Blog Entry

Contrast between Baylor, Missouri: stage fright

Posted on: February 11, 2012 5:37 pm
 
Phil Pressey and Mike Dixon epitomize Missouri's toughness and fearlessness. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

Missouri’s supposed to struggle against teams with size. Baylor is supposed to dominate smaller teams.

None of that happened on Saturday, as Missouri knocked down 14 3-pointers en route to a 72-57 win.

Baylor stubbornly stayed in its zone defense throughout the game, even when it was clear it wasn’t doing much to stop Missouri’s shooters. The Tigers consistently found open gaps in the corners, and exploited the lack of perimeter defense Baylor was showing. Marcus Denmon, Mike Dixon and Phil Pressey combined to shoot 12-for-22 from 3-point range, scoring 51 points between them.

Baylor’s size was a major factor early on, but the Bears simply couldn’t guard Missouri’s guards. How Missouri would match up with Baylor’s size populated much of the pregame discussion, but it was the other way around – Baylor couldn’t match up with Missouri’s four-guard lineup. Perry Jones was invisible for most of the game, while Baylor was unable to knock down jumpers at key points in the game. Gary Franklin, Pierre Jackson and Brady Heslip combined to shoot 2-for-13 from behind the arc for Baylor.

While Baylor possesses as much talent as anyone in the country, it’s troubling that Scott Drew’s troops can’t break through against the top teams in the Big 12. The Bears are now 0-4 against Missouri and Kansas. While that would not be a problem for most teams, it’s worth mentioning when you’re a Final Four hopeful. Baylor has all of the ingredients to make a deep run in March – except a killer instinct. Jones is the Bears’ best player, but he has never been a killer and he disappears in the biggest games. Freshman Quincy Miller was good tonight, but he can’t be the only player scoring. Does Baylor have enough mental toughness and intestinal fortitude to beat teams that punch back after taking the Bears’ initial punch?

Missouri is at the opposite end of the spectrum. The Tigers are simply fearless. Going against the bigs of Baylor wasn’t an issue – they gave up 15 offensive rebounds and were outrebounded by 13. It didn’t matter. Missouri makes teams adjust to them, not the other way around. Sure, Kim English is too small to really compete with Jones and Quincy Acy and other big guys inside, but they can’t guard him at the other end. Denmon was giving up plenty of height to Miller, but he’s also far too quick for the Baylor freshman. For every potential matchup problem, they respond with “well, what about when we’re on offense?” And fortunately for the Tigers, they’re the most efficient offensive team in the country.

Saturday’s game was a perfect contrast. There was one team that maximized its talent and didn’t back down, and another one that seemed to shrink on the biggest stages despite its size. 

Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: May 19, 2007
Posted on: February 12, 2012 11:36 pm
 

Contrast between Baylor, Missouri: stage fright

Missouri is a flat machine this year....I think they are definitely a Final Four team, and depending how the seeds play out, I could see a Kentucky, Syracuse, North Carolina, Missouri Final Four....this team is lethal.



Since: May 19, 2007
Posted on: February 12, 2012 11:31 pm
 

Contrast between Baylor, Missouri: stage fright

I'm sorry....now the 5-7 Illini....I by know means think Baylor is God's gift to college basketball...in fact, if they end up being a 2 seed in the tourney, they will be overrated, however...RIGHT NOW....they are a better college basketball program than Illinois..(no denying the Illini have been a better one every year besides 2010 in the past 75 years).....and with the recruits Baylor has coming in next year, I don't see that changing.  If you put a gun to your head...on a neutral court and said pick a winner in a game between Baylor and Illinois....I'm taking Baylor to prevent my brains being blasted all over the wall.....and when push comes to shove, you would too.



Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: February 12, 2012 9:39 pm
 

Contrast between Baylor, Missouri: stage fright

It does seem sad that a blog post about Missouri beating Baylor turns into a Missouri diss session. I am not a Missouri fan but folks, give them their due. This post does not say Missouri will win the Big XII (at the moment they are tied for first.) It says they dismantled a pretty good Baylor team. Yes, they did. I think some of the language is over the top (fearless by giving up 15 offensive rebounds?) Missouri has played two teams that are in the top 10 with three wins out of three tries. That and a top-5 ranking deserve some respect.

For those who have to look ahead there are still obstacles for Missouri to overcome this year. They would like to win their first Big XII title. That likely goes through Lawrence. They would like to go to their first Final Four this year. That likely involves not giving up 15 offensive rebounds. They have games to play that will decide their season (same for about 70 other teams.) If they keep shooting like they did against Baylor this could be their year.



