Jackson St.-Baylor Preview
By NOEY KUPCHAN
(AP) -- With suspended standout sophomore Perry Jones III out until the end of November, Baylor's counting on others to step up.
If his collegiate debut was any indication, Quincy Miller seems more than capable of leading the way for the time being.
The 12th-ranked Bears seek a 21st consecutive non-conference home win as they host Jackson State on Sunday night.
Jones, the Big 12 preseason player of the year, has four games remaining from last season's NCAA suspension for accepting improper benefits prior to attending Baylor (1-0). He's eligible to return to the court Nov. 29 against Prairie View.
In the meantime, it looks as though Miller will carry the load.
The 6-foot-9 freshman forward scored a game-high 17 points on 6 of 11 shooting - including 2 of 4 from 3-point range - during Friday's season-opening 77-57 victory over Texas Southern. Miller, whose senior season in prep school ended early due to a torn ACL, didn't seem to be hindered by the injury.
"We expect so much because we know he has that in him. ... It's tough enough adjusting from high school to college, but even harder when you're basically rehabbing your senior season," coach Scott Drew said. "It will take him a little time. He's going to get better as the year goes on. ... He has a knack for hitting big shots, and isn't scared to take big shots."
Returning senior starters Quincy Acy and Anthony Jones each scored 11 points, adding seven and 12 rebounds, respectively. Redshirt sophomore Cory Jefferson also had a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.
Guard Pierre Jackson, a top junior college transfer, had eight points in 25 minutes off the bench.
While Drew would love to have Jones available, he knows getting others playing time early in the season could prove extremely valuable in the long run.
"Just playing and adjusting to college basketball is huge," Drew said. "With someone like Perry out, not only do they adjust but we expect more out of them. It gives them an opportunity to play and also be asked to produce. It speeds up the curve really."
Baylor has outscored non-conference opponents by an average of 23.1 points while taking 34 of 35 games at the Ferrell Center.
The Bears, 4-0 all-time against Jackson State (0-1), have outscored the Tigers by 25.7 points per game in the series. Jones scored 20 points while starting point guard A.J. Walton had 14 in last season's 63-49 win.
Baylor limited guard Jenirro Bush, this season's Southwestern Athletic Conference preseason player of the year, to just eight points on 3 of 10 shooting in that game.
Making a career-best six of nine 3's, Bush had 20 points and sophomore Kelsey Howard scored 14 in Friday's season-opening 99-59 loss at No. 8 Florida. Bush committed a career-worst six of the Tigers' 24 turnovers - their highest total since Jan. 17, 2009.
Following this contest, Jackson State will play at Wright State on Wednesday before visiting No. 3 Ohio State on Friday.
"We always have a competitive schedule," coach Tevester Anderson told the team's official site. "... I welcome that, because it makes you more competitive in your conference. It gives a chance to take kids around the country."
Updated November 12, 2011