I have watched almost every Baylor game this season. And every time i watch them, I come away dissapointed. The thing is, although record wise AND Talent wise Baylor (22-5) may seem like a very good basketball team; a Championship contender at best and a sweet sixteen team at the worst. They are NOT. In ALL of the baylor losses, i come away saying they Should have won that game (the 4 games against Kansas and Missouri and this recent loss to Kansas State. And in many other games i am left wondering how they even managed to win. The thing is, Baylor can be a GREAT basketball team RIGHT NOW. They have arguably the most talented team in all of college ball (Perry Jones, Quincy Miller, Quincy Acy, Pierre Jackson, Cory Jefferson, Deuce Bello all of these players are very good talented players and could very well be future NBA players) however i have noticed major issues in the team that they need to fix before even thinking about contending in the NCAA Tournament. Here they are.
1.Baylor's Zone Defense.
Get out of the Zone! Baylor could become one of the best defensive teams in all of college ball if they just left their TERRIBLE zone defense. In paper it looks good, with a long and athletic frontline, it seems as if a 2/3 zone is a perfect fit. However it is not. The baylor zone is a terrible zone with multiple weaknesses. The High Post is always left open allowing any team with a talented enough big man to dominate. The backside of the zone is weak allowing for easy lob passes from the offense, and the frontcourt (with the exception of Acy and Jefferson) are terrible rebounders. If baylor just gets out of the zone, they have more than enough athleticism and footspeed to be a great man to man team. If they get rid of the bad habits that a zone defense produces.
Everytime i watch a Baylor game, i just hear the commentators start riding Pierre Jackson dick. The thing is, with all the good things that Pierre Jackson does for baylor, he makes up for terrible plays. He often tries to do too much. Pierre Jackson wants to take the most shots. he wants to be the star of the team and thinks that he is the best player on the team. Many times in a game pierre jackson takes unneeded errant shots. He also turns the ball over almost 4 times a game. Don't mistake me, Pierre Jackson is a very good player. however to maximize his potential he needs to come Off the bench! he is a nate robinson right now. A scoring punch and a shot creator however Pierre Jackson thinks otherwise. if baylor wants to win more, they need to control pierre jackson.
Baylor has arguably the most Talented front court in america and they dont know how to use it! They need to go more to Perry Jones in the post and play through him. Jones is a very good passer and has high awareness. Here's a stat on how important Jones is to this baylor team. In all of Baylors losses Jones has averaged only 7.8 Points a game! Well below his usual 14 points per game average. Perry Jones is also averaging only 11 shots a game and Quincy Miller only 9. If Baylor wants to become a true contender it needs to look more into the post and play through it. A huge part of baylor's offense is played through the guards and through Pierre Jackson's shot creating instead of playing through the big 3 of Acy, Miller and Jones.
These are just the 3 biggest weaknesses of baylor as there are many more. However i believe if baylor learns how to fix or improve in these 3 things they could become a really scary team come tournament time.
Pierre Jackson may make some mistakes but he is so valuable to Baylor you just have to live with it. He keeps them in every game and you must know Perry Jones certaintly doesnt. Jackson and Heslip are the reason Baylor is ranked so high.
Great post I've watched every Baylor game I could this year, and only missed like 8 of them. But I've came away with the same exact conclusions you have. Pierre Jackson is a hot dong who want's to be the star of the show. It hurts his team and takes nearly everybody else out of the offense. Jones and Miller are clearly the most talented players on their team and it's not even close are arguable.
Not only that Jones and Miller are both good passers. Why they don't run high post-low post stuff with Jones and Miller boggles my mind. They should be playing more of a 2 man game. I've saw games where Jones looked upstoppable on the low block only to see him rewarded with a shot every 4 minutes. It makes no sense. All of they're players take terrible shots. I don't know how many times Walton and Jackson get in the lane and have an easy dumpoff to Jones who finds nice creases in defenses only to have them throw up a wild layup.
And you are dead on about their zone defense I've said it before. They're defense is bad. The players just look confused out their too while they're playing it. With all that athleticism they should be locking people down on defense. They don't block that many shots for this reason too because they don't have the weakside come over to contest instead they stay in their position in the zone.
I'm starting to really question is Scott Drew can coach at all or if he's just a great recruiter. Because the only reason they have won this many games is because of their pure talent.
I have only seen like 5 Baylor games this year & I have been wondering why they are so bad... I think Jones is going to be a much better pro playing a face up 4 position... He seems to be playing out of position most of the time at Baylor, which prob is a plus for him against any argument that he is not coachable... Miller could prob go late lottery this year, but I would like to see him come back for another year instead as I think he is still rehabbing... I am usually quick to declare the coach the problem, but I guess it will be 2-3 years before we figure out if Drew squandered the talent he has on that team...