||Wednesday, Feb. 26 | 8:00 p.m. CT
Austin, Texas; Erwin Center (16,540)
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||Clay Matvick (pxp), Darrin Horn (color),
Kaylee Hartung (reporter)
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||Baylor | Texas
||nr (AP), rv (Coaches)
||Career: 216-158 (12th season)
||BU Record: 196-147 (11th season)
||24 (AP), 23 (Coaches)
||Career: 580-296 (27th season)
||UT Record: 378-162 (16th season)
Baylor is looking for its 5th straight win in Big 12 play, which would tie the Bears' longest single-season conference winning streak in the Big 12 era, equaling the five straight Big 12 wins in January 1998.
Wednesday is the 242nd all-time meeting between Baylor and Texas -- the most-played series for both programs.
BU has won seven of its last 11 games against Texas after snapping a 24-game losing streak in the series in 2009.
Last season, each team won on its home court in the series. BU won 86-79 in overtime on Jan. 5 in Waco, and UT won 79-70 on March 4 in Austin. UT's win snapped Baylor's 17-game winning streak vs. in-state teams.
Texas defeated BU, 74-60, when the teams met in Waco on Jan. 25 this season.
Cory Jefferson needs 4 points to become the 28th member of Baylor's 1,000-point club (10th of Drew era). He'll join teammate Brady Heslip, who reached 1,000 career points in Saturday's win at West Virginia.
Baylor is 54-3 when leading at the half since 2011-12 -- 11-1 in 2013-14, 17-1 in 2012-13 and 26-1 in 2011-12.
BU has led at halftime in 57 of 102 games over the last three seasons, but BU has won 71 of those 102 games.
Baylor has trailed at the half in each of its last three games (by 9, 5 and 6 points) and come back to win all three.
Baylor is 20-3 against in-state opponents since the start of the 2011-12 season, with two of the losses to Texas.
Baylor is 8-80 all-time in road games vs. AP Top 25 teams, but the Bears are 6-15 in the last seven seasons.
Baylor is 7-2 this season in games decided by 5 points or less or in OT -- BU was 3-8 in those games last year.
Baylor is 23-9 in its last 32 games, with six of the nine losses against ranked teams.
Baylor has out-shot 21 of 27 opponents this season and has been out-rebounded only five times in 27 games.
Nine Baylor players average 11+ minutes per game, and Baylor's bench is averaging 26.6 points per game, while holding opponents to 14.4 bench points per game. BU's bench has out-scored opposing benches in 21 of 27 games.
Baylor leads the Big 12 in 3-point percentage (.400), rebounding margin (+8.1) and offensive rebound percentage (.415).
Since the start of the 2007-08 season, Baylor is 162-78 (24 wins per season) and has made five postseason appearances (2008 NCAA, 2009 NIT, 2010 NCAA, 2012 NCAA; 2013 NIT) with five 20-win seasons.
Baylor has 14 more Big 12 wins in the last seven years (59-55) than its first 11 years in the league combined (45-131).
Baylor is 23-34 in Big 12 road games over the last seven seasons after going 8-80 over the league's first 11 years.
Baylor is 24-16 in the month on February since the 2010 season.
This is the 7th straight season Baylor has reached 18 wins -- BU reached 18 wins in consecutive seasons only one time prior to the current stretch (1986-87 and 1987-88).
Head coach Scott Drew is seeking his 197th win at Baylor, which would place him four back of the school record.
Baylor has won multiple games against AP Top 25 teams for a 7th straight season (No. 3 Kentucky & No. 8 OSU).
16 of Baylor's 33 all-time wins versus AP Top 25 teams have come in the last seven seasons. BU is 16-37 against AP ranked teams since 2007-08 after going 17-122 vs. ranked opponents in its first 101 seasons.
Baylor has the nation's best postseason winning percentage over the last five years (15-3; .833).
Baylor is one of only 10 schools nationally to play in the Elite Eight in two of the last four seasons.
Baylor's four NBA Draft picks over the last two years ranks 3rd nationally behind Kentucky and North Carolina.
BU has five 20-win seasons in the last six years. BU had only three 20-win seasons prior to Drew's arrival.
Baylor is coming off a 2013 NIT title, which was the program's first-ever national tournament championship.
The Texas game will be Baylor's 93rd consecutive televised contest.
Baylor's win vs. then-No. 3 Kentucky tied its highest AP-ranked win in program history. BU out-rebounded Kentucky 41-25, after UK entered the game having out-rebounded every opponent by at least five boards.
