In late December the Baylor Bears were a Top 10 basketball program and the Oklahoma Sooners were about to begin a brutal three-game stretch to begin conference play that included games at Texas and at Baylor as well as a home game against Texas A&M. In that game at Baylor the Sooners were shot down 74-61 but there's plenty of reason to believe things could be much different the second time around.
|Baylor Off vs Oklahoma Def|
72.3 Points For
66.7 Points Against
|Oklahoma Off vs Baylor Def|
67.8 Points For
61.4 Points Against
You won't find Baylor among the Top 10 teams in the country anymore. In fact, you won't even find them among the Top 25. Sitting at 14-6, the Bears are only three games better than Oklahoma and with the Sooners riding a three-game winning streak they seem to have at least temporarily righted the ship. Hosting Baylor at home will be a major test for surging Sooners.
The Bears are shooting 48% from the floor in conference play (3rd best) and lead the conference in three-point shooting at 43%. LaceDarius Dunn leads the Bears, and the Big 12, in scoring with 21.1 points per game. He also leads the Big 12 in three-point shooting at 42%. Even in their three conference losses those percentages have pretty much held true. So how can the Sooners change the outcome this time around?
The Sooners will have Cade Davis available this time around. When OU played at Baylor last month he wasn't available due to a death in his family and there's no doubt his 13 points and 5 rebounds were missed. During the current three-game winning streak Oklahoma has shown a renewed passion in defending the perimeter. At times Capel has gone with a smaller lineup to get to the perimeter quicker and take advantage of team speed.
In the three conference losses Baylor's opponents have shot an average of 50% from the floor. This is where Oklahoma can either go south or have an advantage that will change the tide. At Iowa State last Saturday night Oklahoma started hot and ended hot. Led by Steven Pledger the Sooners shot 40% from three-point range and 46% from the floor.
The best thing they got from that performance (outside of the win) was confidence. Confidence that they can make the clutch shot with the game on the line. Confidence they they can compete on the road. Going into Waco on January 11th the Sooners were hoping they could win. Riding the current three-game winning streak they've built their confidence where they know they can win. That could be all the difference they need this time around.