Since: Dec 20, 2010
Posted on: February 12, 2012 12:09 pm
 

Contrast between Baylor, Missouri: stage fright

So, I appreciate that Kansas fans are fiercely loyal and give the Jayhawks their full support. I don't even really mind the delusional, irrational statements about how Kansas' 3 point loss in Columbia basically equates to a win in Lawrence (seriously, no one but NO ONE outside of Lawrence thinks KU is better than MU). Erroneous as these notions are, they are understandable. What really amazes me, and reminds me of Mizzou's superiority, is the rampant spelling and grammatical errors in many of the Kansas fans' posts. My GOD, hopefully you folks aren't actually alums or students. If so, I can only imagine the hell that the Kansas TA's must suffer through every day.  These posts aren't term papers, but seriously... you are discussing a university sports team, try to have some shell of dignity... even if you are playing the roll of a scorned ex in this year's context. 



Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: February 12, 2012 7:24 am
 

Contrast between Baylor, Missouri: stage fright

>Baylor won't win the national championship, but 5-6 in the Big 10 Illinois will be lucky to make the NIT....who is the better program right now?

You have one good season and think you're God's gift to college basketball. Let's compare the last twenty years, who's better? It's not even close. Let's compare the last ten years, who's better? It's not even close. How many Final Fours have you been to? Have you even been to one? And let's see you beat Michigan State and Ohio State this year. You can't beat any good Big 12 teams (0-4 vs. Kansas and Missouri) let alone good Big 10 teams.

You should be happy that Big Ten fans even care about your basketball program now. If it weren't for politics, you'd be no better than TCU or Houston in basketball. It took fifteen years to finally field a Big 12 quality basketball and football program.

I hope Illinois throws a ton of money at Scott Drew to leave so you can go back to being Big 12 doormats. And I'd love to see TCU kick your butts once you have to deal with them again after you screwed them out of the Big 12 back in the 90's.



Since: Feb 3, 2007
Posted on: February 12, 2012 7:05 am
 

Contrast between Baylor, Missouri: stage fright

MU looked good against Baylor and it is good that they will get their highest ranking for many years but the 800 pound gorilla in their locker room is Kansas. They know that there are pretenders 'in the conference unless they can seal the deal at Allen Field House, and way down deep they know they cant. Just like year end and year out KU's football team cant come to their house and beat them.
They wont hold Withey to 0 points in Lawrence. All of the sudden he is playing like a beast. So enjoy it while you can, but unless KU doesnt win at Manhattan (A toss-up), the best MU can do is tie for the conference title with a team that is supposed to be having a rebuilding year.
So the Big 12 says goodby to Missouri with another loss at Allen Field House in Lawrence, and another conference championship missed, but you did look good against Baylor at your home venue. At least you can say that.


 



Since: May 19, 2007
Posted on: February 12, 2012 3:53 am
 

Contrast between Baylor, Missouri: stage fright

Funny....no denying that Baylor is on a little bit of a slide right now and have been very weak lately, but to think they aren't a real basketball program right now is a horrible comment......ask West Virginia, San Diego St., St. Marys, Miss. St, BYU and Northwestern, who Baylor beat by 30 on the road.  I'm pretty sure the mighty Illini lost to Northwestern at home last weekend by four.  Get the f**k out of here with that comment.  Baylor won't win the national championship, but 5-6 in the Big 10 Illinois will be lucky to make the NIT....who is the better program right now?




Since: Oct 31, 2009
Posted on: February 12, 2012 12:24 am
 

Contrast between Baylor, Missouri: stage fright

Right. Missouri will almost surely lose at Kansas (regardless of what you want to think). Kansas MIGHT lose at Manhattan. Unless Kansas loses a game they shouldn't lose, the best Missouri can hope for is Co-Conference Champions.


Spot On!  Kansas barely lost in Colombia, blowing a 12 point lead, that doesn't happen at Allen Fieldhouse...Gaurunteed!  Manhattan is a wildcard, KU is good enough to beat KSU in Manhattan, but that is probably the toughest place for KU to play every year, because of the rivalry.  I would be double sweet for KU to walk out of Manhattan with a W this year.  Another conference championship is right around the corner.  The Big 12 tournament should be interesting.  Most likely KU vs Mizzou on a neutral court should prove who the better team is going into the big dance.




Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: February 11, 2012 9:53 pm
 

Contrast between Baylor, Missouri: stage fright

The last time we played Baylor we dominated in the paint and rebounding.  This game we utilized our perimeter game and nailed 3 pointer after 3 pointer.  This team can win in different ways and takes what they are given.   It is so fun to watch as a life long fan.  




Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: February 11, 2012 9:28 pm
 

Contrast between Baylor, Missouri: stage fright

The tigers should win the Big 12
Right. Missouri will almost surely lose at Kansas (regardless of what you want to think). Kansas MIGHT lose at Manhattan. Unless Kansas loses a game they shouldn't lose, the best Missouri can hope for is Co-Conference Champions.


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