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Baylor wears out OSU in Waco, 76-57



Box score

It seems like every game for OSU turns into a big man Jenga competition for Travis Ford, “which post player can I pull out of the game without disrup…no not that one!” Ford shook things up on Saturday, starting Darrell Williams and Markel Brown for Matt Pilgrim and Ray Penn respectively. Williams thanked him by picking up a foul all of 19 seconds in which means OSU is edging ever closer to that magical, elusive game where they commit foul #1 in under 10 seconds. I can’t wait.

Darrell’s quick-draw antics in the first half were followed by shortly by fouls #2 and #3, Moses picking up a pair, JPO hacking his way to four, and even Roger Franklin coming of the bench for the trifecta. Not to be outdone by Williams, Marshall racked up two more in the first minute of the second half and found himself on the bench until the seven minute mark. Then JPO fouled out with 13 minutes left. People were fouling so furiously and with such vigor at one point I thought “well maybe Baylor’s visitors locker room has a full bar and 80″ flat screen and Shakira and Lady Gaga are performing for the first three people who get there after the game.”

I’m not really one to complain and whine about the referees or that OSU never gets any calls and I’m not going to start now (even though Michael Harrison did have both feet in against Arizona in the Alamo Bowl). But something needs to be done in general about collegiate officiating. There’s too much discrepancy, not enough accountability, and no rhythm for the players, coaches, and fans to get in. Watching college games these days is excruciating because they offer no flow, I feel like I’m watching somebody blow a tire and have to change it every two miles. I don’t know what can be done or who’s going to do it (and this probably deserves its own column in the upcoming weeks) but somebody needs to step up and own this issue.

Whew, OK, didn’t know we were going there so early.

Baylor is essentially a souped up version of OSU, you know, if Travis Ford handed out $100 bills to recruits and we kept shotguns in the equipment closet. Seriously though they’re a bad matchup for this team because they love to run, slash, trap on defense, and they have one guy who bombs away from the three-point line. All the things the Cowboys like to do, unfortunately Baylor is just a lot better at them.

OSU tried to get out in front early as Williams hit his first three shots, an amalgamation of jumping runners, running jumpers, and high-arcing bank shots. Then the fouls started pouring in and Ford had to go to Pilgrim about an eternity earlier than he probably wanted to. Still OSU stayed out in front only allowing the game to be competitive by sending Baylor to the free throw line over and over and over and over again. After Perry Jones hit a jumper at the 19:49 mark, Baylor didn’t net another field goal until 12:19, but that’s when LaceDarius got hot.

Say what you want about the guy (and I have), he loves burying huge shots in big games. He has absolutely no conscience, doesn’t seem to care about anything but having massive games, and backs down from no one. I’m not sure that’s a good formula for going deep in the tournament but against OSU? All day.

The offense never got back on track after LaceDarius started going off. Foul trouble coupled with poor three-point shooting (1-8) led to a 36-27 deficit at the half. And it wouldn’t get any prettier after that.

Like I said earlier, Moses picked up his 3rd and 4th early so OSU was basically running Page, Sidorakis, Brown, Pilgrim, and some combination of Williams, Shaw, Dowell, and Olukemi out for all 20 minutes in the second half. No offense to those guys but that’s not going to get it done on the road in the Big 12.

They kept hanging around though, mostly because, as reader KurtisHW pointed out, Baylor might be the most undisciplined basketball team and/or athletic organization in the United States. OSU keeps teams in games by sending them to the line, Baylor keeps teams in games because they have the self-governance of a 4-year old. I’d be out of my mind if I was a Baylor fan and had to watch a severely talented team like that underachieve because of stupid mistakes.

Quincy Acy finally put OSU out of its misery at the three-minute mark with a pair of jumpers to go up 18. OSU might be able to come back down 6 at home against Iowa State with a minute left, but down 18 in Waco with three minutes left is not happening. One problem for OSU is that they aren’t good at coming from behind. They’re really built to protect a lead and control the game, not win a shootout. Especially against Baylor.

