This is what we call regressing to the mean.
On Sunday, four days ago, No. 6 Baylor absolutely eviscerated No. 3 Creighton. They shot 63.8% from the floor. They hit 11 of their 18 threes. They scored 85 points. All that is before you consider that they completely shut down what had been the nation’s most dominant offensive attack.
On Thursday, in their loss to No. 2 Wisconsin, the Bears did none of that, losing 69-52 in a game that was never really competitive. Their shooting number? 31.0% from the field and just 2-for-15 from three.
It was good while it lasted, I guess.
The issue wasn’t just on the offensive end of the floor, however.
The biggest reason that Baylor was able to beat the breaks off of the Bluejays was that their zone rendered Creighton’s offense ineffective. They spread out on the shooters and dared the Jays to try to beat them in the paint. Creighton didn’t have an answer, but Wisconsin did, in the form of Frank Kaminsky. He finished with 19 points on 8-for-11 shooting, eventually forcing the Bears out of their zone and into a man-to-man.
It’s hard to judge Baylor off of these two games, and it’s not fair to judge Scott Drew on them, either.
Drew devised a heckuva game plan on Sunday, one that sprung them past the consensus National Player of the Year and into the second weekend of the tournament and was aided by the fact that Baylor absolutely shot the lights out. On Thursday, they couldn’t buy a bucket. It’s basketball. These things happen.
So instead of pinning a loss in the Sweet 16 on Drew, how about we credit him for turning the Baylor season around. Remember, this team was dead in the water two months ago. They lost eight of their first ten games in Big 12 play and entered February on the wrong side of the bubble. Yet here they are in late March, one of the last 16 teams left in the Big Dance as a No. 6 seed.
All things considered, the Bears had a really good year.
And so did Scott Drew.
He’s not the second coming of John Wooden, but he did a pretty good job with this group. Hopefully people will recognize that.