Scouting Baylor: The Bears are an offensive force

Scouting Baylor: The Bears are an offensive force


I studied Baylor’s last two games, and they will be a problem. The Bears are dynamic and balanced on offense. It will be very difficult for anyone to beat Baylor at home.

the daily #203 | 2/23/2024 | Archives

Baylor Overview

But if anyone can beat them at the new Foster Pavilion, it would be the #2 Houston Cougars. Baylor has one of the most balanced offenses in the NCAA, with several dynamic guards that can score from outside, off the dribble pull-up, or at the rim. They have super athletic forwards that can jump out of the gym and make tough shots. Their big men are very athletic, with playmaking abilities on both ends of the court.

Their defense is not quite as good as their offense. They give up open shot opportunities, and the teams that attack the paint via their guards driving or feeding the post seem to have the most success. Although long and athletic, they tend not to be a great rebounding team. I’m sure that will be a point of emphasis this week for the Bears, as they gave up 16 offensive rebounds to BYU, which led to 20 points for the Cougs. UH must take advantage of this weakness and get as many extra chances for “dagger threes” and put-backs as possible.

Kelvin Sampson broke them down:

Head of the Snake

Baylor has numerous candidates as their “Head of the Snake”. Forward #11 Jalen Bridges is a VERY viable candidate. He is 6’9″ and plays like a guard. The West Virginia transfer can easily shoot the three and attack the rim violently. He will be a huge mismatch for the Coogs. Toledo transfer RayJ Dennis (#4) was among last year’s most coveted portal players. He is a dynamic three-level scoring guard, while #2 Jayden Nunn is another high-level guard who does an amazing job of attacking the rim and can make the three.

I love #21 Yves Missi’s game. He is a legit 7-footer who can play in the post, in the pick and roll, or going iso from the top of the key. He is a great post-defender as well. Langston Love brings instant offense off the bench and will look to be a spark for the Bears early and often when he enters the game.

But for me, Baylor’s “Head of the Snake” is freshman phenom #4 Ja’Kobe Walter. He was a 2023 McDonald’s All-American and is projected by most NBA draft analysts to be drafted as a top 5 pick in the next NBA Draft. He is a 6’5″ shooting guard that can score from anywhere on the floor.

Walter is similar to RaeQuan Battle from West Virginia because he can make extremely difficult shots. The Coogs must slow him down to beat Baylor on their home court.

Baylor Offense

All of their guards can score from outside or off the dribble. Their big men do a good job of scoring around the rim but are not outside shooting threats. They will look to get to the free-throw line, and the Coogs must play without committing many dumb fouls.

Baylor’s offense is in the top 50 nationally in many categories. Baylor is ranked

  • #4 in 3-pt percentage (39.62%);
  • #10 in effective FG% ( 57%);
  • #15 in FG % (49.27%);
  • #22 in scoring offense (82.6 ppg);
  • #31 in FT attempts (22.8 per game);
  • #32 in FT made (16.6 per game);
  • #49 in three-pointers (8.8 per game).

Baylor loves to run in transition when they have the opportunity:

The Bears are excellent in driving and kicking it back for three:

They also like to run a play where they make it look like Missi is coming to set a screen for the ball handler. Instead, they pass it to him around the free-throw line and let him go one-on-on vs. the defending big man:

Baylor Defense

Baylor is not a great defensive team. The Coogs must look to get the ball in the paint via driving guards or feeding the post players. Missi is a great shot-blocker, but he tries to block everything. He will be in foul trouble if you head-fake and jump into him.

Mostly, they play half-court, man-to-man defense but sometimes sprinkle in some 1-3-1 zone. I didn’t see them full-court press until they were way down vs. BYU and needed to speed things up and try to force turnovers.

They are not a great rebounding team despite their length and athleticism. The Coogs have to take advantage of this weakness.

  • Baylor gives up a lot of offensive rebounds; BYU had 16 offensive rebounds Tuesday night, which led to 20 2nd chance points!;
  • Like to blitz the pick and roll (similar to the Coogs):
  • A bit suspect in post defense; Look to feed the post:
  • May try some 1-3-1 zone defense:



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Jayme Hollingsworth
Jayme Hollingsworth
Jayme is's new basketball scouting editor. He was born and raised in Alabama but now lives in Houston. He's a former video coordinator/scouting coordinator at UAB and a former high school basketball coach. He's the husband to Mallory and pug dad to Charlee.

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