Baylor basketball coach Scott Drew sees one team as overwhelming favorite to win the Big 12 Conference’s regular-season title.
“I think Kansas has obviously shown the last few years ... until somebody can take them down, they are the champs and capable of getting to 13, 14 wins,” Drew said of six-time defending champion KU, which travels to Ferrell Center for today’s 8:30 p.m. tipoff.
“I do feel next year when everyone has the home-and-home (schedule), that will change some things up. With this year, just like every year, it feels like there are a lot of capable teams, but Kansas has definitely been top dog now for a while.”
Eighth-year Bears coach Drew has led BU to just one victory in eight tries versus KU. The Bears stopped the Jayhawks, 71-64, in a first-round 2009 Big 12 tournament game in Oklahoma City.
Last season, the Jayhawks bested the Bears, 81-75, in Allen Fieldhouse. KU’s Marcus Morris scored 22 points off 8-of-11 shooting to lead all of KU’s returning players. Sherron Collins had 28 points, Xavier Henry 12 and Cole Aldrich 10. LaceDarius Dunn scored 27 points off 8-of-14 shooting (5-for-8 from three) for Baylor with nine rebounds, two assists and five turnovers. Quincy Acy had 10 points.
Baylor hit 52.1 percent of its shots, including 10 of 21 threes and 15 of 19 free throws. KU hit just 43.5 percent of its shots, going eight of 21 from three. BU suffered 20 turnovers to KU’s seven. The game was tied 30-30 at half.
Baylor opened 7-0, then lost three of four (to Gonzaga in Dallas and both Washington State and Florida State in Honolulu with win over San Diego in Honolulu). Since then, the Bears have won four of five, with wins over Texas Southern, Morgan State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma to go with Saturday’s loss at Iowa State.
“We had three out of four losses without time to practice to make improvement,” Drew said. “When you are playing back-to-back games in a tournament (in Hawaii), you don’t have much time for correction.”
KU sophomore Travis Releford (ankle sprain) is listed as doubtful for tonight. He likely will be able to play in Saturday’s 3 p.m. home game against Texas. ... KU is 15-2 all-time against Baylor, including a 6-1 mark in Ferrell Center. ... Baylor has won 15 straight home games.