8. Baylor (6-2)
The Bears didn’t play at one of the big holiday tournaments but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been challenged to this point in the season. Scott Drew’s squad returned a number of faces from recent success and has an impressive freshman in Keyonte George. Unfortunately, they’ve also had a few struggles early in the year, with this past week showing some of those in a major way.
On Tuesday, the Bears had their first road game of the season, dropping a dreadful 96-70 ballgame at Marquette. Baylor had a horrific night on defense, allowing Marquette to hit 58% of their shots; LJ Cryer led the Bears with 19 points in the terrible loss. Three days later the Bears met up with Gonzaga in South Dakota in one of the marquee matchups of the non-conference season. Using a late run, the Bears pulled out a 64-63 victory, getting 18 points from that stellar freshman George.
Baylor salvaged the week with their late comeback against the Bulldogs and played their best defensive game of the season in that win as well. It was a Jekyll and Hyde performance from this Bears defense and we’re not sure yet which side we’ll get on a daily basis, especially in Big 12 play. For now, the Bears get a nice victory that will look awesome on their resume in the long run and get to take it easy after a crazy start to their season, with just a single home game against Tarleton State next week.