#25 Baylor Bears: College Basketball 111 in 111

Baylor cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The past few years, the Baylor Bears have relied on their lengthy, athletic frontcourt.  Scott Drew loses his entire starting frontcourt including three of their top four scorers meaning the guard play will be relied on to lead the way this season.

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#41 Baylor Bears: College Football 77 in 77

hot_cheerleader

For the Baylor Bears, the RG3 party is over now. All the fun refreshments have been served, and now the check has come due. Time to pay up with going back to mediocrity. Well, they could be a little better than mediocre, but this won’t be anything like the excitement of last season. Very few schools ever experience a Heisman trophy winner and #2 pick in the NFL Draft storybook season, so 2012 won’t be much like 2011.

But I sincerely hope they retain that awesome paint finish on their helmets from the bowl game. I forgot what that’s specifically called, but you know what I mean. It was really cool.

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Did Baylor’s Quincy Miller make a mistake by entering NBA Draft?

quincy miller nba draft

After initially announcing his intention to return to Baylor for his sophomore season, Quincy Miller had a change of heart and declared for the 2012 NBA Draft.  “At first, I was listening to everybody else’s opinion instead my own,” Miller admitted at the NBA Draft Combine.  “Ever since I was younger, I just wanted to play in the NBA so I was like I might as well go follow my dreams.”

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Baylor’s Perry Jones leaving for NBA Draft, opens door for Isaiah Austin

isaiah austin baylor

Length, size, athleticism, and versatility.  Those attributes have been staples of Baylor‘s frontcourt for the past few seasons.  Even though the Bears lose Perry Jones who declared for the NBA Draft on Monday, that tradition of size inside will continue with McDonald’s All-American Isaiah Austin arriving in Waco next season.

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Northwestern Routs MVSU, Stays Undefeated; Ready for #7 Baylor

drew_crawford 

In two days we’ll really know what we have, or don’t have with Northwestern college basketball. Yes, they’re undefeated right now, and they won the Charleston Classic. But they still haven’t played anyone. The road win at Georgia Tech was nice, but the Yellow Jackets are down this year. Much like the rest of the ACC.

But it won’t be long until the moment of truth (undefeated #7 Baylor) arrives- Sunday 3PM at Evanston’s Welsh-Ryan Arena.

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Baylor QB Robert Griffin III: Darkhorse Heisman Candidate

robert-griffin-iii

The Heisman discussion these days seems to comes down to Stanford’s Andrew Luck versus Alabama’s Trent Richardson. Other candidates on the outside looking in are USC’s Matt Barkley, Houston’s Case Keenum, the stats monster, and Montee Ball and Russell Wilson of the Wisconsin Badgers.

But what about Robert Griffin III from Baylor? I think the dual-threat QB deserves much more consideration.

The Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award is presented annually to the nation’s best college quarterback and is the oldest national quarterback award. The 2011 Davey O’Brien winner will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards airing Thursday, Dec. 8 on ESPN.

The three O’Brien finalists are Luck, Keenum and RG3.

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#7 Baylor Bears: College Basketball 111 in 111

baylor cheerleading

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

A year after nearly making the Final Four, the Baylor Bears were expected to do big things last season.  However, the team never truly jelled together and missed out on the NCAA Tournament.  With Perry Jones’ somewhat surprising decision to return to Waco, Baylor has one of the most talented rosters in the country.  Can Scott Drew put it all together though?

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College Football 77 in 77: #43 Baylor Bears

baylor_cheerleading

I was lucky enough to cover two college football bowl games last year in the lone star state. One of which was the Baylor Bears who got throttled by alma mater, the Illinois Fighting Illini in the Texas Bowl. The home field advantage wasn’t enough as the Baylor Bears were dominated 38-14. But that game could have been much closer than it seems; at least for the first two periods. QB Robert Griffin III consistently had receivers open, he just couldn’t connect with them. They were open, but bad timing. It could have been due to: him, his WRs routes, the Illini pressure generated by Corey Liuget (the San Diego Chargers 1st round pick) and company; or a combination of all these things.

Had they made a few of these plays early, they would have stayed with Illinois for the first half and changed the entire complexion of the game. Something to think about in 2011 moving forward. If they fix it, it’ll further balance the O and take the pressure off the D.

Either way, one thing’s for sure- they have some scorching hot cheerleaders (here’s some video proof). Any time these nice Baptist girls want to act on those impure thoughts, get sinful and debauched, shoot me a sext!

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LaceDarius Dunn Tries to Start Baylor Bears NBA Tradition

LaceDarius Dunn arrested

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

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Texas Forever! Illini vs. Baylor: Brutally Honest Bowl Game Preview

lyla garrity

Like they say in Dillon, deep in the heart of Texas, “Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. CAN’T LOSE!”  Yes, the Illinois Fighting Illini best adopt the philosophy of fictional football Coach Erik Taylor and his East Dillon Lions in the dramatic television series “Friday Night Lights.”

The Illini have their work cut out for them, only 1.5 point underdogs, but they’re playing in enemy territory, taking on a school that’s fired up about their first bowl appearance in 17 years, at a stadium less than three hours drive from campus.

Indeed Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers, won’t be the only NFL stadium where a local team in blue and orange is surrounded by an adversarial crowd in green and gold. Reliant Stadium, home of the Houston Texans, and college basketball’s next Final Four, will have a decidedly pro-Baylor slant when the Texas Bowl kicks off Wednesday night at 5.

“Texas forever, Street.”

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Texas Forever! Illinois to Play Baylor in Houston Texans Home, Texas Bowl

texas-bowl

It’s official! The Illinois Fighting Illini have learned their college football bowl destination, and it’s Houston, or more specifically, Reliant Stadium, home of the NFL’s Houston Texans, and this year’s college basketball Final Four.

They’ll play the Baylor Bears in the Texas Bowl on December 29th 5 p.m. CT on ESPN.

By Paul M. Banks

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