|No. 25 Baylor, Creighton race for CBE championship|
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Baylor coach Scott Drew knows what the feeling will be like on Tuesday in the championship game of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic at Sprint Center. He gets a taste of it every year.
"Creighton's got a great turnout here," he said of the Bears' opponent in the tournament final. "Normally when we come to the Big 12 tournament, Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State have a lot of fans up here. So this will prepare us for what we'll see later on. It will be two really good teams."
If you like end-to-end action, the Tuesday game will be one to watch, as Creighton and No. 25 Baylor like to race up and down the floor.
"I know it's going to be a fast-paced game," Drew said. "We've got a seven-second break, but they have a six-second break. That shows you how fast they are."
Creighton (4-0) reached the title game with a 100-89 victory over No. 23 UCLA on Monday night. In the nightcap, Baylor (4-0) held off a late charge by Wisconsin to win 70-65.
Baylor has the size to play either a fast-paced game or a knock-down, drag-out style, while Creighton simply wants to run. The Bluejays came into Monday's action averaging nearly 98 points a game, and bettered that against the Bruins. They kept gunning, even when the shots weren't falling.
"Marcus (Foster) had three or four wide-open threes," Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. "We're not going to turn those down. We would die to get that shot against their man-to-man. Because they didn't go in doesn't make them bad shots. We missed some pretty open shots against the zone, and that disrupted our zone. We did some good things. We just didn't make shots.
"It's who we are. It's what we believe in. Guys enjoy it. As long as we can play at that pace and make relatively good decisions ... eight turnovers in that many possessions, that's pretty clean basketball."
Creighton's balance will be important against the Bears, but McDermott needs Foster, a senior transfer from Kansas State, to be on his game.
"Coach McDermott has done a great job with him," Drew said. "He looks like he's trimmed down. He looks a lot faster than when he was in the Big 12. He always had great games against us, so we know what he's capable of."
McDermott isn't buying the "woe is me" approach by Drew.
"We got our teeth kicked in by Baylor when we played them in the NCAA Tournament (in 2014)," McDermott said. "We'll go to work tonight. Nobody is going to be overly prepared or overly fresh."
As much as Creighton depends on Foster, Baylor depends on senior point guard Manu Lecomte. With Wisconsin closing fast on Monday, Lecomte hit three free throws to stave off the Badgers' charge. He sank 13 of 15 foul shots in the second half.
"We had the right guy at the free-throw line," Drew said. "That's what you'd expect from your senior point guard. The good thing about Manu is that if he's not scoring, he is a point guard. If they put two (defenders) on him, he does a good job of finding somebody else."