Lawrence, KS (SportsNetwork.com) - Big 12 Conference powers collide on Saturday at the Allen Fieldhouse as the 16th-ranked Baylor Bears make the trip to face the eighth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks.
Baylor, for the first time in its last four games, will be attempting to rebound after a loss. The Bears dropped a 74-65 decision to Oklahoma State on Monday, which set the team back to 6-5 against conference competition. The Bears are 4-3 on the road this season.
Kansas was able to come back from its own loss to Oklahoma State nicely on Tuesday with a rout of Texas Tech, 73-51. The Jayhawks improved to 9-2 in the Big 12 with the win, and will get set to face the Bears at Allen Fieldhouse where they are a perfect 12-0 this season.
Kansas has dominated the all-time series against Baylor, heading into Saturday's matchup, leading 22-4. The two teams met earlier this season in Waco, as the Jayhawks muscled their way to a narrow 56-55 road victory.
Baylor went up against a hot Oklahoma State squad on Monday, and wasn't able to keep pace in the second half after owning a one-point lead at halftime. The Cowboys buried 48.1 percent of their field-goal tries in the second period, adding in a 6-of-9 mark from 3-point range to completely overtake the Bears. Taurean Prince netted a team-best 20 points for Baylor in the loss, while Rico Gathers tallied a double-double with 16 points and 16 rebounds. The Bears finished the game shooting 46 percent from the field.
Baylor has built a foundation on strong defensive play and getting help on the offensive end from a number of different outlets. Prince leads the team in scoring with 12.6 ppg, with Kenny Chery (11.6 ppg), Gathers (11.2 ppg) and Royce O'Neale (10.0 ppg) rounding out a group of double-digit scorers for the Bears. Baylor is averaging 70.0 ppg as a unit this season, and is holding opponents to a Big 12-best 59.3 ppg on just 39 percent shooting. Gathers averages a double-double per outing with his team-leading 12.6 rpg mark. Lester Medford is Baylor's leading passer, having dished out 89 assists in his 24 starts.
Kansas absolutely torched Texas Tech on Tuesday behind an all-around effort. The Jayhawks netted 53.1 percent of their shots from the floor, and held the Red Raiders to a mere 33.3 percent shooting in the contest. Kansas also hit on a lofty 11-of-2- from beyond the 3-point arc to help the cause. Wayne Selden Jr. scored 16 points to pave the way for the Jayhawks, while Perry Ellis chipped in with 14 points and nine rebounds, narrowly missing the double-double. Frank Mason III scored 10 points with a team-best eight assists, and both Cliff Alexander and Brannen Greene contributed 10 points of their own.
Kansas has gotten plenty of help from a number of different players this season, but one of main contributors has been Ellis. The big man leads the team in scoring with 12.9 ppg, adding in a team-high 7.0 rpg. Mason (12.5 ppg) and Selden (10.0 ppg) level off a trio of double-digit scorers for the Jayhawks this season, but an offense that averages 72.2 ppg gets much more help from a number of outlets. Ten players for Kansas average double-digit playing minutes this season, including Mason who leads the team and is third in the conference with 4.3 apg. The Jayhawks defensively have been good, but not great, allowing opponents to score 64.2 ppg on 39.7 percent shooting from the floor.