Happy Saturday, Cougar Nation.
Well, as mentioned earlier in the week, tonight marks our best chance to get a marquee win against a solid, solid non-conference foe.
You can read about the run-and-gun style about Baylor elsewhere, but in case you haven't seen the greatness, here's a picture of star guard Curtis Jerrells in action:
What a pansy.
So, nation, when you're playing a really, really, REALLY solid run-and-gun outfit like Baylor there is ONE basic recipe for success:
MAKE THEM PLAY A HALF-COURT GAME.
And here's what T-Bone has been preaching to our boys all week:
1) Don't turn the ball over.
2) Make shots (especially from long range--see next point)
3) Contest their defensive boards (and that means minimizing long rebounds which always lead to breaks and easy baskets)
4) Make them play man to man defense by making perimeter shots (both of which minimizes breaks) and then POUND them inside.
Last year, Baylor blitzed us early--getting up as much as 16-18 points until we started to take the ball strong to the rack. Then, after we did that (and Cowgill was GREAT that game in case you don't remember), then Taylor hit a bunch of big shots from 3 to seal the comeback and then it.
This year, Taylor is going to have to reverse his fortunes from the Legends classic and play much like he did last year against Baylor and the Zags (e.g. MONEY), Thompson is going to have to be efficient, and Baynes, Harmeling, and Casto MUST contest our offensive glass to slow them down.
All in all, this is a game that has the feel for me as one that could really get out of hand if we fail in any of those areas. But, the comfort of home tends to play well with youth. I also think that the seniors understanding of these guys coupled with a loud crowd is worth about 8 points in our favor.
So, given the fact that I am predicting us to get blown out on Tuesday, I am going with the HUGE homer pick here and giving us the nod we so dearly need to put us in position to make the Dance later on.
Cougs 61 Baylor 57
Make it loud in the house tonight, will you?