Game 15: No. 4 Baylor at No. 3 Kansas – Preview and Prediction

Fresh off a 26-point drubbing of Iowa State in Ames, the Jayhawks return home to Allen Fieldhouse for a top-five clash with the #4 Baylor Bears. 

  • Saturday, January 11, 2020, 12:00 pm CDT
  • Allen Fieldhouse — Lawrence, Kansas
  • CBS
  • Kansas dominates the overall series with Baylor, 31-5, and the Jayhawks hold an astonishing 17-0 record against the Bears in Allen Fieldhouse.
  • Offensively, Kansas is averaging 79.5 points per contest, while the Bears are putting up 74.2 ppg. The two teams hold similar rebounding numbers, Baylor grabbing 39.2 boards per contest, while Kansas is bringing down 38.4.
  • KU is now ranked No. 1 in the NET rankings. They are currently No. 2 in Ken Pomeroy’s ratings, bolstering the second highest adjusted defensive efficiency mark ever recorded on the site (83.3).
  • Kansas is currently riding a 23-game home win streak. With a win on Saturday, Bill Self would have the same amount of Allen Fieldhouse losses as Scott Drew, with 13.
  • Baylor has been on a steady rise up through the polls since a November loss to Washington in Anchorage, Alaska. Scott Drew’s Bears have won 11 consecutive games. 
  • Kansas’ two losses in 2019-20 have been by a combined three points and both against ranked opponents.

Bears to Watch

Jared Butler – Sophomore, Guard, 6’3″

Butler had the biggest impact on the Bears loss at Kansas in 2019, dropping 31 points. He’s averaging 16 ppg this season, along with 2.9 assists. Shooting a 40% clip from three this season, Butler is one of Baylor’s high volume, accurate shooters.

Freddie Gillespie – Senior, Forward, 6’9”

The bruising 245-pounder from St Paul, Minnesota is only averaging 8.7 points per game, but his presence on the glass is what makes the difference. Gillespie is averaging 9.5 boards per game, and has a high amount of speed and agility. Like Oscar Tshiebwe of West Virginia, Kansas will have a tall task of limiting this big man’s impact.

Prediction

Making fun of Scott Drew and his programs unsuccessful attempts in winning at Kansas is easy to do, since they always seem to get completely outperformed in the Fieldhouse. Although, Baylor has looked strong throughout their games this season, and their Tuesday night win at Texas Tech showed that they have the tenacity to pull games out on the road. Unlike West Virginia and Iowa State, Baylor has a more balanced attack with its lineup. MaCio Teague is averaging over 14 ppg, and Mark Vital has also been contributing big numbers for the Bears. 

If the Jayhawks want to get through this top-five matchup with a win, they’re going to need to see good contributions from more than just Udoka Azubuike or Devon Dotson. Look for Isaiah Moss to have a breakthrough opportunity in this one. While Lawrence braces for a big snowstorm, I think Baylor is going to have to brace for Kansas. 

Prediction: Kansas 70, Baylor 60
KU –7

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Nick Weippert

Just a typical teenager that thinks above the box. Probably have to deal with more Kansas State fans than you do. I love playing sports and also sharing about my passions through writing. I also do a little bit of graphic design work.