Happy New Year everyone and welcome to 2012!
It's here! It's finally here! Big 12 competition starts tonight and for Baylor and Texas A&M they'll face each other for the 204th time in the Battle of the Brazos. At the start of the season, this game looked like one that would have major implications for early supremacy in the conference. Though the Aggies have had speedbumps along the way and Baylor has cruised, this rivalry game will definitely be more evenly matched than most games on either schedule.
A closer look at Texas A&M and Baylor is coming up. It feels good to write about a game between two Big 12 teams for once!I'm sure Scott Drew didn't think his Baylor Bears (13-0) would be heading into conference play unbeaten but he'll take it. They're the most talented team in the Big 12 no doubt but I'm curious to see how the Bears would handle a game that didn't go their way. I'm not saying I wish for Baylor to lose this game or other games. The Bears have faced some adversity but let's face it, there's a strong possibility they will not go undefeated this season. If they lose, scratch that, when they lose and we see a Baylor team reverting back to their winning ways, we'll know this team will be headed for unprecedented heights. If they respond the wrong way, a season of hope would soon become one of what could have been.
It's hard to find a weak link on this team. They have Brady Heslip knocking down 3s, Quincy Acy continuing to own the paint and Pierre Jackson becoming somewhat of a go-to player in the final moments of games. They have all the tools to be a conference champion.
*On a side note Baylor fans, if given the opportunity, y'all should be filling all 10,284 seats of the Ferrell Center each and every night. Even if they aren't playing a sexy opponent go anyway. A team like this comes once every never so don't take this season for granted and be the home-court advantage for your Baylor Bears. Please.*
It wasn't the best start anyone linked to the Texas A&M Aggies (9-3) wanted. New head coach Billy Kennedy was unfortunately diagnosed with early-stage Parkinson's Disease, star junior Khris Middleton injured himself in the opener and had surgery on a torn meniscus and now touted freshman Jamal Branch has decided to transfer. But now they have a chance at a fresh start. A win in this game could rejuvenate a veteran team needing something to hang their hat on.
Along with Middleton, the Turners have done what they can to keep the Aggies in contention for the top third in the conference. Guard Elston, a transfer from Washington, leads the team in steals, free-throw and three-point shooting while ranking second in scoring and the junior Ray leads in rebounding and is tenth in the country in field-goal percentage. The Ags will have their best chance to win if guys like R. Turner, David Loubeau, Kourtney Roberson (if he plays) and Keith Davis can hold their own down low against Baylor's versatile frontline. It's a tough task but who says it can't be done?
You can watch the Big 12 opener, A&M at Baylor, tonight at 6pm central on ESPNU.