“Perry Jones is being considered as possibly the top draft pick in this next draft. One of the GM’s told me that it’s important tonight to see talent play against talent. For Perry Jones, a 6’11 kid, to play against highly draftable Marcus & Markieff Morris, and then for Josh Selby the guard for Kansas, to play against Lacedarius Dunn. Talent versus talent, they can analyze it better tonight.”
Talent against talent, in the national spotlight of ESPN’s Big Monday, before a sold out home crowd- the largest in the history of Ferrell Center, in front of thirty five or so NBA scouts and ten General Managers, matched up against an overrated team coming off just one day of rest, a team that had barely eked out wins against much lesser opponents, and Baylor was rising high on a 15 game home winning streak- What could possibly go wrong?
For the first 15 seconds, nothing. Jones won the tip and floated towards the paint. LaceDarius Dunn executed the perfect pick on Markieff Morris, opening the lane for Jones to drop in an easy two off the glass. This was going to be a good night. Then something happened. Tyshawn Taylor got LaceDarius off his feet with a pump fake on the other end of the floor, and slung the ball to an open Josh Selby who drained the three.
No problem. It’s only one bucket. Reset the offense, and play the game. With Selby guarding him, AJ Walton handed the ball off and dragged the freshman through traffic into the lane, Walton then popped out for a pass from Quincy Acy. But the pass never got there, Selby flew out from the lane and picked the ball off, and scooted down the court.
So went the night for the Baylor Bears. Kansas led by 21 at half, with the Morris Twins missing only one shot between them, scoring 28 points on 13-14 shooting-including back to back threes from the same spot on the floor by each of the Morrii. Marcus had the only miss, but Markieff rebounded it and immediately dropped it through the iron. The team as a whole shot 79.8% for the half.
Kansas’ head Coach Bill Self has repeatedly downplayed his Jayhawks, saying that they were a good team with a chance to be a really good team, but not a great team. According to Self, the National Championship 2008 team was great, and this year’s team wasn’t anywhere close in talent or drive. Earlier in the week, Kansas head coach Bill Self had even called his Jayhawks the worst 17-0 team in the nation. These comments had been echoed throughout the sports media, with many if not most prognosticators predicting a Baylor upset. Baylor coach Scott Drew made reference to this in his halftime interview:
I think the nation upset them by saying they’re the worst 17-0 team in the country- and they are taking it out on us. Scott Drew
The second half was not quite the clinic that the Jayhawks put on the first half, and the Bears did manage to chip the lead down to 13 at one point, before the Jayhawks regrouped, and left Waco with a 20 point win. Each Kansas starter, with the exception of Tyshawn Taylor, who was charged with defending Lacedarius Dunn for most of the game, scored in double digits. Tyshawn played well, turning the ball over only 3 times, but notching 2 steals and a block to even that out. He also added 4 assists and 2 offensive boards in his team-high 33 minutes on the floor.
All in all, it was a disappointing night for the Baylor Bears. The Big 12′s leading scorer, Dunn managed to score only 13 points, and turned the ball over 5 times. Forward Quincy Acy had a disappointing night, spending much of the game riding the pine due to foul trouble, and was a non-factor for the Bears. Only Anthony Jones joined Perry in double digit scoring, and the NBA scouts no doubt left Ferrell Center wondering if they could draft the Morris twins as a package deal.