2009-2010 Baylor Bears Basketball Preview
Last season, the Baylor Bears (24- 15 overall, 5- 11 Big 12)
put up some disappointing numbers that relegated them to the NIT.
At that tourney, the Bears made it to the championship game where
they lost to Penn State 69- 63. Just the year before head coach
Scott Drew had the club in the March Madness classic.
Last season, the Bears allowed too many points as opponents scored on average 70.1 PPG (10th). Baylor's shooting was good. They hit 47% 6rom the field (4th), 37% from downtown (4th) and 71% from the charity stripe. They averaged a decent 76.0 PPG (6th). The team's rebound margin of minus-0.2 (6th) was disappointing.
There's help under the basket finally for the Bears as six-foot-ten, 236-pound junior forward/center Ekpe Udoh joins the club. Udoh came over from Michigan where he played well in the paint. Also upfront look for sophomore Quincy Acy (5.4 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 0.3 APG) and senior Josh Loomers (3.4 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 0.2 APG) to be major contributors. Acy is an athletic, in your face player, while Loomers, who is less athletic and not very mobile, possesses a long reach that offers match up dilemmas.
The major loses for this team from last season are at guard.
An average of 25.7 PPG has been lost through the graduation of
Henry Dugat (9.4 PPG, 3.1 RPG) and Curtis Jerrells (16.3 PPG,
4.5 RPG, 4.9 APG). But senior Tweety Carter (10.6 PPG, 2.5 RPG,
3.2 APG) and junior LaceDarius Dunn (15.7 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 0.6 APG)
offer plenty of firepower. Also, top 100 recruits Mark McLaughlin
and Nolan Dennis are talented and skilled. Dennis has fine ball
handling and defensive chops while McLaughlin is a sharpshooter
from beyond the arc. Freshman A.J. Walton looks to be the club’s
point guard of the future. However, veteran ball handling experience
is lacking and could be the undoing of this team.
This year, the Baylor Bears will have a gifted but young team. The large class of recruits looks strong. Coach Drew will need to instill some discipline and structure in the team. This will be a year of growth for the Bears. A trip back to the Big Dance is a year down the road but another strong showing at the NIT is possible. As far as the Big 12 goes, the Bears look to finish seventh. Anything higher would be a major surprise.