Baylor Basketball

Baylor eliminated from Big 12 tourney by West Virginia 78-65

March 8, 2018
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After jumping to a good lead to start with Nuni Omot’s hot hand and Manu Lecomte getting back to work from outside, the Bears quickly fell apart, letting West Virginia jump past them in a 78-65 loss.

This is the second consecutive year Baylor has lost its first game of the Big 12 tournament. Last year, it only marginally affected the team’s seeding. This year, it has Baylor sitting on the bubble line closer than ever in the Scott Drew era.


You get a turnover, everyone gets a turnover!

This might as well be the only heading and it wouldn’t really be a disservice to the rest of the game.

During the press conference this week, coach Scott Drew said the team needed to focus on ball control first and foremost. Manu Lecomte and Jo Lual-Acuil echoed that thought, not even happy with bringing the turnovers down from 21 to 14 in the last game against WVU. Despite fewer turnovers, they were more crucial mistakes that led to West Virginia taking a double-digit win.

Baylor almost met that second game quota in the first half alone, giving the ball back to West Virginia 12 times. All said and done, Baylor turned the ball over 22 times, creating 22 points for the aggressive pickpocketing Mountaineers.

Those were virtually harmless mistakes in the first 10 minutes of the game, as King McClure turned the ball over on back-to-back possessions early on and Baylor took an 18-9 lead. Those mistakes were counteracted by WVU’s James Bolden letting go of two possessions as well in tandem with McClure’s slip-ups.

But as the rest of the game progressed, WVU’s 16 turnovers compared to Baylor’s 22 (12 from steals) were insurmountable. Have to hand it to Jevon Carter who not only had a dagger of a shot at the first half buzzer but picked Baylor’s pockets six times.

Most egregious, McClure (7) and Nuni Omot (12) combined for 12 turnovers. The only player with more than a minute of playing time without a turnover was Jo Lual-Acuil.


Both sides of Lecomte show up

Manu Lecomte has been going through a rough patch to close the season. He made just four three-pointers in the final four games of the season, struggling to make a real impact outside of dishing it out. Tonight, he put up 27 points, his most since dropping 29 at the end of January.

Hard to put too much blame on him as he was money from the foul line, sinking 10-of-11 shots there. His perimeter game was lacking but still an improvement from his season finale performances. But with his scoring taking a rise, his ability to move the ball around faltered, only giving out one assist all game while turning it over three times, one of his most reckless games moving the ball since the first Texas Tech matchup.

Although, even when Lecomte is at his statistical best, Baylor isn’t guaranteed a win. He put up 29 points and five assists, making 7-of-15 treys against Oklahoma and Baylor still lost. Granted, it was a two-point game, but the central criticism of guard play doesn’t account for the whole game.


Selection Sunday jitters

Preseason rankings once again prove useless. Baylor’s No. 24 ranking to start the season didn’t help the Bears get a 6th seed let alone a spot in the NCAA tournament. With the loss, Baylor now anxiously waits to see its name on the bracket announcement Sunday.

If the Bears have a defense — and it’s not a very strong one — is that West Virginia presented mismatches Baylor uniquely can’t overcome but has taken down Oklahoma State and Texas which are both hot tickets right now. The Bears are 4-0 against the Poke and Longhorns.

Discussion from...

Baylor eliminated from Big 12 tourney by West Virginia 78-65

oldjarhead
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The men's basketball program has been very inconsistent, and I can't understand why, with as much talent they have. Coach Drew apparently hasn't done a good enough job this season. Someone explain to me how the Baylor bears defeat two top ten teams in a week (Texas Tech and Kansas) earlier in the season, and finish at 18-14?
bearlyafarmer
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oldjarhead said:

The men's basketball program has been very inconsistent, and I can't understand why, with as much talent they have. Coach Drew apparently hasn't done a good enough job this season. Someone explain to me how the Baylor bears defeat two top ten teams in a week (Texas Tech and Kansas) earlier in the season, and finish at 18-14?
It's very simple. Some players pay little, if any, real attention to Drew, and too many play hard only when they feel like it. I don't sense a team first spirit, hence there's little bonding.

I don't place all the responsibility at Drew's feet. Maybe not even very much of it.
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