Jackson State (1-10) at (19) Baylor (11-1)
Wednesday, December 31st, 5:00 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Pat Taggart, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Ferrell Center (10,284) -- Waco, Texas. Television: FSN-SW. Home Record: Jackson St. 0-0, Baylor 8-0. Away Record: Jackson St. 0-9, Baylor 1-0. Neutral Record: Jackson St. 1-1, Baylor 2-1. Conference Record: Jackson St. 0-0, Baylor 0-0. Series Record: Baylor leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The 19th-ranked Baylor Bears welcome the lowly Jackson State Tigers to Waco for a non-conference clash.
Jackson State is a huge underdog heading into this contest, as the club has lost its last five outings and owns a dismal 1-10 overall record. The Tigers have yet to play a single home game this season and have been idle since a 70-51 loss to Southeastern Louisiana back on December 20th. All but one of the 10 setbacks have come by double figures, and the squad will begin SWAC play after this tilt.
Baylor, a member of the Big 12 Conference, owns an 11-1 overall record, and it is set to begin league play on January 10th. The Bears extended their current winning streak to five games with a 79-66 decision over Portland State on Monday. Scott Drew has rebuilt the Baylor program from shambles, and he deserves a ton of credit for his efforts over the past five years.
Baylor and Jackson State met for the first time in 2007, and the Bears cruised to a 100-76 victory in that clash.
Jackson State is scoring a modest 65.8 ppg this season on 40.3 percent shooting from the floor, including 22 percent efficiency from three-point range. Defensively, the club is permitting 77.6 ppg on 49.1 percent shooting. Grant Maxey continues to pace the squad in scoring with his 15.0 ppg, and he is ripping down 7.4 rpg as well. Darrion Griffin adds 12.3 ppg to the mix, and Jeremy Caldwelll provides 10.5 ppg. In the 19-point loss to Southeastern Louisiana last time out, Griffin was the only Jackson State player to reach double figures in scoring, as he finished with 15 points to go with nine rebounds. The Tigers connected on a mere 33.9 percent of their field goal attempts, including a poor 1-of-14 showing from three-point range. They were also outrebounded by a 42-32 margin.
Baylor has five double-digit scorers in the fold, and that offensive balance has been key to the team's early success. Curtis Jerrells averages 17.1 ppg, and he is dishing out 6.1 apg. LaceDarius Dunn is netting 16.4 ppg, and Henry Dugat checks in with 13.1 ppg. Kevin Rogers is contributing 11.3 ppg and 7.0 rpg, while Tweety Carter is scoring 10.3 ppg. The efforts of those players have enabled the Bears to generate 81.0 ppg, and they are holding opponents to just 62.8 ppg on 39.0 percent field goal efficiency. Dunn poured in 22 points against Portland State on the strength of a 4-of-5 showing from three-point range. Rogers and Jerrells scored 16 points apiece, while Dugat added 11 points. The Bears connected on 50.9 percent of their field goal attempts and earned a 14-6 edge in points from the foul line.
This game is a total mismatch, and Baylor will have no trouble disposing of Jackson State. Another balanced offensive effort is likely for coach Drew's team.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Baylor 89, Jackson State 53
12/31 10:24:45 ET