Kansas Likely Down 2 Key Players Vs. Baylor In Big 12 Tournament
Big 12 regular-season champion Kansas is the Bovada betting favorite to win the conference tournament in Kansas City, but the Jayhawks are just 1-point favorites for Friday’s semifinal game against Baylor because KU appears likely to be down two of its top players.
Ellis Might Play
Kansas played without freshman Cliff Alexander and junior forward Perry Ellis. The 6-foot-8 Ellis is recovering from a sprained right knee suffered last Tuesday in a home victory over West Virginia. Self on Wednesday said he was hopeful that Ellis would be able to play on Thursday but that wasn’t the case. Ellis, an All-Big 12 selection, leads Kansas with 14.2 points per game. He also sat out last Saturday’s loss at Oklahoma.
Kansas announced prior to its game against Texas on Feb. 28 that Alexander would not play due to an NCAA issue and he hasn’t since. The NCAA is investigating whether someone in Alexander’s family received impermissible benefits from an NBA agent. The attorney for Alexander said Thursday that he is waiting for the NCAA to interview him and has otherwise complied with the investigation. Attorney Paul K. Stafford said in a statement that Alexander has turned over his telephone records, text message records and bank statements but that the NCAA has refused to interview him, instead requesting more information. Alexander, who averages 7.1 points and 5.3 rebounds, was one of the top recruits in the country. He probably heads to the NBA Draft after the season.
Bears Beat Good WVU Team
Baylor moved on with an 80-70 win over West Virginia on Thursday. Taurean Prince scored 18 points off the bench, Royce O’Neale added 16 and Rico Gathers added 14 points and eight rebounds for the fourth-seeded Bears (24-8). Baylor outscored WVU in the paint 40-20, BU is now 16-3 this season when doing so. Baylor shot 51.0 percent from the field and is a perfect 7-0 this season when shooting 50 percent or higher. Baylor outshot WVU 51%-45.3%, the Bears are now a perfect 20-0 when shooting a higher percentage than their opponent. Baylor had 15 assists and BU is now 19-1 this season when recording 14 or more assists.
Kansas beat Baylor twice this season, 56-55 in Waco on Jan. 7 and 74-64 in Lawrence. KU was full strength for those.
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