Baylor’s biggest weakness going into the NCAA Tournament could be its overall defense, according to anonymous Big 12 coaches polled by The Athletic’s Seth Davis.
Davis published a piece earlier this week with anonymous quotes from head coach and assistant coaches in three different conferences, including the Big 12. Granted anonymity, the coaches spoke freely about some of the NCAA Tournament contenders in their conference. The idea? Get a sense of what the coaches believe are that team’s strengths and weaknesses.
For Baylor, one Big 12 coach told Davis that the team’s overall defense could be their biggest weakness in March.
“Defensively, they’re not nearly what they were last year,” the coach told Davis. “Their best defensive players are the two freshmen.”
The coach also mentioned that guard James Akinjo, who has been Baylor’s best player this season, could be “an over-dribbler in a system where the ball needs to move,” and that guard/forward Matthew Mayer is a “pro” when he turns it on, “but he’s not the most aggressive guy and kind of loses interest sometimes.”
Not to be totally negative, the coach told Davis that “they’re the most balanced team in the league when they’re healthy. The bounce of those big guys (Flo Thamba and Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua) puts them at a different level because they can switch out on ball screens and really move.”
The Bears are preparing to play Kansas State on Wednesday. Thanks to Kansas’ loss to Texas on Monday, the Bears are a game back of the Jayhawks in the Big 12 race. But Baylor lost its first meeting with Kansas last weekend.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.