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Slow Start Not Enough to Derail Baylor

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Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Baylor Bears have had a tendency to start slowly against opponents all season, and Monday night’s matchup against Oral Roberts added another chapter to the narrative of the first half woes. It took Baylor nearly six minutes to get on the scoreboard, but it was only a matter of time before the Bears would blow Oral Roberts out of the water.

Baylor has one of the best frontcourts in all of College Basketball and has the ability to wear teams down. The three-headed monster for Baylor struck again Monday night. Cory Jefferson (17), Isaiah Austin (15) and Rico Gathers (10) combined for 42 points and 21 rebounds. Reserve Taureen Prince chipped in with 16 points of his own. Prince was the key player that got the Bears going after a horrendous start. His free throw at the 11-minute mark in the first half would tie the game at 11, and the Bears would never look back from that point forward.

Baylor is a tough team to get a firm handle on. Due to their continuous struggles in the first half, Baylor has had to dig themselves out of deep holes. Their lone loss to Syracuse Baylor finally ran out of second half luck. After a poor first half of shooting, Baylor was never able to pull even with Syracuse and lost the Maui Invitational.

Sooner or later, the Bears will have to play 40 minutes of consistent basketball, but until that time Baylor will have to rely on their front court to wear down their opponents to pull off come from behind victories.

Jack Dooley is a Big 12 Basketball writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JackDooleyOCS.

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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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