|Baylor (21-10, 9-9) vs. TCU (9-21, 0-18)
March 12, 2014 | 8:30 p.m. CT
Kansas City, Mo. | Sprint Center (18,972)
TV: Big 12 Network
Web Video: WatchESPN
Radio: ESPN Central Texas
| Baylor Radio | Gametracker | Tickets | BU Notes | TCU Notes
Wednesday is the 175th all-time series meeting between Baylor and TCU, but the first time the teams have met in a conference tournament since the 1992 Southwest Conference Tournament.
Baylor is 7-1 since Kenny Chery returned to the starting lineup after a turf toe injury.
Baylor is 4-0 against TCU since the Horned Frogs joined the Big 12, winning by an average of 24 points per game.
Baylor's 33-point win at TCU on Feb. 12 was the largest margin-of-victory in any Big 12 game this season.
Baylor is looking to beat a Big 12 team three times in a season for the second time ever (3-0 vs. Texas in 2010).
Baylor made its last 17 free throws in Saturday's 2-point win at K-State, including 10 by Chery in the final 3 minutes.
Baylor has 8 top-50 RPI wins (Iowa State, Kentucky, Colorado, K-State , Oklahoma State , Dayton). Only three teams nationally have more top-50 RPI wins this season (Kansas-12, Arizona-10, Iowa State-9).
Eight of Baylor's 10 losses are to teams ranked in the RPI top 35. BU is 16-2 against teams with RPIs above 35.
Cory Jefferson has double-doubles in 4 of his last 7 games, averaging 17.1 ppg and 9.1 rpg in that span.
Rico Gathers has 3 of his 7 career double-doubles against TCU, averaging 10.8 ppg and 10.3 rpg in 4 games vs. TCU.
Head coach Scott Drew is seeking his 200th win at Baylor, which would place him one back of the school record.
Baylor is 11-16 all-time in the Big 12 Championship, including a 7-9 mark under Drew and a 6-5 record since 2009.
Baylor has its sixth 20-win season in the last seven years -- BU had only three 20-win seasons prior to the Drew era.
Baylor is 56-3 when leading at the half since 2011-12 -- 13-1 in 2013-14, 17-1 in 2012-13 and 26-1 in 2011-12.
Baylor has overcome halftime deficits to win four times in the last seven games. The Bears won after trailing at the break by 9 vs. K-State, 5 vs. Oklahoma State, 6 at West Virginia and 8 at K-State.
Baylor is 8-3 this season in games decided by 5 points or less or in OT -- BU was 3-8 in those games last year.
Baylor is 26-10 in its last 36 games, with seven of the 10 losses against ranked teams.
Baylor has the nation's best postseason winning percentage over the last five years (15-3; .833).
Eight Baylor players average 15+ minutes per game, and Baylor's bench is averaging 24.7 points per game, while holding opponents to 13.8 bench points per game. BU has been out-scored in bench points only six times this season.
Baylor leads the Big 12 in 3-point percentage (.387) and offensive rebound percentage (.417).
Since the start of the 2007-08 season, Baylor is 165-79 (24 wins per season) and has made five postseason appearances (2008 NCAA, 2009 NIT, 2010 NCAA, 2012 NCAA; 2013 NIT) with six 20-win seasons.
Baylor is 30-25 in March/April games under Drew, including a 27-15 mark over the last six seasons (since 2008-09).
Baylor is 21-4 against in-state opponents since the start of the 2011-12 season.
Cory Jefferson (2nd team-AP, 3rd team-coaches), Isaiah Austin (honorable mention-coaches, All-Defensive-coaches) and Kenny Chery (honorable mention-AP) earned All-Big 12 honors this week.
Baylor has out-shot 23 of 31 opponents this season and has been out-rebounded only seven times in 31 games.
Baylor is 3-0 in overtime games this season and 14-3 in OT games under Drew.
Baylor has 17 more Big 12 wins in the last seven years (62-56) than its first 11 years in the league combined (45-131).
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.
Baylor is coming off a 2013 NIT title, which was the program's first-ever national tournament championship.
The TCU game will be Baylor's 97th consecutive televised contest.
Baylor's win vs. then-No. 3 Kentucky tied its highest AP-ranked win in program history.
