The winner of tonight’s game moves into the favorite’s role in the Big XII, and if you love big men and defense, then this should be the game for you. Kansas came into this season with far less depth than in past seasons, relying heavily on junior Thomas Robinson and senior Tyshawn Taylor. However, they are once again rolling as the conference season is underway, starting 4-0, with dominant wins over Kansas State and at Texas Tech.
Thomas Robinson looked like a potential star last year, but was obscured by the Morris twins. This year, he has been incredible, efficient in the low post and one of the best rebounders in the country. Tonight, he gets one of his toughest tests, going up against the length and depth of Baylor’s front court. Baylor may not have any one player that can match Robinson all game, but will throw Perry Jones, Quincy Miller, Quincy Acy and Anthony Jones up against him. Because of Baylor’s front court depth, it is also important that seven-footer Jeff Withey, who has had foul trouble on occasion, stays in the game and provides closer to 25-30 minutes in this one.
With the star power on the front court, it will likely come down to the other players to step up and make a difference. For Kansas, that means positive performances from Travis Releford and Elijah Johnson. For Baylor, Brady Heslip (48% from 3-pt range) and Pierre Jackson (49% on 3′s) will need to knock down shots in the tough Allen Field House environment.
Kansas has won 84 of the last 85 games in Lawrence. If Baylor can get a victory on the road at Kansas after winning at Kansas State, the sky is the limit for the Bears.
[photo via Getty]