No. 12 Kansas at No. 21 Baylor
▪ WHEN/WHERE: 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas
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▪ TV/RADIO: ESPNU; KCSP (610 AM)
▪ ABOUT KANSAS (11-2, 0-0 Big 12): Just three days after defeating UNLV 76-61 in its non-conference finale, Kansas begins its run for an 11th straight Big 12 title on the road. Last season, the Jayhawks finished 14-4 in the Big 12, winning the conference outright by two games. If KU is going to repeat that feat, the Jayhawks will need to win these type of tough road games. Kansas is attempting to win its 24th straight Big 12 opener. The streak dates back to the 1991-92 season, with 13 of those victories coming on the road. The last time KU lost a conference opener: at Oklahoma on Jan. 8, 1991. Despite employing a smallish frontcourt by Kansas standards, the Jayhawks have outrebounded 10 of 13 opponents this season with five of those by double figures. The Jayhawks also lead the Big 12 in three-point shooting at 39.2 percent. Junior forward Jamari Traylor started Kansas’ final two non-conference games and will likely start again at Baylor. Kansas is 19-4 against Baylor since the inception of the Big 12.
▪ ABOUT BAYLOR (11-2, 0-1 Big 12): After starting 11-1, the Bears opened the Big 12 season with a 73-63 loss at No. 16 Oklahoma, a loss that looked even better after the Sooners beat No. 10 Texas 70-49 on Monday. Baylor, which finished 26-12 last season and advanced to the Sweet 16, have re-tooled under coach Scott Drew after losing big men Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin and sharpshooter Brady Heslip. The Bears are winning with an efficient and balanced offense and a defense that ranks 43rd in the country in defensive efficiency. Junior Taurean Prince is averaging 12 points per game and shooting 54 percent from three while coming off the bench. Junior big man Rico Gathers, who is listed at 6 feet 8 and 280 pounds, ranks second in the country in offensive rebounding percentage. Senior point guard Kenny Chery should be an intriguing matchup against Kansas’ Frank Mason. Baylor is 2-3 in its last five games against Kansas, defeating the Jayhawks in the 2012 Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City and in the 2013 Big 12 finale in Waco.
| Rustin Dodd, email@example.com