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Men's Hoops Hosts No. 16 TCU
Jan. 1, 2018


GAME 14
BAYLOR vs. TCU
Jan. 2, 2018 | 6:01 PM CT | Ferrell Center | Waco, Texas
ESPNEWS / WatchESPN | Radio | Live Stats | Twitter | Arena Info
Game Notes: Baylor | TCU

MEDIA INFORMATION
TV: ESPNEWS and WatchESPN
Talent: Doug Sherman (pxp), Reid Gettys (analyst)
Radio: Baylor IMG Sports Network / ESPN Central Texas
Talent: John Morris (pxp), Pat Nunley (analyst)
Streaming Radio: TuneIn App, Sirius 132, XM 199, Internet 953
Live Stats/In-Game Home: BaylorBears.com
Twitter: @BaylorMBB | #SicTCU
MATCHUP

BAYLOR

10-3, 0-1 Big 12
Ranking: RV-26th - AP, RV-27th - Coaches
Last Game: Dec. 29, 2017 - loss at No. 22 Texas Tech, 77-53
Head Coach: Scott Drew (Butler, 1993)
Career Record: 307-194 (16th season)
BU Record: 287-183 (15th season)
vs. TCU: 11-0

TCU

12-1, 0-1 Big 12
Ranking: 16th - AP, 15th - Coaches
Last Game: Dec. 30, 2017 - loss vs. No. 12 Oklahoma, 90-89
Head Coach: Jamie Dixon (TCU, 1987)
Career Record: 364-139 (15th season)
TCU Record: 36-16 (2nd seaason)
vs. Baylor: 0-2

By Jerry Hill
Baylor Bear Foundation

​Coming off a 24-point loss to Texas Tech in last Friday's Big 12 opener in Lubbock, the Baylor Bears (10-3, 0-1) will try to bounce back by continuing their recent dominance of the series against TCU.

​The Bears, who swept the previous 11 Big 12 meetings by at least seven points with an average margin of 18.1, host the No. 16/8 Horned Frogs (12-1, 0-1) at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Ferrell Center.

​Playing without 7-footer Jo Lual-Acuil (sprained right foot), and with 6-8 senior forward Terry Maston limited in his first game back from a broken hand, Baylor was dominated on the boards (39-21) and had just three assists for a program low for the coach Scott Drew era.

​"Obviously, not having the best center in the Big 12 hurt," said junior guard Jake Lindsey, "but that's not an excuse to play like that. . . . The way you learn from that is you watch film and you see what you did wrong, rep it out in practice, and make sure it doesn't happen again."

​After seeing his streak of consecutive starts snapped at 47 when he sat out the 77-53 loss to Texas Tech, Lual-Acuil will be a "game-time decision" for Tuesday's game. Drew said there was "no trauma or anything like that" with the senior center's injury, he just stood up after dinner last Wednesday and his foot was bothering him.

​"He's excited to be back after watching the Texas Tech game," Drew said. "As far as how effective, we'll have to wait and see. We'll see what we've got come game time. It seems like every day it's an adjustment with who can practice and who can't."

​Maston averaged 11.7 points and 7.7 rebounds in the Bears' first six games of the season before sitting out the next six with a broken right hand. In Friday's return, he was scoreless on 0-for-4 shooting and had three rebounds with one turnover in 21 minutes against the Red Raiders.

​"The good thing is T.J. has been medically cleared, so he can't do any additional damage," Drew said. "He's got the strongest hand in the country right now with his plate in it. It's just a matter of him getting reps and getting used to playing again.

Unfortunately, he didn't have much time to do any of that before the Tech game. But, he'll get better and better, hopefully sooner rather than later, and get back to the T.J. we're used to."

​After winning the NIT championship last season under first-year head coach Jamie Dixon, the Horned Frogs have blazed a path similar to Baylor's last two teams coming off NIT title game appearances. The Bears made it to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight in 2010 after losing in the NIT finals the year before, then made the Sweet 16 after winning the 2013 NIT championship.

​"It's like going to a Final Four, it's just a different tournament," Drew said. "You get confidence, you play a lot longer, the young guys get a lot better because they play an additional month. So, it's normally a springboard. That's why people who do well in the NIT, especially if they return a lot of players, they're very good the following year."

​TCU returned all five starters from a 24-15 team and was one of just three remaining undefeated Division I teams before Saturday's 90-89 loss to 12th-ranked Oklahoma in Fort Worth.

​Senior Kenrich Williams, a Waco native who played at University High School, leads five double-figure scorers for the Horned Frogs with 15.1 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. One of the most efficient offenses in the country, averaging 87.4 points and shooting 51.6 percent, TCU has a balanced attack with 6-11 senior Vladimir Brodziansky (13.4 ppg), 6-8 junior JD Miller (10.9) and sophomores Desmond Bane (12.8) and Jaylen Fisher (11.0).

