No. 8 Wichita State hopes for successful trip to No. 16 Baylor (Dec 02, 2017)
WACO, Texas -- It's not a good time for Baylor to be trying to figure out its depth problems. But the Bears don't have a choice with the Wichita State Shockers coming for them.
Eighth-ranked Wichita State (5-1) will be aiming for a victory when it travels to play 16th-ranked Baylor.
The Shockers had that on their mind almost immediately following their 112-66 blowout win over Savannah State on Tuesday. Wichita State missed a chance to post an eye-opener when it fell to Notre Dame by a point last week, and the Shocker players don't want to let another one get away.
"Any momentum you can get in today's age of basketball, we'll take it," Wichita State senior guard Rashard Kelly said. "We can take the momentum, we can build off it. We learned from the Notre Dame game. You learn from your losses. It's not a loss. It's a lesson. We're just going to head into Saturday with the right mindset."
Kelly scored 12 points and was one of six Shockers in double digits against Savannah State. Junior guard Samajae Haynes-Jones came off the bench to score 31 and led the Shockers to the win over the Tigers.
While Wichita State blew past Savannah State, Baylor (5-1) dropped its first game of the season in a 76-63 defeat at 21st-ranked Xavier on Tuesday.
The news got worse for Baylor on Wednesday when it learned that forward Terry Maston suffered a broken hand in the loss. Maston, who led Baylor with 15 points against the Musketeers, will likely be out of action until January.
The Bears were already limited to an eight-player rotation.
"We don't have a deep bench to begin with, so we can't have that happen," Baylor coach Scott Drew said.
Baylor was already having to figure out life without star Johnathan Motley, who left school for the NBA after last season. Maston was coming off the bench early in the season, but he was still counted on to score.
The Bears will have to rely on their experience from a stellar nonconference run a year ago. Guards Manu Lecomte and King McClure and forward Jo Lual-Acuil played key roles in helping Baylor win nonconference home games against fourth-ranked Oregon and seventh-ranked Xavier last season.
Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall doesn't expect it to be an easy nonconference road trip.
"They're very well-coached and have tremendous athletes, length, size and talent," Marshall said. "Scott does a tremendous job and he doesn't get enough credit for that. There's going to be tough battles on the glass, and you're gonna have to secure the ball with two hands."
Wichita State, which boasted a 76-73 victory at Oklahoma last season, will make a run at bragging rights over the Big 12 in the next couple of weeks. The Shockers travel to Oklahoma State on Dec. 9 and host Oklahoma on Dec. 16., before American Athletic Conference play on Dec. 30 at Connecticut.