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Can Perry Jones III carry Baylor?

Baylor's Jones is congratulated by Pierre after making a dunk during the Bears' win over Kansas in the semifinals of the NCAA men's Big 12 basketball tournament in Kansas City

Baylor Bears forward Perry Jones III is congratulated by guard Pierre Jackson after making a dunk during the second half of the Bears’ win over the Kansas Jayhawks in their semifinal game in the NCAA men’s Big 12 basketball tournament at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri March 9, 2012. REUTERS/Dave Kaup (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

REUTERS

For two seasons Baylor has been the classic All-Airport team. There, they look like an NBA squad. But on the court it hasn’t been so impressive. Last year they finished 18-13 and only won two of eight games down the stretch (and one of those wins was against an NAIA team). This year, with even more talent, they started 17-0 and caught the attention of the nation. But of course they’re Baylor, so they finished the season 10-7.

Still, this was enough to warrant a 3-seed in the eyes of the committee. And in this format - single elimination - Baylor is a very dangerous team.

Perhaps the best news is that uber recruit Perry Jones III is playing his best basketball. Over the past three games the 6'11 sophomore has scored 65 points (21.7 average). In his previous 56 career games, here’s the complete list of 3-game stretches where he put up that many points: [crickets]

Also, in those three games, Jones averaged 9.7 rebounds and went to the line 5.7 times a game.

This is the Perry Jones that Baylor fans were waiting for, and now is his chance to become a star.

Should the Bears survive their first round matchup with South Dakota State, then they’ll face the winner of UNLV and Colorado. Get past that and it’s most likely Duke or Notre Dame. If you follow Ken Pomeroy’s site then you’ll know that the Bears will most likely be favored in all of the above matchups (or maybe a pick ‘em with Duke). All of this could ultimately lead them to Kentucky, which would be the regional final most attended by NBA scouts.

Of course, for any of this to happen, Perry Jones III needs to keep playing at his elevated pace.