By Greg DeVries
The Baylor Bears will look to sweep the Kansas State Wildcats at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday at the Ferrell Center.
In the previous meeting between these teams, Baylor edged out a victory over the then-No. 18 Wildcats 75-73. Kansas State has struggled recently.
They have lost four of their last six games, but their schedule has been less than favorable.
“I think they just went through a real tough stretch in their schedule as well,” head coach Scott Drew said. “They’re playing good defensively. Rebounding-wise they’re fourth in the country in offensive rebounding. So it’s a physical team, a tough team, and historically the last few years we’ve had great games with Kansas State, and usually it has come down to the last few possessions.”
In the previous meeting between these teams, Wildcat junior Rodney McGruder finished the game with 30 points on 10-14 shooting, but the Bears had four players score in double digits including 17 from Perry Jones III.
Despite Kansas State’s strength on the boards, the Bears grabbed more rebounds than the Wildcats last game.
Kansas State also turned the ball over 20 times, including four in the final three minutes of the game.
“In the first game, we were able, in spurts, to really create some turnovers and hopefully we can do the same thing again in that realm of things,” Drew said. “I think they have young guards too. Similar to our younger guys, by this time in the season, you don’t commit as many of the same mistakes as you once did.”
Over the last two games, freshman Quincy Miller has stepped up his play. During this time, he averaged 18 points and shot more than 62.5 percent from the field. This is a far cry from his 13 total points in the previous three games.
“The three games before the last two games I was in foul trouble, so that really kept me off of the floor,” Miller said. “Just watching film is showing the stupid fouls I get…[the coaches] tell me what to do to not commit those same fouls. Better decision making basically.”
Miller maintains that he has learned from the games where he played fewer minutes because of foul trouble.
“I don’t like being in foul trouble because I like to help my team as much as possible, but I doubt that I’ll have as many fouls this time,” Miller said.
Jones III is also in the process of shaking off a slump of his own. After scoring a total of nine points against Kansas and Missouri on three of 20 shooting, Jones III scored 18 against Iowa State and shot 61.5 percent.
“If Perry played like that with me, I doubt that we could lose…if everybody is keying in on [Jones III], then that leaves me open,” Miller said.
Kansas State holds a 13-11 advantage in the series, but Baylor is 5-3 against the Wildcats in the Ferrell Center.