Baylor has the Big 12's 2nd-longest active streak with at least one 3-point FG made in 721 consecutive games.
Cory Jefferson was named to the Maui Invitational All-Tournament team, which was his third all-tournament honor over the last two seasons. He was previously honored on 2012 Charleston Classic and 2013 NIT teams.
Jefferson (USA) and Heslip (Canada) played for their national teams in the 2013 World University Games.
Jefferson (87-32) is 4th on Baylor's career wins list and has the highest winning percentage (.731) in BU history.
Jefferson is 3rd in program history with 34 career wins in Big 12 Conference play.
Head coach Scott Drew is coaching his 344th game at Baylor (196-147). His .571 winning percentage is best in BU history among coaches with four or more seasons, and his teams have a .675 winning percentage since 2007-08.
Drew is tied with Kansas' Bill Self as the second-longest tenured head coach in the Big 12 Conference. Drew, who is in his 11th season at Baylor in 2013-14, is second only to Texas' Rick Barnes (16th season at UT).
Wednesday is the 242nd all-time meeting between Baylor and Texas, the most-played rivalry for both schools.
Baylor has won seven of the last 11 games in the series after snapping a 24-game series losing streak in 2009.
Baylor has won two of its last four games in Austin after snapping a string of with losses in 25 of 26 games played on UT's home court from 1984 through 2009.
BU is 1-8 in road games against ranked Texas teams, with the lone win in 2010 against No. 3 UT.
A WIN WOULD...
Improve Baylor's all-time record against Texas to 83-159, including a 29-86 mark in games played in Austin.
Make Baylor 21-3 against in-state opponents since the start of the 2011-12 season.
Be Baylor's 3rd win in Austin in the last five years after snapping a string with losses in 25 of 26 games on Texas' home court dating from 1984 through 2009.
Give Baylor a 3rd straight season with 19 or more wins and mark the 6th time in the last seven years the Bears have reached 19 wins. Prior to that stretch, BU had never gone consecutive seasons with 19+ wins.
Be Scott Drew's 197th career win as Baylor head coach -- four shy of Bill Henderson's school record.
Improve Baylor's record to 36-51 in the month of February in the Drew era, including a 25-16 record since 2010.
Make Baylor 24-9 in its last 33 games dating back to 2012-13, with six of the nine losses to ranked teams.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Cory Jefferson (996 career points) needs 4 points to become Baylor's 28th 1,000-point scorer (10th of Drew era). He'll join teammate Brady Heslip (1,005 points), who reached the milestone in Saturday's win at WVU.
Jefferson has posted double-doubles in each of his last three games, averaging 20.3 points and 12.0 rebounds. He is tied for the Big 12 lead with 10 double-doubles this season, and his 21 career rank 7th in BU history. Jefferson's 10 double-doubles are one shy of tying Isaiah Austin and Brian Skinner for 10th-most at BU in a single-season.
Heslip has started the last 8 games after coming off the bench in the first 19 contests. As a starter, Heslip has averaged 13.3 points per game in 34 minutes per game after playing only 22 minutes and averaging 10.7 points per game as a reserve. He's also hit at least four 3-pointers in six of the eight starts.
Heslip has made 84 3-pointers this season (9th on BU single-season list), and he has three of the top-10 single-season 3-pointers made totals in BU history (4th, 100 in 11-12; 10th, 83 in 12-13). He's three back of Kenny Taylor (87) in 8th, four back of Pierre Jackson (88) in 7th and five back of LaceDarius Dunn (89) in 6th.
With one 3-pointer made, Heslip will pass Aundre Branch (267) for 3rd on Baylor's career list.
Kenny Chery has posted a 2-to-1 or better assist-to-turnover ratio in 18 of his last 19 games started.
Chery has 72 assists and 23 turnovers in his last 13 starts, and he ranks 4th in the Big 12 with a 2.5 AST-TO ratio.
Chery ranks 5th in Baylor history with 5.00 assists per game, and he can move up to 4th with 10 assists vs. Texas.
Isaiah Austin attempted only seven 3-pointers in this season's first 16 games, but he's 13-of-34 (38%) from 3-point range in his last 11 games, including a 4-for-8 performance at Kansas.
Austin has 87 blocks this season, the 4th-most in BU history. He trails only Brian Skinner (97 in 96-97; 98 in 97-98) and Ekpe Udoh (133 in 09-10). Austin's 3.22 blocks per game is currently 5th on BU's single-season list.