​"Kenrich is an elite rebounder. They rebound the ball well," junior guard King McClure said. "They have four or five people who average like four rebounds a game. We definitely have to keep them off the glass, and we have to defend. We've got to play as a team, and I think we'll be fine."

​Baylor also features five double-figure scorers, led by senior point guard Manu Lecomte with 17.5 points and 3.2 assists per game. Other than redshirt freshman guard Tyson Jolly, who's played limited minutes since returning from a medical issue, the rest of the Bears' nine-man rotation average at least 5.2 points per game.

​"The positive is everyone realized we have to play a lot better," Drew said. "The sense of urgency will be better this game. It helps having T.J., and if Jo's able to go. T.J. will be better than he was the last game and will continue to get better. . . . It's one thing to be healthy come game time, but you've got to be healthy come practice time, because that's how you get better for the game."

​Tuesday's game will be televised by ESPNews, with Doug Sherman and Reid Gettys calling the action.


STORY LINES

• Baylor hosts No. 16 TCU at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Ferrell Center on ESPNEWS and WatchESPN.
• Baylor is 9-1 in Big 12 home openers since 2008 and 13-8 all-time in Big 12 home openers.
• Tuesday is the 182nd series meeting - BU leads 100-81, including a 54-38 mark in Waco.
• Baylor has won all 11 Big 12 meetings by at least 7 points and by an average of 18.1 points per game.
• Baylor swept the series for a 5th straight season in 2017. BU overcame a 28-26 halftime deficit to win 62-53 in Fort Worth on Jan. 21 and cruised to a 70-52 win in Waco on Feb. 11.
• Baylor has limited TCU to 71 or fewer points in all 11 meetings as Big 12 opponents, including 8 games below 60 points. The Bears have held TCU to 57.3 points per game in Big 12 matchups.
• BU averages 75.5 points per game against TCU in 11 meetings as Big 12 rivals.
• Baylor has defeated 18 ranked teams over the last 3+ seasons (18-20 vs. ranked opponents).
• BU is 10-3 overall with its only losses vs. current top-18 teams Wichita State, Xavier and Texas Tech.
• BU reached double-digit non-conference wins for the 11th time in the last 12 seasons (all except 2012-13).
• Baylor is 95-78 in Big 12 play since 2008 after going 45-131 in the league's first 11 seasons.
• Baylor ranks top-40 nationally in rebounding margin (26th; +8.0), field goal percentage (17th; .507), assists per game (31st; 17.5), scoring margin (37th; +14.1) and assist-to-turnover ratio (35th; 1.37).
• BU is top-40 nationally in both effective field goal pct. (23rd; 56.7) and EFG% defense (37th; 46.1).
• Baylor dropped Friday's opener at No. 22 Texas Tech 77-53. The Bears were out-rebounded by 18, the most since Nov. 30, 2008, and BU recorded a Drew-era low 3 assists.
Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. missed Friday's game with a foot sprain, snapping a streak of 47 straight starts.
• Lual-Acuil ranks 2nd in the Big 12 in rebounding (10.0) and double-doubles (6) and 4th in blocks (1.8).
Manu Lecomte is 3rd in the Big 12 in scoring (17.5) and 2nd in free throw pct. (.915) and 3FGM/game (3.6).
Jake Lindsey is 2nd in the Big 12 and 30th nationally with a 2.9 assist-to-turnover ratio (46a/16to).
Nuni Omot is averaging 16.8 points on 62% shooting and 3.7 assists per game over his last 6 games.
Tristan Clark is shooting 70% (26-of-37) over his last 6 games, raising his season FG% from .500 to .595.
King McClure has scored in double-figures in a career-best tying 3 straight games. He's scored 10+ in 9 of 13 games this season after doing so in 13 of 66 games over his previous two seasons at Baylor.
Mark Vital is averaging 11.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists over his last 3 games. He's scored in double-figures in a career-best 3 straight games after doing so in 2 of his first 9 games of the season.
• BU is listed first among teams receiving votes (26th) in this week's AP Top 25, snapping the school-record streak at 26 consecutive AP polls ranked.
• Baylor has been ranked for 211 of 470 games under Scott Drew (ranked for just 2 games prior to Drew).
• Baylor is 52-10 against in-state opponents since the start of the 2011-12 season.
• Drew is coaching his 471st game at Baylor (287-183). His .611 winning percentage is best in BU history among coaches with 40+ games, and his teams have a .689 winning percentage since 2007-08.
• Baylor has 8 games on its 2017-18 schedule against teams currently ranked in the AP Top 10.

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