Baylor has the Big 12's 2nd-longest active streak with at least one 3-point FG made in 725 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 (90-33) is 4th on Baylor's career wins list and has the highest winning percentage (.732) in BU history.
Head coach Scott Drew is coaching his 348th game at Baylor (199-148). His .573 winning percentage is best in BU history among coaches with four or more seasons, and his teams have a .676 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's game marks the 175th meeting in the series with TCU. Baylor leads the all-time series, 93-81, which dates back to a 37-6 Baylor win in Waco on Dec. 18, 1908.
Baylor has won the four series meetings since TCU joined the Big 12 by an average of 24 points per game.
TCU will tie Rice (175) as Baylor's 3rd-most played rival, trailing only Texas (241) and Texas A&M (205).
Baylor and TCU will meet for the 5th time as part of a conference tournament, but the first time since the 1992 Southwest Conference Tournament. The teams split the first four meetings, with Baylor winning in 1979 and 1990 and TCU winning in 1981 and 1992.
A WIN WOULD ...
Give Baylor 22 wins, the 8th-most in program history.
Be the fourth time in the last six years that Baylor has won at least one game at the Big 12 Championship.
Improve Baylor's record vs. TCU to 5-0 since the Horned Frogs joined the Big 12 and 94-81 in the all-time series.
Be the second time Baylor has defeated a Big 12 opponent three times in a season (3-0 vs. Texas in 2010).
Be Scott Drew's 200th career win as Baylor head coach -- one shy of Bill Henderson's school record.
Make Baylor 27-10 in its last 37 games dating back to 2012-13, with seven of the 10 losses to ranked teams.
HALFTIME ADJUSTMENTS PAYING OFF
Baylor trailed at the half in five of its last seven games (by 9, 5, 6, 15 and 8 points), but the Bears rallied to win four of those five (vs. Kansas State, vs. Oklahoma State, at West Virginia, at Kansas State). The lone loss was a 15-point halftime deficit at Texas, which the Bears cut to 1 in the final minute.
Baylor has won 95% of its games when leading at the half since 2011-12. The Bears are 56-3 when leading through the first 20 minutes in that stretch, including 13-1 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 18-29 in those.
BU has led at halftime in 59 of 106 games over the last three seasons, but Baylor has won 74 of those 106 games.
KEYS TO VICTORY
Baylor is 12-0 when recording more assists than its opponent and 9-10 when posting equal/fewer assists.
BU is 21-5 when holding opponents under 50% shooting and 0-5 when allowing 50% or better.
Baylor is 16-3 when recording more points in the paint than opponents and 5-7 with equal/fewer points in paint.
Baylor is 12-2 when attempting fewer than 20 3-pointers and 9-8 when shooting 20+ treys.
BU is 15-3 when holding opponents under 70 points and 6-7 when allowing 70+ points. Conversely, BU is 17-3 when scoring 70+ points and 4-7 when being held under 70 points.
Baylor is projected to make the NCAA Tournament for the 8th time in program history (4th in last 7 years).
The Bears have the nation's No. 5 strength of schedule and are No. 34 in the latest CBSSports.com RPI rankings.
Baylor has eight wins against RPI top-50 teams, which ranks 4th nationally behind only KU, Iowa State and Arizona.
No team with seven or more top-50 wins has been left out of the NCAA Tournament field in recent history.
Eight of Baylor's 10 losses are to RPI top-35 teams. Others were vs. No. 84 West Virginia and at No. 114 Texas Tech.
Here are the latest bracket projections from several national media outlets:
ESPN.com -- No. 9 Baylor vs. No. 8 Oregon; Buffalo (March 10)
CBSSports.com -- No. 8 Baylor vs. No. 9 Arizona State; Orlando (March 9)
USA Today -- No. 8 Baylor vs. No. 9 Arizona State; Orlando (March 10)
Sports Illustrated -- No. 9 Baylor vs. No. 8 Oregon; Orlando (March 10)
Yahoo! Bracket Big Board -- No. 28 overall, 7 seed (March 9)
Sporting News -- No. 10 seed (March 3)
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Cory Jefferson (1,055 points) and Brady Heslip (1,052 career points) are 23rd and 25th on Baylor's all-time scoring list. Jefferson needs 8 points to pass Arthur Edwards for 22nd, while Heslip needs 11 to pass Edwards.
