Baylor coach Scott Drew defends defense
KU vs. Baylor
Waco, Texas ? Through 15 minutes, Baylor’s zone forced seven turnovers and appeared to be disrupting Kansas University’s basketball offense.
So what changed in the Bears’ 68-54 loss to the Jayhawks on Wednesday night?
“Them having a great coaching staff over there, they adjusted to it,” Baylor point guard Pierre Jackson said. “And we didn’t answer back.”
BU led, 27-19, with 4:42 left in the first half before KU went on a 37-7 run over the next 12 minutes.
During that stretch, the Jayhawks scored on 15 of their next 20 possessions.
Baylor coach Scott Drew, who often has been criticized for playing a zone too often with his long and athletic players, said his team’s zone defense wasn’t to blame against KU.
“I know first game people said we should have played more man or whatever. That’s why I love stats,” Drew said. “I think we were better in the zone in both halves. Up at Kansas, we were better in the zone. Here, we were better in the zone, but when we got down double digits, we had to speed up the game, and we went man.
“I thought a lot of their buckets came in transition and in some turnover situations. But defensively, especially for the first 17 minutes of the first half, our zone was great.”
A study of the film showed none of BU’s defenses was particularly effective in that 12-minute stretch.
During KU’s 37-7 run, BU played nine possessions of its morphing 2-3 zone. On those nine possessions, KU scored 15 points, for 1.6 points per possession.
To compare, KU averaged 1.1 points per possession coming into the game.
“I thought KU moved the ball better,” Drew said. “We didn’t rotate properly at the end of the half on a couple of situations that we did earlier on. That’s the toughest thing is when you do something right once and then you don’t do it right the next time.”
During the run, KU also scored 11 points on five transition possessions (2.2 points per possession) and 10 points on six man-to-man possessions (1.7 points per possession). Withey also put in one free throw after a flagrant foul was called on BU’s Quincy Miller.
“I thought for 13 minutes in the second half, we didn’t play or compete like we’ve done all year, and that was disappointing,” Drew said. “Even when we played up at KU and they beat us, at least we competed.”
Withey was KU’s best offensive player, posting a career-high 25 points. He had 10 points and 10 rebounds — nine offensive — during KU’s 92-74 victory over Baylor on Jan. 16.
“I don’t know why Withey likes playing against us so much,” Drew said, “but he looks like an All-American every time he does.”