NCAA BK

SC State-Baylor Preview

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The suspension of Perry Jones III left a gaping hole in the Baylor lineup. Freshman forward Quincy Miller has filled in nicely.

With Jones III set to return next week, Miller and the ninth-ranked Bears look to move to 4-0 for the fifth consecutive season when they face South Carolina State for the first time Tuesday night.

The Big 12 freshman leader in scoring (13.9 points per game) and field-goal percentage (54.9) last season, Jones has two games remaining on a six-game NCAA suspension for receiving improper benefits before arriving at Baylor.

The conference preseason player of the year will also miss Wednesday's home game against Texas-Arlington before possibly returning to the lineup Nov. 29 versus Prairie View A&M.

The addition of Jones could create an even more dominant front line as Miller, senior Quincy Acy and Anthony Jones are averaging a combined 42.0 points and 17.7 rebounds.

Miller is scoring a team-best 18.0 points per game, with 42 of his 54 points coming in the second half. The 6-foot-9 forward had a season-best 20 in a 77-67 victory over San Diego State on Nov. 15, scoring seven during an 18-5 second-half run.

"My teammates always pass me the ball and tell me to shoot it because they know I can score," he said. "My team has confidence in me and that gives me confidence in myself."

Acy grabbed nine boards and added nine of his 13 points during the Bears' late surge.

"Acy is the backbone of this team in my opinion. He's a four-year veteran. He only cares about winning. Miller is terrifically talented,'' San Diego State coach Steve Fisher said. "They've got a nice blend of youth and age and experience and that's why they're a good team.''

The Bears will go for their 23rd consecutive home win against a non-conference opponent as South Carolina State (3-1) arrives in Waco following a 73-68 victory over Gardner-Webb on Saturday.

Junior point guard Khalif Toombs went 6 for 6 from the foul line in the final 20 seconds and finished with a career high-tying 21 points.

"The fact we only had (a season-low) 11 turnovers proved to be the deciding factor down the stretch," coach Tim Carter told the school's official website.

The Bulldogs are opening a stretch of 13 of 16 on the road. If they want to have any shot of leaving the Ferrell Center with a win, they'll likely have to shoot better than their season average of 38.4 percent.

Baylor has limited opponents to 34.3 percent from the floor and has 31 steals. The Bears turned 21 San Diego State turnovers into 17 points last week.

Baylor's reserves are averaging 26.0 points and 7.3 assists. That group is led by forward Cory Jefferson, averaging 8.3 points and a team-high 8.0 rebounds, and junior guard Pierre Jackson, scoring 7.7 points per game with a team-best 5.3 assists.

Tagged: South Carolina State, Baylor, San Diego, San Diego State, Quincy Acy, Anthony Jones, Perry Jones III

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