perry Jones has become aggressive. He’s attacking the rim. Drawing fouls and saying “I’m the man. Give me the ball. This team goes as far as I’m going to take it.” I know how hard it can be for an unselfish kid to take this attitude. Coach Drew and his teammates are doing a great job of reinforcing that this is what it’s going to take for Baylor to do big things.
I’m disappointed we didn’t win tonight, but all things considered, I’m as pumped as I’ve been all season and confident we have the potential to make a deep run. Selection Sunday is tomorrow and we’ll certainly be a 3 seed. Baylor has again dominated BSPN, I mean ESPN, coverage, what with Brittney Griner and the Lady Bears doing their usual thing and RG3 being an almost automatic #2 pick to the Redskins (can you believe the faith Washington is showing in him what with 3 first rounders and a 2nd round pick??!?!).
All is good with the world and it is great to be a Baylor fan as we silence more and more haters with each additional accomplishment.
Odds and Ends
- As Missouri started chanting S-E-C, Bobby Knight started laughing and said “I don’t think they’re going to like that too much. They had a pretty good thing here in the Big 12.” For the first time I agree with Bobby. Missouri built what limited football success in the weak Big 12 North on Texas players and they just shut down that pipeline. Sadly, it’s all about football and, well, you can’t win being in the midwest without Texas players. Check Missouri’s success the 30 years prior to the Big 12 forming
- When Chuck Neinas was presenting the Big 12 trophy to Missouri, the crowd booed him. Stay classy Missouri. Stay classy
- Digger Phelps still hates Scott Drew and Baylor and disses them every chance he gets
- Missouri wins it’s 5th conference title – fully 1/10th the number of titles Baylor has accumulated. They hope to make a Final Four for the first time ever, something Baylor has done twice. Perspective folks.
- Missouri will be graduating it’s winningest class in school history, currently sitting at 107 wins. For some further perspective, Quincy Acy and Fred Ellis will graduate as Baylor’s winningest seniors with 97 wins and counting. Sometimes you have to look past the media and the headlines to know just how much Baylor is accomplishing
In the words of Quincy Miller, look out NCAA Tourney, Baylor, “gonna be a problem”. Coach Drew has his team peaking at the right time and consistently putting them in a position to win.