Austin is tied for 4th program history with 145 career blocks, and he ranks 3rd with 2.34 career blocks per game.
Royce O'Neale has multiple assists in 22 of 27 games. He ranks 13th in the Big 12 with 2.9 assists per game.
O'Neale made all 8 shots (including 4 treys), had 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 0 turnovers in Saturday's win at WVU.
Taurean Prince has played 216 minutes in Big 12 play this season, more than five times his 42 minutes of action in league play as a freshman last year, including 10 games DNPs (coaches decision).
Prince has already scored more than twice as many points this season (199) as all of last season (88).
Gary Franklin has scored in double figures seven times this season after doing so in only two of 64 games in his first two seasons at BU. He has hit 38% of his 3-pointers over the last 54 games (66-of-173) after beginning his BU career shooting 30% from 3-point range in his first 37 games (25-of-82).
Rico Gathers has scored in double figures in eight of his last 18 games after scoring in double figures just five times in his first 47 career games.
Gathers leads the nation in offensive rebounds per minute (0.18) and ranks 2nd in total rebounds per minute (0.40).
Ish Wainright has 18 assists and 5 turnovers in 134 minutes played over the last 14 games. Prior to that, he had 15 assists and 20 turnovers in 148 minutes played over his first 11 collegiate games.
KEYS TO VICTORY
Baylor is 12-0 when recording more assists than its opponent and 6-9 when posting equal/fewer assists.
BU is 18-4 when holding opponents under 50% shooting and 0-5 when allowing 50% or better.
Baylor is 15-3 when recording more points in the paint than opponents and 3-6 with equal/fewer points in paint.
Baylor is 10-2 when attempting fewer than 20 3-pointers and 8-7 when shooting 20+ treys.
BU is 13-3 when holding opponents under 70 points and 5-6 when allowing 70+ points. Conversely, BU is 14-3 when scoring 70+ points and 4-6 when being held under 70 points.
HALFTIME ADJUSTMENTS PAYING OFF
Baylor trailed at the half in each of its last three games (by 9, 5 and 6 points), but the Bears rallied to win all three.
Baylor has won 95% of its games when leading at the half since 2011-12. The Bears are 54-3 when leading through the first 20 minutes in that stretch, including 11-1 this season, 17-1 in 2012-13 and 26-1 in 2011-12.
BU has won 38% of games in which its been tied or trailing at the half since 2011-12, going 17-28 in those.
BU has led at halftime in 57 of 102 games over the last three seasons, but Baylor has won 71 of those 102 games.
BIG 12 ROAD IMPROVEMENT
In the first 11 seasons of the Big 12 Conference era, Baylor won only 8 conference road games (8-80). Since then, Baylor has won 23 conference road games in the last seven seasons (23-34).
Baylor went 4-4 in Big 12 road games in 2007-08, 1-7 in 2008-09 (lone road win at Kansas State), 4-4 in 2009-10, 2-6 in 2010-11, 6-3 in 2011-12 and 3-6 in 2012-13, and BU is 3-4 in Big 12 road contests this season.
BEST IN TEXAS
Baylor is 20-3 against in-state opponents since the start of the 2011-12 season, including a 3-2 mark this season. The losses in that stretch came at Texas in 2013, at Texas Tech in 2014 and home vs. Texas in 2014.
BU is a combined 34-7 against Lone Star State teams over the last four seasons after going 10-27 vs. in-state teams in Scott Drew's first six seasons at Baylor. (7-1 in 2012-13, 10-0 in 2011-12, 5-3 in 2010-11, 9-1 in 2009-10).
HESLIP'S ROLE INCREASING
Brady Heslip has started the last eight games and played 30+ minutes in all of them (34 minutes/game).
Heslip came off the bench and averaged 22.4 minutes per game prior to earning those seven starts.
The increased playing time has led to a larger role in the offense, as Heslip's shots per game has jumped from 7.2 as a reserve to 9.6 as a starter. He's Baylor's 2nd-leading scorer in Big 12 play, averaging 12.0 points per game.
Heslip has combined to go 32-of-68 from 3-point range and is averaging 13.3 points per game in his eight starts.
CHERY PICKING HIS SPOTS
Point guard Kenny Chery ranks 4th in the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.5) and 4th in assists (5.0/gm).
Chery has posted a 2-to-1 or better assist-to-turnover ratio in 18 of his last 19 games started. He came off the bench twice while recovering from a turf toe injury and was limited to 9 and 11 minutes in those games, recording 0 assists.
