Preparation for Baylor this time focuses on attacking its defense

Niang, Georges14BUBig12

When Baylor and Iowa State met on the football field this fall, Coach Paul Rhoads was concerned about simulating the Bears’ offensive attack in practice. Their pace of play, speed and width of formations are all unusual.

This week, the men’s basketball teams from those schools meet and Coach Fred Hoiberg is concerned about practicing in preparation for BU’s zone defense.

“They play a defense no one else plays,” Hoiberg said. “It can’t be simulated. The fortunate thing is that we played them three times last year.”

In three games a year ago between the schools, halftime adjustments seemed key.

After a close first half in Ames, the Cyclones had a +13-point margin in the second half. Following a close opening stanza in Waco, the Bears had a +12-point margin in the final 20 minutes. In the Big 12 Tournament championship game, the Cyclones fell behind 18-1 to start the game and fought back to a five-point deficit by half. Iowa State won the final 20 minutes by 14 points.

The Cyclones like to get the ball in the middle to Georges Niang and working from there to get good looks, but that is a challenge vs. Baylor.

You don’t get a lot of open shots against their zone and they take away the middle,” Hoiberg said.  “We’ll need to get the ball to spots on the floor where we can take advantage.”

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