February 4, 2013

Big 12 basketball: Coach Scott Drew takes Baylor's losses in stride

Big 12 basketball

A week ago, Baylor was riding high, near the top of the conference

But consecutive losses at home to Oklahoma and at Iowa State have pushed the Bears (14-7, 5-3 in the Big 12) back to the middle of the pack.

Coach Scott Drew, however, is not fretting. He spun it into a positive example of what makes college basketball interesting.

"Last week everything was great with us. This week it looks like it's terrible," Drew said. "In reality, that's just college basketball. I think that's what makes it so exciting from game to game."

The Bears lost two close ones, including 74-71 at home to Oklahoma, in which Baylor trailed the entire second half but nearly pulled off the comeback in the final minutes by outscoring the Sooners 35-22 the final 13:39.

In Ames on Saturday, ISU held off Baylor down the stretch.

Drew chocked it up to parity, in the league and across the nation.

"I think that's why having veteran leadership and experienced players is so critical because every year in the conference race there's highs and there's lows, especially in a conference like the Big 12," he said.

"The teams that are successful at the end of the year are able to maintain that sense of balance. We like to say, [make sure] one mistake doesn't lead to two."

Drew's Bears will try to not let two losses turn into a three-game losing streak at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Oklahoma State. The Cowboys (15-5, 5-3) are coming off their upset of previously No. 1-ranked Kansas in Lawrence, Kan. Baylor beat OSU by 10 on Jan. 21 in Waco.

Mountaineer travel

Texas coach Rick Barnes thinks the Big 12 should help minimize West Virginia's travel burden in the future.

But he acknowledged he's not sure what the league can do.

The Longhorns (10-11, 2-6), who played at West Virginia on Monday night, will gain an hour when they fly back to Austin.

That's the same as the rest of the league's teams, except for the Mountaineers, who lose an hour every time they fly back to the Eastern time zone after a road game in the Central time zone.

"Where I think it's really tough for the West Virginia athletes is academically more than anything," Barnes said.

Stefan Stevenson


Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs

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