FanPost

Key to Stopping Baylor: Contain Cory Jefferson

Everyone knows that do-it-all senior PG (and former Hawkeye recruit) Pierre Jackson is the straw that stirs Baylor's drink. Jackson averaged 19.7 ppg / 6.9 asst in the regular season, and in the NIT, Jackson is averaging 20.3 ppg / 11.3 asst (and, since he only played 20 min with an 11 ppg / 6 asst line in Baylor's 1st round, 112-66 rout of Long Beach State, the more pertinent statistic is 23.3 ppg / 13 asst over the last 3 Baylor NIT wins over Providence, Arizona State and BYU). Jackson will take a lot of shots, get his points, dish a lot of dimes, and generally wreak havoc on Iowa's D.

However, Baylor has gone 23-13 this year, and the key to stopping Baylor, it appears, is keeping Baylor F Cory Jefferson under 16 points. In 11 of Baylor's 13 losses, Jefferson has scored 15 points or less.

Granted, Jefferson has been held to under 16 points in 14 out of the 23 games Baylor has won this year. His season average is 13.0 ppg. But many of those sub-16 point games were early in the season, where Jefferson was still figuring out his role in the Baylor offense. Jefferson, a 6-9, 210 lb forward, is a redshirt junior who rode the bench behind Quincy Acy, Perry Jones III and Quincy Miller, and only emerged this year.

In the NIT, Jefferson is averaging 20.8 ppg (or 22.7 over the last 3 games). Notably, Jefferson has yet to log a single assist in the entire NIT despite playing 118 minutes over 4 games. This is not far from his season average of 0.5 assists - which is the same average assist rate of a Melsahn Basabe. Once Jefferson gets the ball, it's either going up, or it's kicked back out. Thus, the key to beating Baylor is to shut down their #2 and #3 options, stop garbage buckets with defensive rebounds, and force them to play a perimeter game or force someone other than Jackson, Jefferson and C Isaiah Austin to score.


Unless otherwise expressly indicated by BHGP editors, this FanPost is strictly the viewpoint of the author and is not endorsed by BHGP in any way.

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