99 in 99: #13 Baylor Bears

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LaceDarius Dunn arrested

The Baylor Bears quickly climbed up the rankings last season and was a sexy pick to make some serious noise heading into the NCAA Tournament.  Losing three starters, possibly four depending on LaceDarius Dunn’s status will hurt, but Scott Drew has one of the top freshmen in the country who should help the Bears still be a major factor in the Big 12.

The Sports Bank’s “99 in 99” ranks the 72 power conference college basketball teams and top 27 mid-majors for the 2010-2011 season.  Click here if you missed teams #14-#99.

By: David Kay

Baylor Bears (T-2nd, 11-5 in Big 12, 28-8 overall)

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Perry Jones (Fr)/J’mison Morgan (Jr)/Dragan Sekelja (So)
F: Quincy Acy (Jr)/Cory Jefferson (So)
F: Anthony Jones (Jr)/Fred Ellis (Jr)
SG: LaceDarius Dunn (Sr)/Nolan Dennis (So)
PG: A.J. Walton (So)/Stargell Love (Fr)

Gone: PF-Ekpe Udoh, PG-Tweety Carter, C-Josh Lomers, G/F-Givon Crump (transfer-Fresno State)
Baylor cheerleaders
2010-2011 Outlook:

LaceDarius Dunn’s off-the-court incident almost ruined Baylor’s season before it began.  Dunn was accused of punching his girlfriend and breaking two bones in her jaw.  Scott Drew indefinitely suspended his senior shooting guard from competition although he was allowed to return to practice.  It is unknown as to when or if he will be cleared to play in a game, but placing the Bears 13th overall in my rankings is based off the belief that he will be back on the floor before Big 12 play begins.  If I knew Dunn was out for the season, Baylor would probably drop into the twenties.

Not including Dunn, Drew loses three starters from last year’s Elite 8 team including difference maker Ekpe Udoh who left early for the NBA.  Like Udoh, two traits aptly describe this year’s frontcourt; long and athletic.

The player who really has people in Waco hyped is 6-11 freshman Perry Jones.  He is the highest recruit in program history and should shine this season due to his versatility.

Quincy Acy dunk6-10 Anthony Jones is the only returning starter up-front though he is really more of a wing player.  He can shoot the ball from the outside and fly to the rim.  At 195 pounds, Jones is not physical but is so effective due to his length.  Quincy Acy will see an increased role after being the team’s sixth man a year ago.  He is more physical than Jones but also extremely explosive as he was a regular of Baylor highlights due to his ability to dunk all over opponents.  UCLA transfer J’mison Morgan will provide some muscle off the bench while seldom used Fred Ellis and Cory Jefferson will add even more depth.

Sophomore A.J. Walton was a valuable bench player last season and will take over for Tweety Carter as the team’s starting point guard.  Walton is a little more of a distributor than Carter and should make the transition rather seamless.  Freshman Stargell Love will push Walton for minutes.

If Dunn is indeed sidelined for an extended period of time, Drew has some options.  He went with a four forward look in Baylor’s exhibition opener and could go with that look to start the season.  The other option would be to give the nod to sophomore Nolan Dennis who was not as much of a factor last season as some anticipated.

Without Dunn, Baylor will still be a tough match-up for opponents due to their length and athleticism in the frontcourt.  Add a scorer like to the mix and Baylor has the potential for a repeat performance of last season.

Player to Watch: Perry Jones, F

In all likelihood, Jones’ first season at Baylor will be his last as he is pretty much a top-five prospect for the 2011 NBA Draft.  He is a game changer on both ends of the floor and was even voted pre-season All-Big 12 First Team despite never playing a minute for the Bears.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/16 vs. LaSalle
12/2 vs. Arizona State
12/18 vs. Gonzaga (in Dallas)
12/23 vs. Mississippi State/Washington State (Diamond Head Classic)
12/25 vs. Butler/Utah/Florida State/Hawaii (Diamond Head Classic)

Other 99 in 99’s:
#14 Washington
#15 Georgetown
#16 Missouri
#17 Memphis
#18 Wisconsin
#19 Purdue
#20 Butler
#21 Virginia Tech
#22 Tennessee
#23 Gonzaga
#24 Texas
#25 San Diego State
#26 Xavier
#27 West Virginia
#28 BYU
#29 Georgia
#30 St. John’s
#31 N.C. State
#32 Florida State
#33 Marquette
#34 Temple
#35 Vanderbilt
#36 Arizona
#37 Murray State
#38 Dayton
#39 Notre Dame
#40 Mississippi State
#41 Utah State
#42 Maryland
#43 Richmond
#44 UNLV
#45 Seton Hall
#46 Wichita State
#47 Washington State
#48 St. Louis
#49 Old Dominion
#50 Minnesota
#51 New Mexico
#52 UConn
#53 Northwestern
#54 UCLA
#55 Southern Mississippi
#56 St. Mary’s
#57 Texas A&M
#58 Louisville
#59 Arizona State
#60 Northern Iowa
#61 Creighton
#62 Clemson
#63 Cincinnati
#64 Texas Tech
#65 Miami, FL
#66 Charlotte
#67 UTEP
#68 Ole Miss
#69 George Mason
#70 Colorado
#71 Weber State
#72 Alabama
#73 Bradley
#74 Central Florida
#75 Wake Forest
#76 Georgia Tech
#77 USC
#78 Oklahoma State
#79 Cal
#80 Oklahoma
#81 Virginia
#82 South Carolina
#83 Indiana
#84 Stanford
#85 Oregon
#86 Penn State
#87 South Florida
#88 Arkansas
#89 Boston College
#90 LSU
#91 Providence
#92 Michigan
#93 Oregon State
#94. Nebraska
#95. Auburn
#96. DePaul
#97. Iowa State
#98. Rutgers
#99. Iowa

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Comments

  1. Baylor’s Big 3 gone to a Big 1 or 2. Tweety and Udoh leaving will hurt Baylor a bunch, Dunn possibly gone and a great recruit is all they have left.

  2. If the Bears lose Dunn for the season, they will not be in the top 25 and will probably have a sub-par season. He is the number one reason they are a contender for any sort of championship (Big 12 or National). If K-State didn’t have Pullen, it would be the same thing for them. The Bears have no outside shooters except for Dunn. They will lose to Gonzaga by 20 if he is not back by then. I bet the Bears wish he would have just gotten high in the Taco Bell drive through with Gordon and Jefferson instead of punching his girlfriend.

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