By Cody Daniel @CodyDanielRS on March 27, 2014
The roller coaster season the Baylor Bears have gone through has many surprised by their Sweet 16 appearance. Isaiah Austin as well as others simply weren’t performing at the level they needed to for Baylor to stay competitive. But when it mattered, they rose to the occasion and now have a chance to make the Elite Eight if a few key players step up.
Anybody who has seen Brady Heslip in action knows just why Baylor needs him to win. His shooting ability from beyond the arc is the reason the Bears have fought back into games and won many others. Heslip has to perform if Baylor wants to keep dancing.
Despite his five-point performance against Iowa State in the Big 12 Championship, Cory Jefferson has been at a scoring peak, with at least 14 points in seven of their last eight games. Wisconsin will have no answer for Jefferson’s shooting touch or physicality in the paint.
The role Isaiah Austin needs to fill against Wisconsin is more defensive than offensive. We all know he can score, inside and out. His 7-foot-1 length defensively will be key in holding Frank Kaminsky to a much smaller contribution than he had hoped.
If Baylor wants to win, Kenny Chery has to have the ball in his hands. He doesn’t get the recognition he probably deserves, but the Bears are very reliant on his scoring and facilitating abilities alike. Chery’s 4.8 assists per game will come as a nice asset in the Sweet 16.
Statistically, Rico Gathers won’t have a huge impact on the game. His unexpected strength in the paint will make the difference for Baylor, giving them an even bigger size advantage.
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