He's recorded 72 assists and only 23 turnovers in his last 13 starts.
Kenny Chery posted the 6th triple-double in Baylor history with 20 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in a career-high 44 minutes of the Bears' double-overtime win vs. K-State on Feb. 15.
Chery's was Baylor's first-ever triple-double in a conference game, and his was the 14th in Big 12 history (7th in conference play). He joined Brian Skinner as the only BU players to score 20 points in a triple-double.
Chery joined David Wesley, Skinner (2), Curtis Jerrells and Ekpe Udoh as the only BU players with triple-doubles.
JEFFERSON 4 POINTS FROM JOINING HESLIP IN 1,000-POINT CLUB
Cory Jefferson needs 4 points to become Baylor's 28th all-time 1,000-point scorer. He'll join teammate Brady Heslip, who reached the milestone in Saturday's win at West Virginia.
Heslip (1,005 career points) became the 18th player in BU history to reach the milestone in three seasons of play.
Jefferson will become the 10th player in the Drew era to reach the milestone, joining Aaron Bruce, Curtis Jerrells, Henry Dugat, Kevin Rogers, LaceDarius Dunn, Tweety Carter, Quincy Acy, Pierre Jackson and Heslip.
Heslip has a higher career scoring average (10.0--8.4), but Jefferson averages more points per minute (0.444--0.377).
FREE THROWS MAKE DIFFERENCE IN THREE CLOSE GAMES
BU lost 66-64 against Oklahoma on Jan. 18, and the Bears shot 50% (10-of-20) at the line in that game.
BU fell 66-64 against West Virginia on Jan. 28, and the Bears shot 61% (14-of-23) at the line in that contest. Baylor also committed 17 turnovers vs. WVU and trailed 18-0 in points off turnovers.
Baylor shot 70% (13-of-20) in regulation of its double-overtime win vs. K-State on Feb. 15, including 11-of-13 in the 2nd half, when BU had to rally from a 10-point deficit.
RECENT SUCCESS IN THE BIG 12
Baylor is 59-55 in Big 12 games since 2007-08 and has tallied the five highest Big 12 win totals in program history during that span -- 12 in 2011-12, 11 in 2009-10, 9 in 2007-08, 9 in 2012-13 and 7 in 2010-11.
In the first 11 seasons of the Big 12 Conference, Baylor amassed a 45-131 league record. Prior to Scott Drew's arrival in 2003, Baylor won only 33 Big 12 games in the conference's first seven seasons.
PRINCE EMERGING WITH INCREASED PLAYING TIME
Sophomore forward Taurean Prince has already played 214 minutes in Big 12 play this season after playing only 42 minutes in conference games last year, including 10 DNPs.
Prince has scored 137 points (8.6 ppg) in the last 16 games after scoring 62 (5.6 ppg) in this season's first 11 games.
Prince out-scored K-State on his own, 8-5, in the 2nd OT period on Feb. 1. He made all three shots after being held to 4 points in 9 minutes in regulation, and he sat out the entire 1st OT before playing all 5 minutes in the 2nd overtime.
Sophomore power forward Rico Gathers has been labeled one of the nation's best frontcourt reserves.
Gathers leads the nation in offensive rebounds per minute (0.18), ranks 2nd nationally in total rebounds per minute (0.40) and ranks 2nd nationally in offensive rebound percentage (20.1%).
Gathers has played 1,121 career minutes and grabbed 406 rebounds (0.362/minute). By comparison, Dennis Rodman played 1,155 minutes and had 332 rebounds (0.287/minute) in his rookie season with the Detroit Pistons.
Gathers has scored in double figures in 8 of the last 18 games, surpassing his number of double-figure scoring games from his previous 46 collegiate games (6).
DEPTH ON DISPLAY
Baylor has used a nine-man rotation for the majority of the season, and all nine players average at least 11 minutes.
Over the last 10 games, seven Baylor players are averaging at least 18 minutes per game.
BU's bench is averaging 26.6 ppg, which is 12.2 points better than opposing benches are averaging against the Bears (14.4). Baylor has come out on top in bench points in 21 of 27 games this season.
FRANKLIN AND HESLIP PROVIDING 3-POINT THREAT
Gary Franklin and Brady Heslip rank among Big 12 leaders in 3-point shooting, providing the punch behind Baylor's Big 12-best 40% 3-point shooting as a team.
Heslip leads the league in 3-point field goal percentage (.467) and 3-pointers made per game (3.1).
