The undefeated Baylor Bears welcome the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks to the Ferrell Center on Wednesday. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. EST in Waco, Texas. Baylor is thinking much larger than Stephen F. Austin this season. They have their eyes set on a NCAA title in April. It’s way too early for them to have it in the forefront of their thought process, but Baylor certainly looks like they’re built to go far in the NCAA Tournament. The Bears go into Wednesday with a perfect record of 3-0. None of those games were particularly close.
Baylor opened the campaign with a 112-82 win over Louisiana-Lafayette. The Ragin Cajuns’ had no answers for the triple threat of guards MaCio Teague, Jared Butler, and Davion Mitchell. Between the three, they scored a total of 56 points to lead the way for the Bears. Teague and Butler went off again in the next game against Washington in a 86-52 victory. Mitchell didn’t play as well, but Adam Flager came off the bench to chip in with 17 points. And then lastly, and most impressively, Baylor were 82-69 winners over a ranked Illinois squad last week.
Illinois were the No. 6 team in the nation going into that matchup. However, they were completely outclassed in that game. Teague, Butler, Mitchell, and Flager all scored in double digits in the contest. Flager off the bench led Baylor in scoring with 18 points. His presence off the bench is incredibly imposing. Flager is fully capable of starting on just about any roster in the country except maybe Baylor. A team hasn’t been able to come close to Baylor yet, but maybe SFA is feeling good about an upset? Head below for our free Stephen F. Austin vs. Baylor pick for December 9, 2020.
Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks vs. Baylor Bears NCAAM Betting Odds:
Stephen F. Austin vs. Baylor Prediction:
Stephen F. Austin is going to need the performance of their lives if they are going to get out of Waco with a win. Upsets are part of college basketball, so it’s possible, and crazier upsets have happened. Having said that, Baylor has steamrolled the competition thus far and has shown no signs of letting up. The Bears went 26-4 a season ago before the season was called. They were a major threat to win the NCAA Tournament in the 2019-20 season.
We will never find out, but Baylor has a good opportunity to make up for lost time this year. The Bears ranked as one of the best defenses in college basketball. They conceded just 60.1 points per game for 7th out of 353 teams in the NCAA. Offensively they were okay, with an average of 71.1 points a game for 175th. It was clearly the defensive side of the floor that guided them to a record of 26-4.
Jared Butler and MaCio Teague led the offense for Baylor last season as well. Butler scored 16 points per game, while Teague was efficient as well with 13.9 points per game. The difference between the offense last and this season has to be the presence of Adam Flager. The sophomore transferred to Baylor after a year at Presbyterian. If Flager continues to play like he has off the bench, then this offense for the Bears is really going to take off this year as well. Combined with their defense, Baylor is going to be even tougher to beat if that’s the case.
The Lumberjacks have been in solid form this season, with three straight wins going into Waco. However, their competition has been non-existent. They’ve played LeTourneau, McNeese State, and LSU-Alexandria. In their most difficult game out of that group, SFA defeated McNeese State, 86-76, as they pulled away in the second half. They’ve scored at will with 285 points scored through three outings. Scoring at will is not going to happen against one of the best defenses in the country tonight. Expect Baylor to pull away in this one for an easy win to cover this big spread.