Andy Kennedy and company received the welcome news on Friday that senior guard Rasheed Brooks had been cleared for physical activity, and though he almost definitely won’t play Saturday in Oxford, his return to practice may provide a general morale boost to the team following Wednesday’s disappointing loss to Texas A&M.
The Rebs’ll certainly need all the morale they can muster Saturday as the No. 5 Baylor Bears come stomping into The Pavilion riding a 19-1 (7-1 Big 12) record that at one point saw Scott Drew’s men reach the program’s first ever No. 1 ranking. Interestingly enough, however, they enjoyed that hallmark not 24 hours, as the night after Week 10’s rankings were announced they were drubbed out of WVU Arena by an impressively potent West Virginia club, 89-68. BOB HUGGINS DOES NOT PLAY, CHILDREN.
And oh yeah, Baylor didn’t even enter the AP Top 25 until Week 3 on Nov. 21.
So. Ole Miss has its work cut out for it, and even then this Baylor squad plays with Kentucky-esque levels of physicality, shooting and overall execution. They lead the Big 12 currently in points allowed per game with just 60.8. They’ve picked off Oregon, Louisville and Xavier already this season, not to mention a surging Iowa State and Kansas State. After Ole Miss, they have to go play KANSAS.
We’d normally reserve this space for a rundown of Baylor’s KenPom footprint and slightly advanced stats, but really, they rank in the top 15 in every major basketball category save for scoring rate — 116.4 points per 100 possessions, No. 25 — which anyway is healthily offset by them owning the No. 4 defense in the land.
OFF WE GO, DEAR FRIENDS.
How to watch:
Where: Oxford, Miss.
When: 5 p.m. CT
Online streaming: WatchESPN