2007 Baylor Bears College Basketball Preview
The Baylor Bears (19- 16 overall, 4- 12 Big 12) won 15 games last season, which was an 11-game improvement over the previous year. Coach Scott Drew (36- 69 in four years at Baylor, 56- 80 in five years overall) has been able to recruit good players but has lacked the ability to develop the talent once it arrives. If he can improve his guys, then the Bears will be primed for their best season in a long time. If he cannot, then Drew may be out and the Bears won't be seen in the March Madness brackets.
Baylor had a tough time defending as they allowed 73.0 PPG, which ranked the Bears 11th in the Big 12. Although they were fifth in scoring, the 75.5 PPG they scored made them only plus-2.5 versus opponents. To show on the March Madness lines, the stat must improve dramatically for the club to do better than their 11th place finish. The club’s 14.5 TPG and 14.0 APG ranked them eighth and seventh respectively.
Upfront, junior forward Kevin Rogers (12.8 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 52.5 FG%) found consistency in his sophomore year. Two centers, sophomore Josh Lomers (4.0 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 62.5 FG%) and junior Mamadou Diene (4.8 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 53.0 FG%), should be potent forces under the boards. Forward Penny Thiam (1.8 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 37.5 FG%), from Senegal, is extremely athletic but needs to learn a lot of the basics to change the college basketball odds. He has shown amazing potential.
The backcourt is extremely talented and able to produce points. Senior guard Aaron Bruce (11.3 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 3.4 APG, 41.5 FG%) saw his point production drop off last season. Bruce is a leader on the court and looks to share the ball more. Junior guard Curtis Jerrells (15.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.8 APG, 44.1 FG%) offers a fine outside shot, strength and speed. Guard Henry Dugat (11.7 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 2.2 APG, 47.3 FG%), a junior, is a fast shooter who needs to find accuracy.
Baylor has not been to the NCAA post-season since 1988. If Drew can at least get the team to the NIT, then he’ll be golden. Last season was the most promising year the Bears have seen under the coach. Baylor could win 20 to 23 games this season. If they don’t, then you’ll have to wonder if Drew will keep his job.