Heslip's 43.4% career 3-point shooting is the best in program history (min. 200 attempts), and with 267 career treys, he ranks 3rd on Baylor's all-time list. Next up is Tweety Carter in 2nd place at 274.
Franklin ranks 9th in the Big 12 in 3-point FG percentage (.368) and 15th in 3-pointers made per game (1.4).
Franklin has improved his 3-point shooting each season at BU. He shot .333 (18-of-54) from 3-point range in 2011-12, jumped to .358 (34-of-95) last season and is currently at .368 (39-of-106) this year.
Both players do most of their damage from long range, with 83% of Heslip's career made field goals from downtown (267-of-322) and 77% of Franklin's field goals made coming from 3-point range (91-of-118).
DREW FIVE WINS BACK OF SCHOOL RECORD
Scott Drew ranks 2nd in Baylor history with 196 career wins as the Bears' head coach. Drew needs five wins to tie Bill Henderson (201 wins; 1941-43 and 1945-61) for the all-time wins record.
Drew's .571 winning percentage is the best ever by a Baylor coach with four or more years at the helm.
Sophomore center Isaiah Austin leads the Big 12 in blocks per game (3.2), which is a significant improvement from his 1.7 blocks per game from a season ago, despite playing 2.5 fewer minutes per game.
Austin sat out the entire offseason after shoulder surgery, which prevented him from doing upper body workouts.
He's spent more time in the paint as a sophomore, attempting only 41 total 3-pointers in 27 games after shooting 90 treys in 35 games last year. He's also improved his free throw shooting from .634 to .686.
Austin had a career-high 9 blocks vs. K-State on Feb. 1, tying the most ever by a BU player in a conference game.
PROTECTING THE PAINT
Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin are both in the top 5 in program history in blocked shots.
Austin is 3rd with 2.32 blocks per game and Jefferson is 5th at 1.30 blocks per game.
Jefferson's 155 blocks are 3rd-most in BU history and 22 behind Quincy Acy (177) in 2nd place, while Austin is tied for 4th with 145 blocks, and is 10 behind Jefferson in 3rd place.
JEFFERSON AMONG BAYLOR CAREER LEADERS
Cory Jefferson has 21 career double-doubles, ranking 7th on Baylor's all-time list. He is tied for the Big 12 lead with 10 double-doubles this season, which is one shy of cracking Baylor's single-season top 10.
Jefferson ranks 3rd in program history in career blocks (155), 5th in career blocks per game (1.30), 4th in career wins (87), 3rd in career Big 12 wins (34) and 9th in career field goal percentage (.557).
Jefferson has scored in double figures in 28 of his last 34 games dating back to the 2012-13 season.
WINNING BATTLE OF THE BOARDS
BU has been out-rebounded just five times in 27 games this season.
The Bears have grabbed 40+ rebounds in 13 games, and with wins in 11 of those 13, BU is now 75-19 in the Drew era when recording 40 or more rebounds in a game.
The Bears' frontcourt trio of Cory Jefferson (8.3), Rico Gathers (7.2) and Isaiah Austin (5.7) combine to average 21.2 rebounds per game, including 7.9 offensive rebounds per game.
Gathers ranks 1st nationally in offensive rebounds per minute (0.18) and 2nd in total rebounds per minute (0.40).
20 WINS = POSTSEASON
Baylor, which has won 20-plus games eight times in the program's first 107 seasons, is seeking to win 20 games for the sixth time in the last seven seasons. The Bears have advanced to the postseason in all eight 20-win seasons.
Head coach Scott Drew has led Baylor to 20-win seasons in five of the last six years after the Bears had only three 20-win seasons in the program's first 101 seasons.
Drew is the only Baylor coach to amass five 20-win seasons and five postseason appearances.
Baylor has enjoyed unprecedented success over the last six-plus seasons under 11th-year head coach Scott Drew. Since the start of the 2007-08 season, Baylor is 162-78 (24 wins per season) and has made five postseason appearances (2008 NCAA, 2009 NIT, 2010 NCAA, 2012 NCAA, 2013 NIT) and posted five 20-win seasons.
Prior to 2007-08, Baylor won only 135 games in the first 11 seasons of the Big 12 era (12.3 wins per season).
Baylor has made 12 postseason appearances (five under Drew) and won 20+ games just eight times (five under Drew) in the program's first 107 seasons.
Baylor returns home to host Texas Tech at 12:30 p.m. Saturday on Big 12 Network.
The Bears will be looking to even the season series after losing 82-72 in Lubbock on Jan. 15.