Baylor guard Mark Vital, left, scores past West Virginia forward Derek Culver, right, in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, in Waco, Texas. (Ernesto Garcia/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)

BEVO BEAT Men's Basketball

Men’s preview: Texas at Baylor

Longhorns-Bears meet at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Ferrell Center

Posted February 26th, 2019

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Texas at Baylor

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Ferrell Center (capacity 10,284)

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TV/radio: ESPN2/104.9 The Horn

About the series: Texas leads the all-time series 163-90. The Longhorns snapped a six-game losing skid in the series with an 84-72 win over the Bears in Austin on Feb. 6.

TEXAS (15-12, 7-7 Big 12)
No.Pos.PlayerClassHt.PPGRPG
2GMatt Coleman IIISoph.6-210.13.6*
3GCourtney RameyFr.6-37.42.9
13GJase FebresSoph.6-58.02.7
21FDylan OsetkowskiSr.6-910.27.7
10FJaxson HayesFr.6-1110.45.3
Coach: Shaka Smart (65-62, 4th year at Texas; 228-118, 10th year overall)
*-indicates assists per game.

About the Longhorns: Coach Shaka Smart was asked this week if his team was due for a break. “That’s coming. Hopefully Wednesday for sure,” he said with a sly grin. The Longhorns are 4-9 this season in games decided by six points or fewer and head down the critical home stretch without suspended leading scorer Kerwin Roach II. Still, Texas is projected to finish with a .500 league record, according to Kenpom.com and get into the NCAA Tournament. Forward Kamaka Hepa (concussion protocol) dressed and went through warm-ups last weekend against Oklahoma. He should be cleared to play against Baylor. Watch for more from Royce Hamm Jr. He had four rebounds and one bucket in 11 minutes against the Sooners.

BAYLOR (18-9, 9-5 Big 12)
No.Pos.PlayerClassHt.PPGRPG
10GMakai MasonSr.6-115.03.1*
3GKing McClureSr.6-39.95.4
4FMario KeglerSoph.6-710.05.9
12GJared ButlerFr.6-39.42.9
11FMark VitalSoph.6-56.67.0
Coach: Scott Drew (316-204, 16th year at Baylor; 336-215, 17th year overall)
*-indicates assists per game.

About the Bears: Arguably one of the best lesser-known players in the Big 12 this season is Mark Vital. He posted his second career double-double last weekend against West Virginia with  15 points and 14 rebounds. “He may be the first MVP of the league who scores seven or eight points a game, whatever he does,” WVU coach Bob Huggins told reporters afterward. Smart went another step and called Vital “the toughest, meanest player in the league.” The Bears struggled at home against the Mountaineers and was actually trailing by four down the stretch. But Baylor scored 10 unanswered points to secure an 82-75 win. Coach Scott Drew’s club still must play Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Kansas to close out the regular season.

Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com.

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