NEW YORK CITY – There were about 30 minutes left before game time. Fran McCaffrey took some time to watch warmups from behind the Iowa bench. He watched and studied gathering his thoughts as players stretched and went through layup lines. Finally, he mentioned to a visitor, “I think it’s obvious, you cannot stop (Pierre) Jackson, but we have to contain him.” McCaffrey was referring to the Baylor senior guard who makes the offense go and can produce points on his own.
(Photo Credit: Baylor Marketing and Communications)
As it all played out, Jackson made an impact, but the 74-54 NIT championship at Madison Square Garden by Baylor, began with his running mate. A.J. Walton, like Jackson a senior guard, put his stamp on the game with outstanding perimeter defense that disrupted Iowa all night long.
Neither team was able to generate offense the first half. Baylor led 27-22 at the break and McCaffrey pointed out his team was fortunate to be within two possessions. Early in the second half...