Baylor Basketball: 6 Bold Predictions for the Bears' 2012 Conference Schedule
The Baylor basketball team is off to its best start in school history.
Going 13-0 in non-conference play, the Bears have proven to the nation why they are one of the best teams in the country.
Yet, how will this team fare against the Big 12 when they open against Texas A&M on January 2?
The following is a list of predictions for this exciting Baylor squad.
Quincy Acy Will Make One More Trey
Talk about a bold prediction.
When Quincy Acy took to the court this season as a senior, he had made a whopping zero percent of three-point shots in his three previous years. Then again he only attempted two before this season.
During the game against Saint Mary’s College, Acy put the ball up and made the first deep basket of his career.
With all of the talent on Baylor’s squad this year, Acy will undoubtedly find himself open enough (and brave enough) to try another trey and mark down another for the books, especially since he has broken the ice.
Maybe this time it will come at a more critical moment in a game.
Update: Not even 24 hours after making the prediction Acy made the second three-point shot of his career against Texas A&M. It looks as though Acy may be on a hot streak!
Brady Heslip Will Lead the Big 12 in Three-Point Shooting
Speaking of confidence at the arc, Brady Heslip has become a sensation for Baylor this year in his 13 games played thus far.
He already leads the Big 12 with three-point field goals made at 40 and is second in percentage at 49.4 percent only behind Kim English of Missouri at 54.5 percent.
With a conference schedule in which the other Big 12 teams will have to worry about stopping Perry Jones III, the upstart Pierre Jackson and the other plethora of talent for this Bears team, Heslip will be able to slide under the radar and keep up his fantastic deep work.
By the end of this season, Heslip should be able to surpass English and keep his nickname of "Downtown Canadian", so long as Baylor can take care of business against Missouri, the only other undefeated Big 12 team as of this writing.
Perry Jones III Will Win Big 12 Player of the Year
Perry Jones III is a critical piece of this Baylor offense.
Standing at a towering 6’11’’, Jones has the athletic ability to make the awkward shots and break the glass with his dunks.
He was recognized in the preseason as the Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year and has been touted as a possible NCAA Player of the Year and he has made his case for the award in his first couple of games after returning from a questionable five-game suspension.
However, as anyone who watched the Baylor vs. Mississippi State game heard, Jones lacks the selfishness that earns big name players big time points.
It is for this reason that he will not win the national trophy; but rather, the Big 12 Player of the Year.
His presence will be made known in every game against his conference opponents as he puts his team in the best place to win with blocks and assists, regardless of his points per game.
Baylor Will Send the New SEC Schools Away with Three Losses
As Missouri and Texas A&M prepare to leave the Big 12 for the SEC next season, Baylor will make it a point to prove its conference’s dominance by going 3-1 against the defectors.
Against Texas A&M, last place in offensive scoring in the Big 12, Baylor will be able to assert its offensive dominance and prevent the Aggies from gaining defensive points, the category where they lead.
Both at home and away the Bears should be able to win this final installment of the "Battle of the Brazos."
As for the Missouri Tigers, they along with Baylor are one of four undefeated teams left in the country. When these two powerhouses square off, the key to victory will lie in home court advantage.
The energy of the stands should be enough to lift the home team to victory, splitting the series this year.
Coach Drew Will Win Big 12 Coach of the Year
There was a time a couple of year ago when head coach Scott Drew was able to lead the then terrible Baylor basketball team to the NCAA tournament. At that time he was being considered for the NCAA Coach of the Year honor.
This year when he leads Baylor to a final Top 10 place in the polls and an outstanding record of only a couple of losses, Drew will find himself recognized as Big 12 Coach of the Year.
Finding a way to manage a team with an unbelievable amount of talent and have them work so flawlessly together that they become one of the top dogs of college basketball is no easy feat—just ask Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles who tried it with football.
In the end, Coach Drew will walk with a Big 12 championship and finally have earned himself the coach's trophy.
Baylor Basketball Will Make it to the Final Four
The Bears are not strangers to the NCAA tournament, getting bids the last three of the four past seasons. In fact, they even know what late tournament play is like making it to the Elite Eight in the 2008-2009 season.
This year, Baylor will accomplish even more.
Led by arguably the most balanced and talented offensive unit in the league, Baylor will have at least one of their star players lead them to victory in each March game.
In addition, this team is not just exploiting its physical talents, but its mental talents as well. Not overly concerned with personal achievements, each player on this team is finally playing for his teammates and for Baylor University, a discipline lacked by previous Baylor teams and one essential for late season success.