NCAA Basketball

61
Final 1 2 Tot
32 29 61
53 52 105
105
9:00 AM PT10:00 AM MT11:00 AM CT12:00 PM ET5:00 PM GMT1:00 PM 北京时间10:00 AM MST12:00 PM EST, Nov 5, 2019
Ferrell Center, Waco, Texas  Attendance: 8,805

No. 16 Baylor starts season of expectations vs. Cent. Ark.

Baylor already has the college basketball world's attention, earning the No. 16 spot in the preseason rankings and a nod for second place in the Big 12 in a poll of the conference's coaches.

Now the Bears have to go show that the team that overachieved last year on the way to 20 wins and a trip to the second round of the NCAA Tournament is ready to be even better.

Baylor will get its first chance to do so when it opens the season at home against Central Arkansas on Tuesday afternoon in Waco, Texas.

Baylor was unranked in last year's AP preseason poll but finished 20-14 and fourth in conference play.

Baylor is picked behind Kansas in this year's league preseason poll, matching the program's best-ever prediction. The Bears were also picked second in 2013.

"We have a lot of guys who know what it takes to be successful in the Big 12 and the NCAA Tournament with the experience we were able to garner last year," coach Scott Drew said. "As a group, we feel confident that we'll have a lot of opportunities with our schedule to show people what kind of team we can be."

Baylor is loaded with players who have been in the fire together for two or more years and have developed a chemistry. Forward Tristan Clark, an all-Big 12 preseason selection, leads the Bears.

"The team's practices have been very competitive," Drew said. "A strength of this year's team is our depth and experience."

Drew can cater his lineup from three big men to three guards depending on the situation.

"Probably the bigs would think we're a big team, the wings would think we have a lot of wings, though nowadays in basketball everyone thinks they're a guard," Drew said. "In college basketball, your guards dictate so much. We're blessed to have good guards this year who are experienced."

Central Arkansas was picked fifth in the Southland Conference preseason poll. The Bears went 14-19 last year and tied for seventh in the league.

Four of their top five scorers return, with 7-foot center Hayden Koval and 5-foot-11 DeAndre Jones named to the preseason conference second team.

"What I want for us to do is to get a little more even-keeled, where no moment is too big and no moment is too low for us to play good, solid basketball," coach Russ Pennell said.

Central Arkansas will be tested early and often, with nonconference road games at Baylor, Georgetown and Duke, all within the first eight days of the season. The Bears also travel to Wichita State, Utah and Marquette in December.

Pennell has called it a "monster schedule," and says he prefers such early season tests. He added that his team's quality depth is the best it's been in his six seasons with the school, with a rotation of nine to 10 players.

"There's no question that I feel like we've got the pieces to do it," Pennell said. "We got size, we got speed, we got shooters. We've got the ingredients. I feel like I'm baking a cake, and I've got all the ingredients in the kitchen -- I just got to get them all in the bowl and make them all fit together."

-- Field Level Media

Updated November 4, 2019

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