The rest of my notes:

  • Somebody tweeted me asking if Brown and Williams were starting because Ford wanted to mix things up or because  they were involved in the lingering assault charges that might be getting swept back out from under the rug. I said to mix things up because I don’t really see Ford preemptively doing something like that. I just think Brown was his only hope of remotely stopping Dunn and with the way Pilgrim played against Iowa State he could have started himself and gotten more production. Then again Penn did only play six minutes in a blowout so who knows…
  • About four minutes in I wrote “good grief, we have NOBODY that can guard Perry Jones” — he didn’t exactly torch OSU, but OSU didn’t exactly shut him down either.
  • I feel like Darrell Williams can barely dunk
  • In the pregamer I wrote that Baylor only has one true post player who plays more than 13 minutes a game. Maybe Scott Drew was on the blog because he started 6’10” J’mison Morgan who’s averaging 12 minutes a game. Their big guys are different than OSU’s though. Theirs are long and athletic and don’t do a ton by the rim except jump and run. OSU’s get boards, have moves, and bang around. Maybe that’s why they all foul out of every game.
  • How many times are we going to hear “Moses might have to go to the bench for the rest of the half” BEFORE the 16-minute 1st half timeout this year?
  • At one point Darrell Williams was on pace to foul out at the 14-minute mark. Not like a “he picked up his first one early” pace but a “he’s three fouls deep” pace.
  • It doesn’t seem like JPO has a left hand. He goes right every time he dribbles and if he gets around the rim on either side he puts it up with his right hand.
  • Perry Jones is…good, but only because his body is better than everybody else’s. He’s so raw and athletic but not the kind of guy who makes you say “yes, that guy’s going in the top three of the NBA draft!” He didn’t do anything that really stood out so either he’s a team guy who just blends in with the flow of the offense or he’s not really that great. Dave Armstrong said he has the look of “an absolute superstar.” I think that might be a little much.
  • Why does Pilgrim think he’s Shaun Livingston bringing the ball up the floor?
  • Speaking of Pilgrim, he kind of made me eat my words from the last three games. He hustled, played hard defense, and stepped up offensively. I still don’t really think he thinks about what he’s doing though. The way he runs after people and fouls makes me think he has absolutely no control at all over his himself. He seems to play with the emotion of a high school Freshman.
  • How bad is AJ Walton? I wonder if Baylor fans ever chant “come-back-Twe-ty!” or “where-is-Jer-rels?”
  • Darrell Williams is cash from the elbow at the free throw line, either side, it doesn’t matter, he’s automatic.
  • How big does the Iowa State win look right now?
  • LaceDarius had a bad turnover at one point and picked up a reaction foul. Dave Armstrong said, “wow, he really reacted poorly there” — noooo, not Lace!
  • I’ve written “Markel is a great passer” in my notes for the last four games.
  • Things you don’t want to hear if you’re a Baylor fan: “AJ Walton is carrying a 1-1 assist to turnover ratio”
  • Scott Drew has a saying, “dogs don’t bark at parked cars.” I don’t know what that means but do they bark at cars with $20k in the trunk?
  • Ford and Drew’s handshake lasted like .000003 seconds
  • The Baylor basketball scandal has its own Wikipedia page and it is 3x longer than the actual Baylor basketball Wikipedia page. That’s funny.
  • I don’t know what it is but I never have confidence JPO’s threes are going on. With somebody like Keiton or Lace or even Pullen I think “that’s automatic” but with JPO I always kind of wince even when it goes in, I wonder why?
  • Markel Brown’s jumper from just outside the lane when he went up and switched hands to bank it in left-handed was really impressive. That’s a move that seems innate to people who were just born to play basketball. It’s the kind of thing you see a Kobe or a Durant do. I’m not comparing him to those guys, just saying he’s a pure basketball player and will develop into one of OSU’s all-timers.
  • Baylor was in the one and one for 24:09 of the game.
  • You don’t want Jarred Shaw getting quality minutes in the first half of the first half of a conference game.
  • I sent out a tweet during LaceDarius’ barrage in the first half that said “sooo…do we hate LaceDarius or Cade Davis more? Or Austin Box?” @arin5000 responded: “how about Reid Gettys?” — I thought that was pretty funny.

This isn’t the debilitating loss Iowa State at home would have been but the way OSU lost is what I’m kind of worried about. They’re not going to be able to just slug their way to nine wins before March. Ford needs to figure out some way to keep them out of foul trouble and in some sort of a rhythm. Anything at all will do.

Next game: Texas in GIA on Wednesday (and it better be crazy rowdy because they’re going to be in the top 5 and Desmond, Gottlieb, and Eddie will be there for the Remember the 10 anniversary).

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