Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Big 12 Orientation, Week 7: Baylor Basketball.

Never Forget.

Baylor Basketball At-A-Glance:
  • Program Founded in 1907.
  • Overall record of 1,422 - 1,286
  • 2 Final Fours (1948, 1950).
  • 4 Elite Eights
  • 2 Sweet 16's (I'm just the messenger, but I'm guessing the tourney field was much smaller in the 40s)
  • 7 Tourney Appearances
  • 5 Conference Regular Season Titles (0 since 1950).
  • 0 Conference Tourney Titles.
  • 0 Reasons Why Baylor is good now outside of cheating
  • 1 Murder Scandal
Famous Ex-Bears:
  • Patrick Dennehy.  An ex Bear in more ways than one.
  • Carlos Dotson
  • Dave Bliss
History with TCU:  Like in football, the Bears and Frogs have met a LOT of times on the hardwood, 168 to be exact, with the Bears holding an 87-81 edge.  Sadly, at least for the near future, this discrepancy is likely to become a lot more lopsided barring Trent Johnson being some sort of medieval sorceress with a specialty in college basketball miracles.  However, the Frogs ARE currently riding a four game win streak against Baylor dating back to their last game in 2002.  Besides that, TCU can claim scoreboard in the most important statistic of all - lack of team building through covering up the murder of a teammate.

Recent History:  Prior to the 2010 mauling of the Bears by the football Frogs, yours truly touched on the Scott Drew Era at that point in time, the extent of which can be found HERE about halfway down the page.  Shockingly, or perhaps not so shockingly at all, the majority of the post still rings pretty true today and I want to reprint the opening paragraph here:

This may not have anything to do with football, but if you choose to get into a jawing match with a Baylor fan tomorrow – and I hope that we all have this in mind – at least a dozen of them are going to drag basketball into the mix despite it having nothing to do with the game. Consequently, this is the argument that quite possibly drives Baylor fans more insane than anything else because deep down they know something isn’t right. They know they shouldn’t be making elite 8’s and nabbing top recruits. They know they shouldn’t be beating the powerhouse teams in the Big 12 on a semi-regular basisr. They know that, but they will fight you tooth and nail if you bring it up.

Kinda spooky how so little has changed, no?  Baylor is still defying the odds by nabbing top recruits and make Elite 8 runs without any explanation not related to Scott Drew being a world class cheater.  Before Drew, Baylor was Daugherty Era TCU Basketball, but instead of lasting 5 some-odd years it lasted for 50.  There's just no way the man is THAT good.  He started out with a team being investigated for murder and fielding only 7 players.  Seriously, I know a basketball program is much, much easier to turn around than football, but come on.   I went through the highlights back then - recruiting through AAU Coaches, employing negative recruiting tactics, hush-hush payments funneled through Baptist outlets - and, again, what has changed?  The Bears are living extremely high on the hog right now due to the fruits of their ill-gotten labors, and it doesn't look like too much is going to change in the future.  As for recent history, last year's team made it all the way to the Elite 8 before falling to eventual Champion Kentucky and have three NCAA Tourney appearances under Scott Drew, including in 2010 or, "The time I hated Baylor because they made me root for Duke."  They also have a long string of elite high school talents who never quite reached their potential at Baylor and flamed out in the NBA, guys like Edke Udoh and.... well, the list seems to end there.  Weird.  I guess Facebreakius Dunn wasn't the bees knees after all, as they say in Waco.  

2012 Outlook:  No matter how you frame it, the Bears 2012 outlook is better than ours, although that goes for all 300+ other teams in division 1.  But, it won't be easy.  The Bears lose three MAJOR contributors from last year's team in uber lightweight Perry Jones III, late early-entrant for the NBA to poop on Quincy Miller as well as departing Senior Quincy Acy.  Those three dudes accounted for nearly half of Baylor's points last year, and over half their rebounds, so that'll be some tough production to immediately replace.  Also take into account that Baylor was FINALLY place on probation this offseason for cheating, although based on the penalties it looks like the Bears once again got away with murder, sort of like the time they LITERALLY GOT AWAY WITH MURDER.  Scott Drew is suspended for 2 Big 12 games next season and the program is on probation for 3 years.  Big whoop.  

As for tangible information, leading scorer Pierre, "Don't Call them Freedom Fries" Jackson DOES return, as does token whitey outside shooter Brady Heslip, but they'll need some help from the incoming freshman class in order to have a repeat of last season.  Fortuntately for the Bears, they managed to snag Rivals 6th ranked recruiting class, led by Dallas-area big man Isaiah Austin.  This class comes immediately on the heels of signing the 14th ranked group last year, the 25th in 2010, 19th in 2009 and the list goes on.  Seriously, I realize that Baylor has put together some decent seasons, but to hit on THIS many classes in a row?  WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE KIDS?!?!  WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU SIGN WITH BAYLOR FOR COMPLETELY LEGAL REASONS?!?!  There's no way.  There's just no way.  I hate college basketball.

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