Men's basketball: OU faces another tough road test against Baylor
Astrud Reed, The Oklahoma Daily
The OU men’s basketball team will try to get back into the win column against Baylor at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Waco.
The Sooners are coming off a tough 67-54 loss to Kansas, a game they simply were outstripped by one of the best teams in the nation.
Oklahoma couldn’t get any offensive flow together in the loss, scoring a season-low 21 points in the first half and shooting only 35 percent from the field.
“Kansas is very, very good,” coach Lon Kruger said, “And we have to play much better than we did [Saturday] to compete with them.”
Even though Kruger may not have been happy with the outcome of the game, the team still is looking at it as a learning experience and attempting to grow from it.
“A loss will always hurt a little bit, but we were able to hang in there and play pretty good basketball,” junior forward Amath M’Baye said. “It gave us a little bit of confidence, especially with them coming back to our house in a couple of weeks.”
That confidence will need to be fueling the Sooners against the Bears. While Baylor isn’t as good No. 3 Kansas, and the game isn’t being played in Allen Fieldhouse, the Bears are still a very talented veteran team.
Baylor is led by its inside-outside tandem of freshman center Isaiah Austin and senior guard Pierre Jackson.
Jackson is an explosive wing player who leads the Big 12 in scoring with an average of 18.7 points per game. He also chips in 5.9 assists per game.
Conversely, Austin does his work down low, using his 7-foot-1 frame to power his way to averages of 14.5 points per game and 8.8 rebounds per game.
“Isaiah is a good player,” M’Baye said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge, but I’m not really worried about his size as much as I’m worried about me doing my job.”
M’Baye and his frontcourt partner, senior forward Romero Osby, will be hoping to fare better against this 7-footer than they did last week against Kansas senior center Jeff Withey.
Withey dominated the Sooners on both ends of the court, finishing with 13 points, nine rebounds, four blocks and three steals.
“He makes it really tough, especially going to the basket,” Osby said. “You try to get him off the floor with pump fakes and he just stays down.”
The Sooners are 1-2 on the road in conference play with both losses coming against ranked teams on the road.