If I was writing this article in December or January we would be talking about a team as a favorite to win the NCAA Tournament. Baylor looked like one of the best teams in the country with its combination of Jonathan Motley and Miami transfer point guard Manu Lecomte. The Bears knocked off Xavier, Oregon, VCU, Louisville, and Michigan State all before the calendar flipped to 2017. In 2017, the Bears looked much more beatable as they suffered losses to Kansas State, Texas Tech, and others. I feel like a broken record writing these preview articles because there is a huge second tier of teams, Baylor included, that have huge potential but also could very easily lose in the first round.
Strength: Offensive Rebounding
Baylor is the third best offensive rebounding team in the country and that is a key part of their offense for a team that doesn’t shoot it very well. The Bears look to rebound from last year’s NCAA Tournament where they got killed on the glass by Yale. Baylor gets easy put backs and wide open threes from their rebounding efforts as well as preventing their opponents to get out onto the break.
Weakness: Turnovers and Scott Drew
I could not resist the ability to talk about both of these weaknesses for the Bears. Scott Drew is a very good coach who does a phenomenal job recruiting and developing players but his downside is his in season and in game coaching. If the game is on the line I am not trusting Scott Drew to make adjustments or draw up a game winning play.
Baylor’s strength is their offensive rebounding but it is tough to get rebounds if you are turning the ball over as much as the Bears do. Being an Indiana fan, I understand how much turnovers can kill a team. Baylor does not turn the ball over as much as my beloved Hoosiers but they are 310th in the country in turnover rate. A first round matchup may not be as big as Baylor but they might be as quick and get extra possessions.