By Greg Dempson
The 17th ranked Baylor Bears who are 17–4 this season, including 6–2 in Conference play, host the Texas Longhorns who are 14–7 on the season, as well as 5–3 in Conference play. Tonight’s match-up is the second of a double header on ESPN with the tip slated for 9:00 ET.
Baylor leads the BIG–12 in rebounds at +9.9 while Texas is last at –0.3. Rico Gathers is averaging a Conference best with 10.5 rebounds and has seven double-doubles this season, (31) in his career. The team’s leading scorer is Taurean Prince who averages 15.0 PPG as well as 5.9 rebounds per contest. The Bears have four starters that scored double-digits per contest.
Texas has three starters that average double-digits per contest, Taylor, (15.5,) Ridley, (12.7) and Felix at (10.6.) Taylor also leads the Longhorns in rebounding at 10.0. After losing center Cameron Ridley on December 19 at Stanford, the Longhorns lost three out of four before recent form has them winning five of six.
From the Foul Line
· The Longhorns are 1–8 ATS vs. good free throw shooting teams that make 72% or more of their attempts the last two seasons.
· Baylor has used the same starting lineup of Prince, Gathers, Wainright, Medford and Al Freeman in every game this season. Medford leads the Big 12 in assists, (at 7.1) and steals (at 2 per game.) Medford had 9 points and 8 assists against Georgia as the Bears posted their 27th straight victory at home vs. an unranked opponent.
· The Longhorn played three games away from home this season when they were dogs of less than 6 points and went 0–3 ATS in those games.
· Under head coach Smart the Longhorns are 21–40 ATS and -23.0-units after two straight where the team gave up 9 or less offensive rebounds in all games he’s coached.
· Under head coach Drew, the Bears are 16–05 ATS and +10.5-units after three straight games where the team allowed a shooting percentage of 47% or higher.
· I believe Gathers and Matley win the battle on the boards plus the turnover “mistake free play” of point guard Medford has me laying the points.
Texas at Baylor Pick
My Every Edge play for this evening is on the Baylor Bears at –5 points or less.