Baylor’s stability is giving coach Scott Drew loads of choices to begin the season.

The sixth-ranked Bears had 5 gamers rating in double figures of their 75-63 win over Arizona State on Wednesday evening that wrapped up first-round play at the Battle 4 Atlantis. L.J. Cryer led that group with 15 factors, marking the fifth time in as many video games that the Bears have had at least 4 double-figure scorers.

“It’s definitely beautiful,” mentioned Adam Flagler, who had 13 factors. “We’re always just trying to play for each other, trying to get the best shot always down the floor, and go 1-0.”

So far, that plan has labored for a group charged with changing 4 starters from final 12 months’s nationwide championship squad. That group was led primarily by three lead scorers in Jared Butler (16.7 factors), MaCio Teague (15.9) and Davion Mitchell (14.0).

Coming in, Cryer was averaging a team-high 18.5 factors whereas 4 different gamers had been averaging at least 10.3 factors. The Bears (5-0) almost had a sixth double-figure scorer in James Akinjo, who completed with 9 factors and 7 assists.

“It’s critical because every game is not going to be your night,” Drew mentioned, including: “On nights that aren’t your shooting night, it’s great to have others you can depend on and go to. That’s the great thing about having a great rotation, a great bench. We go to the bench, and we normally get better.”

D.J. Horne scored 20 factors to guide the Sun Devils (2-3), together with a jumper and a pair of 3-pointers within the opening 2 1/2 minutes. Arizona State led by six early and was tied with 8 1/2 minutes left within the half, solely to see Baylor put collectively a 19-4 burst — highlighted by 3s from Akinjo, Flagler and freshman Kendall Brown — to take a 42-27 lead.

That lead grew to 22 factors, and the Sun Devils by no means acquired inside single digits once more.

While flattening photographs towards Baylor’s protection was a problem, Arizona State did not assist itself with 15 turnovers. Eleven of these got here within the opening half to assist Baylor construct its lead, resulting in a dozen factors, after Arizona State had averaged 11 turnovers over its final three video games.

“That hurt us,” Sun Devils coach Bobby Hurley mentioned. (*6*)


Arizona State: It’s been a bumpy begin for the Sun Devils, with two early losses by a mixed three factors. They misplaced a sport on a three-quarter-court heave to UC Riverside on Nov. 11, adopted by a defeat at San Diego State on Saturday. And sophomore Marcus Bagley (10.0 factors) did not journey to The Bahamas on account of a lingering knee subject. Arizona State was attempting for its first win towards a ranked nonconference opponent since beating top-ranked Kansas in December 2018.

Baylor: The Bears are again within the match for the primary time since successful it in 2016 and boast a reshaped lineup after dropping 4 starters, together with Mitchell because the No. 9 general NBA draft decide. Coming off Saturday’s blowout win towards Stanford, that they had comparatively little hassle stretching out the lead on one other Pac-12 group.

“Really it’s hard to knock any one area for them and see a weakness that’s pretty obvious,” Hurley mentioned.


Flagler, a junior guard, missed the Stanford sport with a hand damage. He performed this one with tape round his left wrist and thumb, alongside along with his ring and pinky fingers taped collectively. Flagler mentioned afterward the tape was precautionary.


Arizona State shot 36% and made 10 of 27 3-pointers. … Matthew Mayer had 14 factors and mixed with Cryer to make 5 of 9 3s whereas the remainder of the Bears had been 3 for 15. … Horne was the one Sun Devils participant to attain in double figures. The remainder of the group shot 13 of 46 (28.3%). … Baylor has received 11 straight video games relationship to its title run within the Indianapolis bubble final spring.


Arizona State: The Sun Devils face Syracuse, which misplaced to VCU earlier Wednesday, in Thursday’s comfort bracket.

Baylor: The Bears face VCU in Thursday’s semifinals.