Jefferson has posted double-doubles in 4 of his last 7 games, averaging 17.1 points and 9.1 rebounds in 33.6 minutes per game. He leads the Big 12 with 11 double-doubles this season, and his 22 career double-doubles rank 7th in BU history. With one more, Jefferson will tie for 8th on Baylor's single-season double-doubles list.
Heslip has started the last 12 games after coming off the bench in the first 19 contests. As a starter, Heslip has averaged 12.8 points per game in 33 minutes per game after playing only 22 minutes and averaging 10.7 points per game as a reserve. He's averaging 8.3 3-point attempts per game since becoming a starter.
With 3 made 3-pointers, Heslip would pass Missouri's Marcus Denmon (283) for 8th on the Big 12's career list, and he would move into 4th on Baylor's single-season list, passing his 2011-12 season and Tevis Stukes (100).
Heslip's .464 3-point field goal percentage on the season is currently 9th-best ever by a Big 12 player. His .435 career 3-point percentage is currently 4th-best by a Big 12 player, .002 behind ISU's Tyrus McGee in 3rd place.
Rico Gathers has posted 3 of his 7 career double-doubles against TCU, averaging 10.8 points and 10.3 rebounds in 20.0 minutes per game over four games against the Horned Frogs (all off bench).
Gathers ranks 2nd nationally in offensive rebounds per minute (0.17) and 7th in total rebounds per minute (0.39).
Kenny Chery is averaging 20.3 points per game over his last 4 games, including a career-high 29 Saturday at K-State.
Chery has posted a 2-to-1 or better assist-to-turnover ratio in 20 of his last 23 games started.
Chery has 91 assists and 32 turnovers in his last 17 starts, and he ranks 3rd in the Big 12 with a 2.5 AST-TO ratio.
Chery ranks 5th in Baylor history with 4.97 assists per game.
Isaiah Austin has 96 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 3.10 blocks per game is currently 5th on BU's single-season list.
Austin had 57 blocks in Big 12 play, tying the 2nd-most in conference history.
Austin is 4th program history with 154 career blocks, and he is 7 behind teammate Jefferson (161) for 3rd. Austin also ranks 3rd in BU history with 2.33 career blocks per game.
Royce O'Neale has multiple assists in 25 of 31 games. He ranks 15th in the Big 12 with 2.7 assists per game.
O'Neale is averaging 9.7 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists over his last 7 games, and he's led BU is rebounds in 2 of the last 3 games (12, 11) after not doing so in any of his previous 28 games at Baylor.
Taurean Prince played 250 minutes in Big 12 play this season, nearly 6 times as many as 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 (209) as all of last season (88).
Gary Franklin has scored in double figures 7 times this season after doing so in only two of 64 games in his first two seasons at BU.
Ish Wainright has 18 assists and 5 turnovers in 140 minutes played over the last 16 games. Prior to that, he had 15 assists and 20 turnovers in 148 minutes played over his first 11 collegiate games.
DREW TWO WINS BACK OF SCHOOL RECORD
Scott Drew ranks 2nd in Baylor history with 199 career wins as the Bears' head coach. Drew needs two wins to tie Bill Henderson (201 wins; 1941-43 and 1945-61) for the all-time wins record.
Drew's .573 winning percentage is the best ever by a Baylor coach with four or more years at the helm.
HESLIP'S ROLE INCREASING
Brady Heslip has started the last 12 games and played 30+ minutes 11 times (33 minutes/game).
Heslip came off the bench and averaged 22.4 minutes per game prior to earning those nine starts.
Heslip was Baylor's 2nd-leading scorer in Big 12 play, averaging 11.9 points per game.
Heslip has combined to go 46-of-99 (46%) from 3-point range and is averaging 12.8 points in his 12 starts.
CHERY PICKING HIS SPOTS
Point guard Kenny Chery ranks 3rd in the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.5) and 3rd in assists (5.0/gm).
Chery has posted a 2-to-1 or better assist-to-turnover ratio in 20 of his last 23 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 91 assists and only 32 turnovers in his last 17 starts, good for a 2.84 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Chery made 13 consecutive free throws at Kansas State (3/8), including 10 in the game's final three minutes.
