While it might be awhile before the hardwood version of TCU's rivalry with the Baylor Bears reaches the same fever pitch as the gridiron version, there's no doubt that these two schools don't like each other. Unfortunately for the Frogs, the Bears have had their way with this series as of late. Baylor has defeated TCU in all seven meetings since the Frogs joined the Big 12. With the Bears back in the top 25 to begin the season, it might be tough for TCU to change their recent history against their in-state rivals.
Game 16 & 29: Baylor Bears
Date: Wednesday, January 13
Time: 7:15 PM
Location: Ferrell Center - Waco, TX
Date: Saturday, February 27
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena - Fort Worth, TX
Know the Foe
SB Nation: Our Daily Bears
Big 12 Preseason Ranking: 5th
Location: Waco, TX
Head Coach: Scott Drew
2014-2015 Record: 24-10 (11-7, 5th)
Postseason: NCAA Second Round
Key Losses: G Kenny Cherry, F Royce O'Neale
Key Returners: F Taurean Prince, F Rico Gathers, F Jonathan Motley
New Additions: G King McClure, G Wendell Mitchell, G Jake Lindsey
The Bears have been tabbed the 21st best team in the country, according to the USA Today Coaches Poll. That designation appears to be well-deserved, at least on paper, as the Bears have a big chunk of their their 2014-2015 team returning for another season. Taurean Prince and Rico Gathers highlight the returners for the Bears, having averaged 13.9 and 11.6 points per game, respectively. Gathers was also one of the best rebounders in the nation, pulling down 11.6 boards per game. Add on Prince's 5.6 rebounds per game average from last season, and the Bears are already sitting pretty on both sides of the court. Jonathan Motley, with his 7.7 points and 4.2 rebounds, also returns for his sophomore season. These three will anchor the starting lineup for the Bears and will likely be the biggest producers this season.
Scott Drew's biggest recruiting success this season comes in King McClure, a 6'3" forward out of the Triple A Academy in Ovilla, Texas. McClure is a four-star prospect ranked as the 36th best player in the country by ESPN after averaging 24.2 points and 6.0 rebounds per game in high school. A pair of three-star guards round out the top of Drew's recruiting class. Wendell Mitchell comes to Baylor after a very productive senior year at Rockdale High School in Rockdale, Texas. Mitchell dropped 25.6 points and grabbed 5.3 rebounds per game. 247 Sports named Mitchell the 15th best prospect in the Lone Star State. Finally, Jake Lindsey signed with the Bears out of Olympus High School in Sandy, Utah. Lindsey is another high-scoring recruit in Drew's class, having averaged 24.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 5.5 assists in his senior campaign.
Baylor will enter the season with a solid blend of senior leadership and young talent that could pay dividends for the Bears later this season. The sting of being upset by Georgia Southern in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament could be a motivating factor for Scott Drew's bunch come tournament time.
Last Time Around
01/10/15: Baylor 66 at TCU 59 (OT)
TCU drops to 0-3 in conference after a sloppy, foul-filled contest against Baylor.
02/04/15: Baylor 77 vs. TCU 57
It was a wire-to-wire lead for Baylor, as TCU drops to 1-8 in Big 12 play this season.
Baylor 77, TCU 66
The Frogs head to Waco after home games against West Virginia and Texas. Going on the road after facing two tough opponents makes pulling this upset even more difficult. Baylor plays well at the Ferrell Center, and Rico Gathers has been a nearly unstoppable force in college basketball. Unless the TCU defense really shuts down Gathers, the Bears should find a comfortable win in this meeting.
TCU 71, Baylor 69
This match-up has trap-game written all over it for Baylor. The Bears have a bit of a history of dropping late-season road contests, and the Frogs should be amped up to face their bitter rivals at home as Big 12 play winds down. If the Frogs can limit Gathers' dominance of the boards and keep the pressure up on defense, they will have a decent shot to steal this one.
Opponent Team Previews:
Game 1: Southeastern Louisiana
Game 2: Houston Baptist
Game 3: South Dakota State
Game 4: Rhode Island
Game 5: Maryland /Illinois State
Game 6: SMU
Game 7: Colgate
Game 8: Washington
Game 9: Prairie View A&M
Game 10: Abilene Christian
Game 11: Bradley
Game 12: Delaware State
Games 13 & 24: Oklahoma State
Games 14 & 25: West Virginia
Games 15 & 20: Texas
Games 16 & 29: Baylor
Games 17 & 23: Kansas (10/31)
Games 18 & 28: Texas Tech (11/1)
Games 19 & 27: Iowa State (11/2)
Game 21: Tennessee (11/3)
Games 22 & 31: Oklahoma (11/4)
Games 26 & 30: Kansas State (11/5)