The last time Oklahoma played Baylor, Bears guard Kenny Chery was just healing up from a turf toe injury.
Now, Chery is fully recovered and is making a big difference.
Since the Bears’ 88-72 loss to OU on Feb. 8, Baylor is 8-1 and Chery is a big reason why.
Entering Wednesday night’s late game against TCU, Chery was averaging 17.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists in his last seven games.
“Their guards weren’t as good at scoring as Chery is, so it’s going to be a good game,” Oklahoma guard Isaiah Cousins said. “I’m definitely looking forward to that matchup. Chery’s a great guard, and I like playing against great guards. It’s going to be an exciting night.”
BLACK FILLING IN FOR EMBIID
With Kansas big man Joel Embiid out of the Big 12 Tournament and beyond, Memphis graduate transfer Tarik Black steps into the spotlight.
The 6-foot-9, 260-pound Black has been in frequent foul trouble, both in his first three years at Memphis and now for the Jayhawks.
He’s only played more than 20 minutes in seven games this season with two of those coming in the last two with Embiid on the bench.
While Embiid averages 11.2 points and 8.1 rebounds, Black averages 4.8 and 3.3.
Black and the Jayhawks open the tournament against Oklahoma State at 2 p.m. Thursday.
Embiid, who is suffering from a stress fracture in his back, participated in Kansas’ light shootaround Wednesday afternoon at the Sprint Center.
NO ‘SIC ’EM’ FOR BEARS
Baylor drew some attention last week when the Bears announced plans to wear jerseys with “Sic ’Em Bears” on the chest during the NCAA Tournament.
That won’t be happening now, though.
Baylor’s official men’s basketball Twitter account announced the change in plans Wednesday afternoon. The post said the NCAA had ruled only the team’s name or mascot could be on the front.
Instead, Baylor will wear its regular-season uniforms during the NCAA Tournament. The Bears have six uniform designs to choose from — black, gold, green, neon yellow in two styles, and white.
The Bears wore their white uniforms Wednesday night against TCU.
SOUR FINISH DOESN’T DETER SMITH
With Texas Tech’s 80-62 loss to Oklahoma State on Wednesday night, the Red Raiders ended their season dropping seven of their last eight.
First-year Tech coach Tubby Smith said the finish didn’t change his opening about the progress the Red Raiders have made.
“We knew it was going to be a process,” Smith said. “We knew it was going to take time, but we expected to win more games obviously, and we had. We were giving ourselves a chance even in the tough losses against Kansas, Kansas State at home, West Virginia, Iowa State. We were in a lot of those games … but we really never learned to execute in late-game situations.
“And when that happened, we lost a lot of our confidence.”