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Bricking From the Corner: Baylor 52, Texas 45

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NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

0.84 points per possession. Texas held Baylor to 0.84 points per possession and lost. It’s hard to state just how difficult it is to be that good defensively and lose. Usually, if you’re that good defensively then you’re probably at least passable offensively and can win that game. Kansas is allowing 0.85 points per possession this season and is 20-3; even if their offense was mediocre they would still probably be 16-7. On a completely unrelated note, Texas is 14-10 and staring at a 3-seed in the NIT. No idea why I just mentioned that, it was just a random note. I think.

The Good

Defense

Baylor has the 22nd most efficient offense in D-I and Texas has held them in check both times they have faced the Bears. They average 112.9 points per 100 possessions on the season and against Texas they’re averaging just over 90 points per 100 possessions. The defense is doing its job in this matchup; Fran Fraschilla kept saying “the door is open” for Texas over and over like a malfunctioning announcer droid, and it was true because the defense was bothering Baylor constantly.

Rebounding

Texas was even with Baylor on the boards, which is a win for Texas. Baylor rebounded 28.6% of their misses, they usually snag nearly 37%. Why?

Jericho Sims

Sims rebounded - heh heh, I made a pun; it was nearly as good as Fraschillabot’s “Mark is so Vital” remark which he finished with “pun intended” just in case one of you had a recent lobotomy and missed it - with a good game on the glass. He only scored 9 points but ended the game as the only Texas player with an O-Rating over 100 on the night. It’s almost as if he should be fed the ball more or something. I’m sure there’s no way this will be mentioned later on.

Royce Hamm Jr

Hamm has largely accepted his role as the “energy, rebounds, and dunks” guy, and the team is better for it. 6 points, 7 rebounds, and a block in 17 minutes. That’s a solid contribution for the 8th or 9th guy in the rotation when the team is injured and the 10th or 11th guy in the rotation when they’re healthy.

Brock Cunningham

He’s averaging 40 blocks per 40 minutes he plays against Baylor. That’s math, you can’t argue with it.

It’s Complicated

Writing These Recaps Instead of Watching Thor:Ragnarok

I gave up Comedy Hemsworth to watch this stupid game, and the feelings that inspires are complicated. For one, I like New Doug a lot; he’s an underrated comedic actor. He was great in the Ghostbusters that everybody suddenly pretends never happened and he’s great as Thor once they stopped taking the character so seriously. He wasn’t very good in The Hunger Games or Blackhat though, or maybe that was one of his brothers. I sometimes get them confused. (Only kidding, I know everything about The Hunger Games. RIP Cinna.)

The Bad

Layups

I do not understand why Texas guards are terrified of layups. They beat the PnR repeatedly in this game and when they got into the paint they would retreat or go for an off-balance runner or anything other than finishing at the rim. It feels like forever since a Texas guard dunked over somebody at the rim in the half-court; I never thought I would say this....but I miss Snoop? I get that Baylor would collapse around the driving guard, but you know what that means? Somebody’s fucking open somewhere, and probably not directly behind you, which is where Texas guards seemed to constantly look. Sometimes you have to take it to the hole, man.

Passing Up Open Threes

There’s such a thing as passing too much, and Texas did it multiple times tonight. The defense would collapse or there would be an offensive rebound that left a perimeter shooter open, and instead of taking the wide-open shot the ball would get passed to another perimeter shooter, and instead of taking the second wide-open shot the ball would get passed to another perimeter shooter, and instead of taking the third somewhat-less open shot the ball would get passed to another perimeter shooter, who would pause because they’ve now passed the defense back into position and he’s got a man in front of him again. They left at least three wide-open threes on the table in a game where they lost by 7 due to struggling to score. Maybe they would’ve gone in, maybe not, but we’ll never know because they ended up taking a contested two or turning the ball over instead. With Jase Febres out for an extended period, this team needs to take any wide-open threes they get because they don’t have the dude with the quickest release available any more.

Post Entry Passes

Losing Febres hurts in a number of ways, not the least of which is that he was one of the better Sims feeders on the team. Andrew Jones seems wholly unable (or uninterested) to feed the post, Courtney Ramey has a laundry list of issues to sort out and this is among them, and it’s not like they should expect one of the bigs to feed himself. They need to sort this out or things will only get worse going forward.

Free Throws

6-11 is unacceptable in an upset, period. I followed that period with an actual period so that’s like period squared. It means period squared much to the situation.

Texas is now 4-7 in conference play. Anyone projecting 10-8 at this point? Me neither. 9-9 is still a possibility; their next three games are against a Halliburton-less Iowa State team, home against a TCU team Texas Tech just garroted on national TV, and at Kansas State. Texas has to win all three of these games if they want to sniff .500 in conference play. Will they do it? Ehhh....

Tip time on Saturday is 1 PM CT on ESPN2.

BWG’s writing tunes provided by Icicle.