"They're much improved. They've got a lot of JUCO players and if you really look at it, they should be undefeated in conference."
Lady Bears coach Kim Mulkey wasted no time talking up the Kansas Jayhawks in her news conference Friday.
Baylor is a perfect 3-0 in conference and is only sporting one loss on the season for their trip to Lawrence.
"We've got to stop dribble penetration," continued Mulkey, "Every one of their guards can take you off the dribble. We've got them on size, but who knows there have been years where I thought they'd play inside and they took their posts out to the perimeter."
Mulkey's team is young, sporting seven underclassmen on a 10 player roster. Right now, they're still trying to absorb her lesson of not looking at the scoreboard.
"It's kind of hard," said freshman guard Alexis Morris, "My mama always told me don't play down to your opponent, but when you're up by 40 it's hard to get your energy up."
Still, it's a lesson that the upperclassmen say is vital for the team to learn if they plan to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament.
"If you're in the last two minutes you have to treat these last two minutes like it's zero to zero," said senior forward Dekeiya Cohen, "You have to work hard and see if you can win those two minutes."
Baylor might be forced to play young players, but it certainly helps when they don't play like freshmen, and coach Mulkey has noticed.
"[Alexis Morris] and Didi Richards are two of the best freshman not only in our league but in the country because their confident," said Mulkey, ". . . Alexis is smooth with the ball out there and Didi is feisty. She'll block your shot and get in there and foul with you and rebound."
Baylor might not need all that toughness to outclass teams like Kansas, but it's good to know the team is focused on the bigger picture.
"We have to set a tone for the rest of the season," said Cohen.
Tip-off is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Jan 6 in Lawrence.
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