When I was covering college football’s Texas Bowl between the Illinois Fighting Illini and the Baylor Bears, a fellow media member turned to me, after hearing “Whitney Merciles” and Corey Liuget (pronounced “legit”) turned and said to me “wow, these names your team has.”
I said, I feel the same way about your college basketball team: Tweety Carter, Stargell Love, Quincy Acy, J’mison Morgan (two different popular alcohols in one name there) and of course LaceDarius Dunn.
But while the Bears have plenty of great names on their roster; they lack much NBA tradition.
By Paul M. Banks
There are two Baylor alums in the NBA right now: Brian Skinner of the Los Angeles Clippers and Ekpe Udoh of the Golden State Warriors
The most famous Bear in the NBA right now is Vinnie “the Microwave” Johnson, the Detroit Pistons legend. Others include Terry Teagle, David Wesley and Michael Williams. And that’s it.
Dunn hopes to change that. And the NBA Draft combine in Chicago last week, he talked about the role models of his hoop dreams. First talking about who he models his game on.
“Right now, Dwyane Wade, a slasher, create his own shot, get his shot off when he wants to.”
Then the 6-4 shooting guard from Monroe, Louisiana mentioned who his favorite player is/was.
“Kobe Bryant has been my role model since day one, I’m a Kobe fan so I kind of model my game on his, watch film on what he does well, and try to learn from it,” Dunn said.
Dunn is one of those players who was headliner in a power conference, but the star power doesn’t mean it’ll translate to NBA riches. He concluded his stellar career as both the Baylor and Big 12 Conference all-time leading scorer with 2,285 career points. In addition to career scoring marks, concluded career as Baylor all-time leader in 3FG made (388), 3FG attempted (985), consecutive games with made 3FG (45), free throw percentage (83.6), games played (134), wins (87) and Big 12 wins (32).
Everyone knows that Dunn is more than just a shooter, he’s a scorer. A pure scorer. But he has another trait people might overlook.
“I’m always a great teammate, a good teammate all around, cheering the guys on,” he said.
He also knows what he needs to do the most to improve his draft stock.
“Defense, just being a stopper, making defense as good as my offense.”