NATION'S FOURTH-MOST RPI-TOP 50 WINS/strong>
Baylor has eight wins against RPI top-50 teams this season, which ranks fourth nationally.
Only Kansas (12), Arizona (10) and Iowa State (9) have more top-50 wins.
Baylor has defeated No. 11 Iowa State, No.19 Kentucky, No. 31 Colorado, No. 39 Dayton, No. 40 Oklahoma State (twice) and No. 47 Kansas State (twice).
BAYLOR'S BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
Baylor is the No. 7 seed for the second time in Big 12 Championship history (2011 lost vs. No. 10 Oklahoma).
Baylor plays TCU for the first time in Big 12 Championship history and the first time in a conference tournament since the 1992 Southwest Conference Tournament. TCU won that game, 62-55, in Dallas.
Baylor and TCU met four times in the Southwest Conference Tournament, splitting the meetings 2-2. All four meetings were in the quarterfinals, with BU winning in 1979 and 1990, and TCU winning in 1981 and 1992.
Baylor is 11-16 all-time in the Big 12 Championship and 7-9 under head coach Scott Drew.
Baylor is 3-5 all-time at Sprint Center and 7-12 in Big 12 Championship games held in Kansas City.
BU is 4-3 in Big 12 Championship play as the higher seed and 7-13 as the lower seed.
Baylor is the only team in the Big 12 era to defeat three No. 1 seeds at the Big 12 Championship (2001, 2009, 2012).
NATION'S BEST POSTSEASON WINNING PERCENTAGE
BU has the nation's best postseason winning percentage over the last five seasons (15-3, .833).
Baylor has won at least three games in each of its last four postseason appearances.
Baylor was the last Texas Division I team (out of 21) playing postseason basketball in each of the last two years.
Baylor is 15-4 in five postseason appearances under Scott Drew -- 6-3 in NCAA Tournament and 9-1 in NIT.
20 WINS = POSTSEASON
With 20 wins this season, Baylor now has nine 20-win seasons in program history, and the Bears have advanced to the postseason in all eight previous 20-win seasons -- six times to NCAA Tournament, twice to NIT.
Head coach Scott Drew has led Baylor to 20-win seasons in six of the last seven years after the Bears had only three 20-win seasons in their first 101 seasons of basketball.
Drew is the only Baylor coach to lead the program to five postseason appearances.
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 AND HESLIP JOIN 1,000 POINT CLUB
Brady Heslip and Cory Jefferson became the 27th and 28th players in program history to reach 1,000 points.
Heslip (1,052 career points) became the 18th player in BU history to reach the milestone in three seasons of play when he achieved the milestone on Feb. 22 at West Virginia.
Jefferson (1,055 career points) achieved the feat on Feb. 26 at Texas.
Ten players in the Drew era have reached the milestone: Aaron Bruce, Curtis Jerrells, Henry Dugat, Kevin Rogers, LaceDarius Dunn, Tweety Carter, Quincy Acy, Pierre Jackson, Heslip and Jefferson.
Heslip has a higher career scoring average (10.0--8.6), but Jefferson averages more points per minute (0.445--0.377).
FREE THROWS THE DIFFERENCE IN FIVE 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 63% and missed 10 free throws (17-of-27) in a 5-point loss at Texas on Feb. 26. The Bears cut a 15-point halftime deficit to 1 in the final minute, but UT scored the final 4 points, including a pair of free throws.
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.
Baylor hit its last 17 free throws in a 2-point win at Kansas State on March 8, including 10 by Kenny Chery in the game's final three minutes.
RECENT SUCCESS IN THE BIG 12
Baylor is 62-56 in Big 12 games since 2007-08 and has tallied six of the seven highest Big 12 win totals in program history during that span -- 12 in 2011-12, 11 in 2009-10, 9 in 2007-08, 2012-13 and 2013-14 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 played 250 minutes in Big 12 play this season after playing only 42 minutes in conference games last year, including 10 DNPs.
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 ranks 2nd nationally in offensive rebounds per minute (0.17), 7th nationally in total rebounds per minute (0.38) and 3rd nationally in offensive rebound percentage (19.1%).
Gathers has played 1,191 career minutes and grabbed 422 rebounds (0.354/minute). By comparison, Dennis Rodman played 1,155 minutes and had 332 rebounds (0.287/minute) in his rookie season with the Detroit Pistons.
