Bubble Watch: 5 Reasons Why Baylor Will Make the Tournament
Bubble Watch: 5 Reasons Why Baylor Bears Will Make the Tournament
Just a few short years ago, Baylor men’s basketball coach Scott Drew loitered around campus looking for any male taller than 6-foot-4; he then immediately asked the student to try out for the basketball team. Those days now seem like they were a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. The 2012-13 squad is coming off three very impressive postseason runs: an Elite Eight in 2009 and 2012 followed by an NIT championship in 2013.
After an 88-75 win over fellow bubble team West Virginia, this year’s group carries a four-game win streak into a difficult stretch run that includes matchups against fellow bubble teams Texas and Kansas State and a home date with 21-5 Iowa State. The Cyclones took the Bears’ lunch money in January, but the Cyclones have not played well away from home and Baylor should be able to keep it close. The UT and KSU games are both on the road, and the Bears probably have to win at least one to seal up an NCAA tournament bid. If Baylor can answer the bell, it would have a very impressive tournament resume. A decent win streak at the end of the year, a .500 conference record, basically a season split with the other Big 12 bubble teams and a signature early-season win over Kentucky.
So, Baylor’s path back to the tournament is pretty well set. It must thrash a struggling Texas Tech team, stay on the court against Iowa State and find a way to beat Texas and/or Kansas State on the road. Can the Bears make it happen?
Baylor is at the top of the league in terms of rebounding, and especially offensive rebounding.
Chery is very athletic and has good court awareness skills.
Isaiah Austin is an absolute monster, and the Bears have five other guys who are at least 6-foot-8.
Drew has built one of the country's top programs almost literally ex nihilo, and he has an excellent rapport with the players.
Baylor can consistently make the long shots better than any other team in the league, which keeps them in games and opens things up down low.