Thursday, December 05, 2013

Kentucky vs Baylor....A Preview

Kentucky vs Baylor….12/6/13.. Friday 10PM (TV-ESPN)
(Game played in Arlington, Texas at Texas Stadium)
UK leads the series 7-1

Baylor Bears (Big 12 Conference)

Location: Waco, Texas
Enrollment: 15,029
Arena: 10,284 

Head Coach: Scott Drew
Career Record: 200-149 (57.3%) 12 Seasons
At Baylor: 180-138 (56.6%) 11 Seasons

2012-13 Record: 23-14
2012-12 Big 12 Record: 9-9
2012-13 Postseason: 5-0 (NIT Champions)

2013-14 Record: 7-1

Baylor 72 Colorado 60
Baylor 66 South Carolina 64
Baylor 87 Louisiana –Lafayette 68
Baylor 69 Charleston Southern 68
Baylor 93 Chaminade 77
Baylor 67 Dayton 66
Syracuse 74 Baylor 67
Baylor 104 Hardin-Simmons 59

Baylor Stats:

PPG-74.4
FG%-48.1%
3 PT%-43.1% (7.1 PG)
FT%-67.9%
RPG-40.4 (+10.1 PG)
APG-14.3
TPG-14.6
SPG-4.0
BPG-6.9

Probable Starting Lineup:

Royce O’Neale-F 6’6” Jr……………………….8.1 PPG.
Cory Jefferson-F 6’9” Sr……………………….13.1 PPG
Isaiah Austin-C 7’1” Soph……………………..10.3 PPG
Kenny Chery-G 5’11” Jr……………………….12.0 PPG
Gary Franklin-G 6’2” Sr……………………….7.9 PPG

Other Key Players:

Brady Hazlip-G 6’2” Sr………………………..12.3 PPG
Rio Gathers-F 6’8” Soph……………………….4.0 PPG
Ish Wainright-F 6’5” Fr…………………………2.0 PPG
Taurean Prince-F 6’7” Soph…………………….4.7 PPG

Baylor returns 3 starters from last season and starts a veteran and experienced team of mostly seniors and juniors. Coach Drew goes 9 deep and each plays 13 minutes plus. Importantly, Baylor has excellent size starting with 7’1” Isaiah Austin who shoots well from the field and FT line while garnering 5 RPG and leading the team in blocks with 26. 

Senior 6’9” Cory Jefferson leads the Bears in scoring and rebounds. Guard Kenny Chery leads the team in assists averaging 5.1 PG. Baylor is an excellent perimeter shooting team hitting 43.1%….with Brady Heslip hitting 21-42 from long range for an amazing 50%. Gary Franklin also is hitting at near 50% making 14-30 perimeter shots while Royce O’Neale has made 7-10 3 point shots. The Bears are averaging 7 made perimeter shots PG so long range shooting is a very important part of their game strategy. Bottom line…this is a very good Baylor team that will likely be playing in the NCAA tourney this season!

Baylor defeated UK at Rupp arena last season 64-55 so they likely will have a lot of confidence facing UK this season in Texas. However, they will find a lot of new very talented UK players that weren’t at Rupp arena last season!

UK Stats:

PPG-84.5
FG%-48.3%
3 PT%-31.8% (5.1 PG)
FT%-68.1%
RPG-46.9 (+15.5 PG)
APG-12.9
TPG-13.0
SPG-4.5
BPG-7.9

UK took a significant step forward in both their offense and defense in defeating a good Providence team in Brooklyn. The Cats did a good job against the Friars zone defense….and Willie Cauley Stein had the game of his career blocking 9 shots! Importantly, there was good ball movement on offense and the Cats shot very well including from the perimeter. It was great to see James Young hit 3-4 perimeter shots and shoot well overall. 

In a post game interview both WCS and James Young pointed out that the team made an emphasis of communicating much better with each other….and that they were now understanding how important that is especially on defense. 

These young Cats are now showing a glimpse of their incredible potential…there is obviously more improvement needed on both offense and defense….but this young team is buying in to Cal’s coaching and there is terrific chemistry on the team! One area they need to work on is cutting down on unforced turnovers. 

The game against Baylor in Texas stadium….arguably the greatest stadium in the world and the site of the NCAA Final Four….will provide these young Cats great experience.

Baylor is a very good basketball team that will test UK in the paint as both teams have great size on the frontline. UK must play tough defense on the perimeter and minimize the Bears great long range shooting. These young Cats will need to bring their A game….I see a UK win by 7-9 points…..GO CATS!

No comments: