Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Look out for Baylor

OK, Baylor is probably going to get a lot more publicity now after their epic game against Texas A&M, but in truth, they probably should have been talked about a lot more even before this game. Because going into College Station and beating the Aggies is not a fluke.

They've been building towards this season ever since Scott Drew was signed, and now they have a team that is obviously capable of making the Big Dance, and potentially even making a little bit of noise once they get there. They're talented, and they have the personnel to cause a whole lot of matchup problems.

Everything starts with their guards, and they have about as much talent and depth there as anyone in the country. Their leader and leading scorer is Curtis Jerrells, who puts in 13 PPG. The junior is one of 5 Baylor players averaging in double figures. He doesn't get to the FT line a ton (this game against A&M notwithstanding), but he has the quickness to get to the rim, and he's also a very solid shooter from outside.

Baylor's most talented player is LaceDarius Dunn, a top 25 recruit who has become a huge contributor as a freshman. In only a shade over 20 minutes per game he is putting up 12.3 PPG and 4.1 RPG. As he continues to develop and get more minutes that is only going to make Baylor that much better.

Guards Aaron Bruce, Henry Dugat, and Tweety Carter are also big contributors, scoring 10.8, 12.1, and 9.2 PPG respectively.

Up front, they have some troubles. Junior Kevin Rogers puts up solid numbers (11.9 PPG, 6.8 RPG), but there's not a whole lot of production anywhere else. No other traditional frontcourt player scores even 5 points per game or grabs 5 rebounds per game.

Baylor is a team that could make a lot of noise come March and surprise some people with their personnel and style of play. They have loads of talented guards which can cause matchup problems with a lot of teams. It's because of their guards that they are now 16-2 (4-0 in the Big 12) and a team to watch the rest of the way. The win over A&M is nice but there should be a lot more where that came from this year.