Yes, Brady Heslip still plays for Baylor. He falls into the category of players it feels like should be out of college by now. Heslip has been recovering from an emergency appendectomy he had about 10 days ago. Jeff Goodman tweeted out about an hour ago that Heslip is expected to play on Saturday at Rupp Arena.
Baylor, like Kentucky, enters Saturday’s match on the heels of a loss. Baylor has already dropped 2 games season, the most recent to the College of Charleston 63-59. Baylor also faltered against Colorado earlier in the season. The Bears have yet to live up to expectations, but a big part of that is likely due to Heslip’s absence.
In both games in which Kentucky has struggled the most this season, Duke and Notre Dame, they have been burned from behind the 3-point line. As many of you might remember from many pre-game posts before last year’s NCAA tournament game against Baylor, Brady Heslip is a major threat from behind the arc. Heslip shot 45.5% from 3-point range last season and led the nation in offensive efficiency.
CBSSports.com feels as if Baylor is certainly a potential threat to Kentucky’s current home game winning streak, highlighted by an undefeated mark thus far under John Calipari. Whether or not Heslip plays, which looks more and more likely, could be the biggest factor in Baylor’s success on the road tomorrow.
Outside of Heslip, the Bears have only one other proven shooter and that’s Pierre Jackson. They need Jackson to focus more on setting up his teammates rather than generating his own offense. In Baylor’s two losses, Jackson has a combined six assists. In four wins, he’s averaging 8.5 assists.
Without Heslip to stretch the defense against College of Charleston, big man Cory Jefferson scored only six points — he was averaging 16 — and Jackson jacked up 21 shots.
The proof is there that Baylor’s success is tied to Heslip. In 34 wins during his Baylor career, Heslip has averaged 11.2 points and made 46.5 percent of his 3-pointers. In nine losses, Heslip has averaged 7.0 points and shot 34.1 percent from the perimeter. In the last game before his appendectomy, Heslip scored a career-high 29 points and knocked down 8 of 12 threes.
8-12 from behind the arc? Gulp.