For the 2nd time in our last three games we've witnessed what happens when a young team get's the opportunity to take their foot off the gas. Winning the Big 12 regular season wasn't the expectation for this group at the beginning of the season and it seems like even though we were fairly inexperience we played hungry all year for it.
After we locked that up we suddenly changed from a team that jumped out to a lead and hung on, to a team that fell behind and tried to scrape back. Maybe at home that can happen. As we saw with Texas we got over the hump and the crowd provided the energy to maintain. On the road or on a neutral floor though, I don't see that working with this group. Against Tech we never got out of the hole. Against Baylor we made it out but then we quickly fell back into bad habits that put us behind early.
Tough game, tough loss but we weren't going to make a major run in the Big 12 and the NCAA with this team. We're probably looking at a 3 or 4 seed at this point. A 2 is out in my opinion and a 4 is looking more an more likely. Regroup, refocus and get to the 2nd weekend, that's all I can ask at this point realizing expectations at the start of the season are still probably the most realistic. Sweet 16 or bust...that'll make me happy.
Game flow looks like this...
More breakdown and stat recap after the jump...
In terms of the four keys to the game this one was a combination of what we did wrong and what Baylor did right. I guess that is the recipe for an upset. Neither team was great from the field but based on quantity of threes hit the Bears take the edge. Rebounding we did pretty well but there were still 2nd chance points that we can't afford to give up when playing poorly. Defensively we didn't do a whole heck of a lot to bother Baylor as they finished very efficiently in terms of taking care of the ball.
In terms of player impact this is yet another example of our two leaders just not showing up. Sherron was clearly bothered by the leg injury he sustained early in this one and Cole seems to simply dissapear at times against less than stellar competition. Sure his 14 rebounds are a good looking stat but I wouldn't have expected anything less with the way Baylor likes to shoot. The inability to shoot effectively from outside let Baylor pack it in inside and pretty much eliminated Cole offensively. All in all not a recipe for success when it comes to this team.
From a team stat standpoint a 32% shooting night beyond the arc hurts against a sagging 2-3 zone. We really played right into what they wanted to do today and it's hard to imagine winning when we shoot a mere 40% from the field. Honestly a pretty solid job in other areas and Baylor definitely came back down to earth after a hot start. All this says to me is this was more about us losing than Baylor winning.
Looking at the player stats we went back to our more standard 8 man rotation that we saw during much of conference play. I'm kind of surprised we never saw a move made for Travis Releford in this one. Not much that deserves mentioning, Collins was 6-20 and Cole only took 5 shots. Tyshawn Taylor and Marcus Morris continue to improve and show flashes but they aren't to the point of leading yet. One other area that is a little surprising is Cole with only 29 minutes. I honestly can't remember the last time he played that little in a game. Makes me wonder if Coach Self was trying to conserve him for later rounds...doesn't matter now.