The Baylor Bears sent the biggest message of the young college basketball season over the weekend, while the Oregon Ducks are a mystery after multiple players were kicked off the team.
The Bears made a big statement with their 97-55 win over Stephen F. Austin a few days ago, covering the NCAA Basketball Odds easily. Stephen F. Austin is the three-time defending champion in the Southland Conference. The Lumberjacks made it to the NCAA tournament each of the past two seasons. They have established a reputation as a team which consistently takes the ball away from opponents and a team which runs a very efficient and structured offense. Head coach Brad Underwood is seen as a rising star in college basketball. However, Baylor made SFA look silly. The Bears handed out 31 assists and committed just eight turnovers against the Lumberjacks’ defense. They were able to place six separate scorers in double figures, which showed how balanced they were and how much they were able to share and move the ball against the Lumberjacks. New point guard Lester Medford scored 13 points and dished out nine assists, part of an essentially flawless performance for Baylor across the board. This team looks prepared and hungry.
Oregon coasted past Jackson State, but the quality of opponent wasn’t close to what Baylor faced. This is Oregon’s first real test, although it comes at home. We learned a lot more about Baylor than Oregon in game one.
Baylor is playing its first road game of the season. Oregon won its first home game of the season against Jackson State.
Baylor guard King McClure is out indefinitely with a heart condition. Forward Jo Acuil is also out indefinitely with a heart condition.
Oregon guard Dylan Ennis, a transfer from Villanova who was expected to make the team go this season, especially on offense, is out indefinitely with a foot injury. Forward Jordan Bell is out with a foot injury.
What’s The Pick?
Baylor has lost a couple of important players from last season, point guard Kenny Chery and teammate Royce O’Neal, who was second behind Chery in assists. However, Rico Gathers and Taurean Prince form the core of a talented lineup which appears to have other good parts in place under head coach Scott Drew.
Oregon is counting on a transfer from the Big East Conference to make things happen for head coach Dana Altman, but as you’ll see in the injury report, that player will not be available for this game.
What else is noteworthy about this game? It tips off just after 10:30 p.m. Central time, which could be very late for Baylor’s body clocks. It’s a made-for-television game, which is why it has such a late start on the West Coast in Eugene. That is something Baylor will have to struggle against. The Bears hope their natural talent can win out.
The Baylor rout of a very good Stephen F. Austin team points to the belief that the Bears are the much better team. If the body clocks are okay, the Bears should win by 10 points, so take them with your NCAA Basketball Picks.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Baylor (Pick ‘em) -110 at The Greek