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Baylor’s Pierre Jackson Needs Help, Others Must Step Up Down the Stretch

Kevin Jairaj-USA Today Sports

On Wednesday night, the Baylor Bears hit the road and fought valiantly at Iowa State. The end result however, was an 87-82 loss to the Cyclones and just another step back for the Bears overall.

Star point guard Pierre Jackson did his best to try and help Baylor secure a crucial road win within the conference, but it just wasn’t to be. Jackson finished the contest with 30 points and eight assists, showcasing once again his level of importance within head coach Scott Drew‘s offensive system.

With the loss, the Bears have now dropped back-to-back games, and are just 2-5 over the course of their past seven games overall. Neither of those two wins in that span are helping either in terms of their resume for the Big Dance.

The recent struggles for Baylor are certainly a cause for concern. At 16-10 overall and 7-6 within the Big 12 Conference, the level of panic for the Bears is reaching a season-high. The main reason behind that is because Jackson just simply cannot do it all.

Jackson was averaging 18.4 points per game entering Wednesday night, a number that will certainly increase following his 30-point outing, but in order for the Bears to be successful, they need others to step up around him. Cory Jefferson chipped in with 15 points in the loss, but there needs to be more of a collective effort on the perimeter.

Alongside Jefferson in the paint, freshman forward Isaiah Austin continues to produce in his own right, but most of the contributions from the guard position are coming from Jackson and Jackson alone on a consistent basis.

The talent level on this Bears squad is just too high for them to have suffered ten losses at this point in the season. Baylor needs to right the ship, and right it soon with March quickly approaching.

 

Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS

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NCAA Tournament Profile: Baylor Bears

Record: 24-9

RPI: 10

BPI: 19

Conference: Big 12 Conference

How They Qualified: At-Large Berth

Region: No. 3 seed in West

 

The Baylor Bears didn’t win the Big 12 title, but there was no question that they were an NCAA tournament team entering the Big 12 tourney. That tends to be the case when a team is ranked in the top 25 entering the final week of the season.

The Bears had the pleasure of playing in the dance last season, but they went down to the Wisconsin Badgers, who ended up making a run to the Final Four.

This time around, they have the talent to make a similar run to Wisconsin’s, and playing in the very deep Big 12 certainly didn’t hurt. Translation: Baylor is tournament tested, if you will.

 

What You Need to Know:

Leading Scorer: Taurean Prince (13.8 PPG)

Leading Rebounder: Rico Gathers (11.6 RPG)

Leading Passer: Kenny Chery (4.0 APG)

Bad Losses: None

Good Wins: Iowa State (twice), Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia (x3)

 

Would you look at all of those quality wins. Iowa State, Oklahoma and West Virginia all have the talent to make a Final Four run. All three of those teams won’t make that type of run, but the talent is still definitely there.

Although Baylor doesn’t exactly have star power, said star power doesn’t always mean everything, especially in a tournament as crazy as the Big Dance. The team does have four players who are averaging 10+ points per game, and can keep up with the best of them. Once again, the Bears did manage to knock off Iowa State … twice.

The Baylor Bears are dancing!

Trevor Lowry is a Content Associate at RantSports.com. If you’re a tweeter feel free to follow him @TheTrevorLowry, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

The Baylor Bears may have had an early exit last season, but this year's squad has the talent to make a serious run.

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