Baylor has been incredible before the COVID-19 pause. The Bears started 17-0 and were neck-and-neck with Gonzaga for the No. 1 spot on KenPom. Baylor boasts wins over Illinois, Texas and Kansas, as well as an eight point win at Texas Tech and a double-digit win in Stillwater.
If the season hadn’t been shortened, Butler would likely be the top challenger to Luka Garza (though shouts to Ayo Dosunmu). He’s a likely First Team All-American, and should be Big 12 Player of the Year. He earned a spot on the 15-member Naismith Defensive Player of the Year list as well. Butler is a truly two-way guard that has a good shot at going in the first round of the next NBA Draft.
The guards. Bruce Weber said that Baylor reminds him a ton of his 2005 Illinois team. Butler and Davion Mitchell are the best pairing in the sport, and MaCio Teague works the glass to hit shots inside the arc better than anyone. Adam Flagler shoots over 40% from three and might win Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year.
How well Baylor can defend mobile bigs. Gonzaga and Michigan will present a unique challenge. The Bears neutralized any inside edge Texas had, but those two present a different level challenge. Barring a ridiculous 3-point differential, Gonzaga and Michigan are the only teams close to a healthy and COVID-fog removed Baylor.