BAYLOR BEARS (17-12)
at TEXAS LONGHORNS (13-16)
Frank Erwin Special Events Center - Austin, TX
Tip-off: Monday, 9:00 p.m. ET
Line: Baylor -2, Total: 138
After a heart-breaking home loss on Saturday, Baylor tries to get back on track with a matchup versus Texas Monday night in Austin.
The Bears lost on a buzzer beater to Kansas State on Saturday, turning the ball over with one second left in regulation, then allowing Rodney McGruder to hit the three-pointer off the inbounds pass. That gives Baylor seven losses in its past 10 games, including a 1-4 (SU and ATS) mark in the past five contests. Texas hasn't done much winning lately either at 5-11 SU in Big 12 play, but the Longhorns pulled out an unbelievable comeback in their last home game versus Oklahoma on Wednesday when they overcame a 22-point deficit with 7:38 left in regulation and won 92-86 in overtime. Baylor has dominated this series recently, going 7-2 SU (6-3 ATS) in the past nine meetings with Texas including three in a row. The Longhorns lost an 86-79 overtime decision in Waco on Jan. 5.
Which slumping Big 12 school will pull out the victory on Monday night? For the answer, connect to College Basketball Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. StatFox Gary is red-hot with a 7-2 ATS (78%) mark in his past five days to improve to 55% ATS (94-77-4) for college basketball Best Bets this season. StatFox Dave is 4-1 ATS since Thursday, and is now 52% ATS (150-140-5) for the season. StatFox Brian went 4-2 ATS on Saturday/Sunday and is 58.3% ATS (7-5) since Thursday.
Baylor is a quality offensive team with 74.4 PPG on 45.1% FG and 34.5% threes, but the offense has not been great in the past three games with just 67.3 PPG on 39.7% shooting. The Bears have a solid 1.21 Ast/TO ratio for the season, while outrebounding opponents by +2.8 RPG. Their defense isn't stellar (65.6 PPG allowed), but they allow shooting percentages of only 40.7% FG and 31.0% threes, which are helped out by 4.4 blocks per game. PG Pierre Jackson leads the team in scoring (19.0 PPG) and assists (6.4 APG), but despite averages of 20.3 PPG and 6.7 APG in the past three contests, he's made just 33% FG and 7-of-24 threes (29%) during this stretch. He made only 5-of-13 shots against the Longhorns in January, but drained 13-of-15 free throws to finish with 24 points and six assists. Junior PF Cory Jefferson (11.9 PPG, 8.3 RPG) also had a huge day against Texas with 25 points (7-of-10 FG, 11-of-14 FT) and 10 rebounds. Since then, he's tallied just as many single-digit games (8) as double-digit games (8), but he did score 14 points with eight rebounds in Saturday's loss to Kansas State. Freshman C Isaiah Austin (13.6 PPG, 9.0 RPG) posted a double-double versus KSU with 11 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks, and also had a double-double in the Jan. 5 victory over Texas with 18 points and 12 rebounds. The other two starters, SGs Brady Heslip (8.9 PPG) and A.J. Walton (7.2 PPG) combined for just eight points on 2-of-15 shooting against Texas on Jan. 5.
Texas gives up 65.4 PPG, but opponents have really struggled to shoot against the 'Horns with a 38.1% FG clip (12th in nation) and 28.6% threes (9th in D-I). Playing tough defense is vital, because Texas is a poor offensive team, scoring just 65.1 PPG (235th in nation) on 41.4% FG and 28.9% from three-point range. But since PG Myck Kabongo (16.7 PPG, 5.0 APG, 4.5 RPG) was reinstated by the NCAA, the school is averaging a respectable 71.7 PPG. Kabongo had herculean effort in the home win over Oklahoma with 31 points, eight rebounds and six assists, but struggled to a 2-of-7 shooting day in Saturday's loss at Oklahoma State. He scored 12 points and five assists in each of his two meetings with Baylor last season, but made just 5-of-13 shots combined in the two defeats. Sophomore SG Sheldon McClellan (13.3 PPG, 4.2 RPG) is the team's second leading scorer, but head coach Rick Barnes played him just seven minutes on Saturday. McClellan scored 18 points (13-of-13 FT) with eight rebounds against the Sooners though, and had a big performance in Waco on Jan. 5, scoring 21 points (9-of-19 FG) with five rebounds. PF Jonathan Holmes (6.7 PPG, 6.1 RPG) is the team's best post player, but he has not been a big factor since breaking a bone in his hand on Jan. 21. After missing five games, Holmes has averaged just 3.8 PPG since returning to the court, making a mere 7-of-26 shots (27%) during this stretch. Sophomore G Julien Lewis (10.4 PPG) has been bothered by an eye injury, and although he scored 15 points at Oklahoma State on Saturday, he made just 5-of-15 shots (4-of-11 threes). Freshman PF Ioannis Papapetrou (8.5 PPG, 4.3 RPG) has been contributing more consistently on the offensive end with 10.0 PPG on 8-of-19 threes in his past four games. PG Javan Felix (7.8 PPG, 4.7 APG) exploded at Baylor for 26 points, nine assists and just one turnover in his 43 minutes of action on Jan. 5, but since Kabongo has returned to action, Felix is seeing just 17.3 MPG. He did play well on Saturday though, with 13 points (5-of-8 FG) and three assists in 20 minutes.