DEPTH ON DISPLAY
Baylor has eight players averaging 15+ minutes per game, all of which have played at least 30 of 31 games.
Over the last 10 games, seven Baylor players are averaging at least 16 minutes per game.
BU's bench is averaging 24.7 ppg, which is 10.9 points better than opposing benches are averaging against the Bears (13.8). Baylor has only been out-scored in bench points six times this season.
HESLIP, BAYLOR LEAD BIG 12 IN 3-POINT SHOOTING
Brady Heslip leads the Big 12 in 3-point shooting percentage (.464) and 3-pointers made per game (3.2), providing the majority of Baylor's Big 12-best 38.7% 3-point shooting as a team.
Heslip's 43.5% career 3-point shooting is the best in program history and ranks 4th all-time among Big 12 Conference players, and with 281 career treys, he ranks 2nd on Baylor's all-time list and 9th on the Big 12 list.
Heslip is responsible for 42% of Baylor's 3-pointers made this season (98-of-234). Gary Franklin is 2nd on the team with 40 3-pointers made, followed by Kenny Chery (28), Royce O'Neale (22), Taurean Prince (15), Isaiah Austin (15) and Cory Jefferson (12).
Heslip and Franklin do most of their damage from long range, with 84% of Heslip's career made field goals from downtown (281-of-336) and 76% of Franklin's field goals made coming from 3-point range (92-of-121).
BEST IN TEXAS
Baylor is 21-4 against in-state opponents since the start of the 2011-12 season, including a 4-3 mark this season. The losses in that stretch came at Texas in 2013 and 2014, at Texas Tech in 2014 and home vs. Texas in 2014.
BU is a combined 35-8 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).
Sophomore center Isaiah Austin leads the Big 12 in blocks per game (3.1), which is a significant improvement from his 1.7 blocks per game from a season ago, despite playing 2.3 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 48 total 3-pointers in 31 games after shooting 90 treys in 35 games last year. He's also improved his free throw shooting from .634 to .684.
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.
JEFFERSON AMONG BAYLOR CAREER LEADERS
Cory Jefferson has 22 career double-doubles, ranking 7th on Baylor's all-time list. He leads the Big 12 with 11 double-doubles this season, which is tied for 10th-most in a season in Baylor history.
Jefferson ranks 3rd in program history in career blocks (161), 5th in career blocks per game (1.31), 4th in career wins (90), 2nd in career Big 12 wins (37) and 9th in career field goal percentage (.551).
Jefferson has scored in double figures in 31 of his last 38 games dating back to the 2012-13 season.
WINNING BATTLE OF THE BOARDS
BU has been out-rebounded just seven times in 31 games this season.
The Bears have grabbed 40+ rebounds in 15 games, and with wins in 12 of those 15, BU is now 76-20 in the Drew era when recording 40 or more rebounds in a game.
The Bears' frontcourt trio of Cory Jefferson (8.1), Rico Gathers (6.8) and Isaiah Austin (5.5) combine to average 20.4 rebounds per game, including 7.9 offensive rebounds per game.
Gathers ranks 2nd nationally in offensive rebounds per minute (0.17) and 7th in total rebounds per minute (0.38).
PROTECTING THE PAINT
Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin are both in the top 5 in program history in blocked shots.
Austin is 3rd with 2.33 blocks per game and Jefferson is 5th at 1.31 blocks per game.
Jefferson's 161 blocks are 3rd-most in BU history and 16 behind Quincy Acy (177) in 2nd place, while Austin is 4th with 154 blocks, and is 7 behind Jefferson in 3rd place.
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 165-79 (24 wins per season) and has made five postseason appearances (2008 NCAA, 2009 NIT, 2010 NCAA, 2012 NCAA, 2013 NIT) and posted six 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 nine times (six under Drew) in the program's first 108 seasons.
The Baylor-TCU winner will take on No. 2 seed Oklahoma at 6 p.m. CT Thursday on Big 12 Network.
The winner of the quarterfinal game between Oklahoma and Baylor/TCU will play the winner of No. 3 Texas and No. 6 West Virginia in a semifinal game at 8:30 p.m. Friday on ESPNU.
Saturday's championship game is scheduled for 8 p.m. on ESPN.