Archive for Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Bears focused after blowout

January 24, 2007


— Baylor University's basketball players and coaches have had four days to think about their unsightly 40-point blowout loss at Oklahoma.

"I am sure our guys and staff are all embarrassed by our performance," BU coach Scott Drew said of Saturday's puzzling 91-51 setback to a rebuilding OU team.

"I expect them to rebound and be ready (for tonight's game against Kansas)."

Tip for the conference clash between No. 8 KU (16-3, 3-1 Big 12) and unrated Baylor (11-7, 1-4) is 7 p.m. at Ferrell Center with a live telecast on channels 8 and 15.

"Kansas is so talented we might play well and that might not be enough," Drew said. "But we will be more focused mentally and physically for this game."

Drew, whose squad has some of the league's top guards in Aaron Bruce, Curtis Jerrells and Tweety Carter, was asked what he told his team in the wake of the 40-point drilling.

"I told them to try to learn from it, make sure it never happens again or at least we don't make the same mistakes to make something like that happen again," Drew said.

Baylor, which has a three-point home victory over Texas Tech to its credit - Tech of course beat KU last Saturday -figures to be a dangerous foe tonight in taking the court after such an unsettling defeat.

"They are dangerous, period," KU coach Bill Self said. "I don't know if what happened to them the other night makes them more dangerous, but they have six guys that can go out and score 20 on a given night and they have balance just like us."

Forward Kevin Rogers leads the way with a 12.4 scoring average. He's followed on the scoring charts by Jerrells (12.2), Bruce (11.4), Henry Dugat (11.1) and Carter (9.5).

"They are still young and are going to get better," Self said of an up-and-coming program with three straight top-20 recruiting classes. "They are a player in the recruiting game. I would say that the other schools in our league are aware of that.

"They are getting guys from the Big 12 region and some others from the Louisiana region who are serious difference-makers. They are making a dent in this thing. That is a serious compliment to their staff because of what happened four years ago (serious probation under former coach Dave Bliss).

"To be back to the point where they are competing for the high-quality athletes that they are ... it is only a matter of time before they start getting those guys consistently," Self added.

Drew realizes it will take a top effort tonight to beat KU.

"Kansas is one of those three to four teams that have the best talent in the nation," he said. "They can hurt you in a variety of ways. It's a team when they are on, there is nobody that can beat them."

¢Warmups important: Drew said he knew the Bears were in trouble last Saturday. The team was lethargic after getting off the bus.

"We knew going in we didn't warm up very well," he said. "The first thing you have coaches watch is warmups, if the team is focused and ready to go. It's easy to tell. It's like with a husband and wife, one walks in the door after a long day at work, you can tell immediately if one is in a good mood or bad mood. We were concerned after warmups."

¢ Happy Birthday: KU junior Russell Robinson today will celebrate his 21st birthday in Waco.


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