Saturday, September 01, 2007

Blog Moves

Again, yes, I know.

But now we have a permanent home.

And what better day to check it out than when I'm all pissed off by that terrible TCU game?


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Baylor Adds Standout QB to 2008 Recruiting Class

The class might not have numbers, but the Baylor coaching staff has three very good players committed to play for Baylor starting in 2008. The latest is Nick Florence, a 6'2" QB from South Garland.

Nick threw for nearly 3,000 yards (57% completion) last year with 23 TDs against 14 INTs, and showed his speed on the ground, rushing for over 400 yards and 6 TDs.

There are plenty of clips of him on the internet. I'd suggest you go check him out.

Welcome to Baylor, Nick!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Women's Season Comes to a Close, But the Drama is Just Beginning

It's hard to compete with home court advantage, and an opposing coach that has cancer. Baylor did their best to counter with a home burning to the ground and KMs HS coach with cancer, but Coach Yow out-coached KM late in the game when she "struggled" to stand right in front of a ref, eeking out that last bit of pity which proved enough to carry NCSU through the end of the year.

But really, we lost that game. It didn't come down to the refs or the home court. We turned the ball over too much and we missed too many easy shots. The hallmarks of a young team.

But will Mulkey be here to see them grow up? That's the question that formed in the minds of every Baylor fan as the clock ticked down. Was that the last time we'll see KM on the Baylor side of the court? The last chance to don the "Got Mulk" shirts?

The tension might be thicker now than it was during the tournament. Here's one Baylor fan hoping that the administration does what it takes to keep Mulkey in Waco.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Tourney Coverage

Without the ability to adequately cover the tourney, I've opted instead to pretend it isn't going on.

If you are interested in some excellent Tournament Coverage, head on over to the BearMeat Blog. Not only are they up-to-date, but they have an excellent sense of humor and they are Green and Gold through and through, which is a plus if you like sniping shots taken at Aggies, Longhorns and others.

Called Out... I'm ashamed

Thank you, BearMeat.

Despite my fatigue, you have guilted me back into blogging.

Let's revisit our now finished basketball season:

High Point: Beating Missouri in the Big XII Conference Tournament -

This was the game that showed legitimate improvement over last year, something that we needed after a very disappointing year (record-wise). Not only did we set the Big XII record for shooting percentage in the tournament, but we beat the #6 seed by 14 point. We attacked, we pressed, and we showed how explosive we could be.

Low Point: Losing to Iowa State -

Not only did we lose, but we dropped this game to a team that was on a 5-game losing streak in conference and we looked really bad doing it. Aaron Bruce, Henry Dugat, Mark Shepherd, and Tweety Carter combined to go 1 for 20 from the field for 4 points. That's 5% shooting from players contributing 90 of 200 total minutes in the game. Oh, and they also combined for 13 of the teams 20 fouls.

Most Improved Player: Kevin Rogers

Kevin nearly doubled his points and rebounds production over last year, was the teams leading scorer and improved throughout the year. He showed that, in spurts, he could be a very good rebounder and scorer. He needs to continue to improve his consistency as he matures, but he did show us a glimpse of the promise that he has.

Team MVP: Curtis Jerrells

I might be basing too much of this off the conference tourney, but the kid was amazing and showed what he could do. Early on it looked like Jerrells was having some trouble adjusting to the new rotation, but as he became more comfortable, he ratcheted up his performance. Despite averaging 1 point per game less than last year, Jerrells improved his rebounds, assists and reduced his turnovers per game.

Biggest Reasons to Look Forward to Next Year:

There are a lot of reasons to get excited, but I'll talk about three:
  1. We return all our contributors from this year
  2. We get healthy
  3. We add another great recruiting class
1. We return all our contributors from this year
Next year, we'll be a team full of upper-classmen and guys that have been through a full season of games. That means that 10 of the 12 players on our roster will be back, including 7 of our top 8 scorers(including the top 5), 6 of our top 7 rebounders(including the top 4), and our top 5 assist leaders. The guys we do lose (Fields and Bush), were both injured much of the year, and they only averaged 33.2 mpg (out of 200) combined. There is no doubt that as our current roster matures, we will become a much more dangerous team.

2. We get healthy
Curtis Jerrells is the only BU player to play in every game. Rogers, Bruce, Thiam, Diene, Fields, Shepherd, Bush all suffered some sort of injury that caused them to miss games. Thiam and Bush suffered season-ending injuries (Thiam after seeing the court for only 28 minutes). Fields missed significant time early, and never really recovered from his injuries which kept him from being the player he could have been. Not many teams experience the injury trouble the 2006-2007 Bears did, and it's unlikely that we'll see a repeat of it next year.

3. We add another great recruiting class
Our highest rated recruit ever is on his way in and it would be hard to find a player that fit the bill for our team more. Dunn is a 6'5" SG/SF that can slash to the hoop, hit the 3 and will give us a great deal more versatility on the court in our multi-guard set. Fred Ellis will add some bulk under the hoop, and with the recent commitment of 6'8" PF Simpson, we will add some maturity (he's a JUCO) and some more dependable hands in the paint. Expect him to be a 6'8" more athletic Tim Bush-type player. I doubt we'll run many plays for him, but he'll get his points on the effort plays.

We are still trying to pick up Mamadou Diarra, a 6'10" 235lb PF, who has an advanced offensive game and could help us immediately. Baylor is in a battle with USC for his services, and we'll have to wait and see what he decides, but he could be a key part of the puzzle if he decides to head to Waco.

Bottom Line:

Was the season a disappointment? It's hard to admit it, but yeah it was. The 4-12 conference record was the same record we had last year with no non-conference, and the only reason it wasn't a total nightmare is that (with a few exceptions) we played very competitive basketball. 12 of our 16 losses came by 10 points or less. Half of those came by 5 points or less. We had a bad stretch in the second half of January, dropping 4 straight by an average of 12.5 points per game, including a 26-point romp by OU, and our last 6 losses came by an average of 6 points.

And despite the disappointment, there is a lot to look forward to next year. We should really expect a .500 season in conference play and a postseason tournament berth, either the NIT or NCAA.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Baylor About to Enter Important Stretch Run

The three big sports at Baylor are entering a very important time in each of their seasons. Football is closing in on Signing Day fast, men's basketball have to pick up some wins with some winnable games up next, and the girls need to keep winning, including the game against NU to solidify their shot at 1st or 2nd in the conference.

Football has had some late struggles, losing some nice recruits in the last few weeks and the coaches need to make a strong push to keep this class together AND to add some important pieces to the class. This class can be the one that takes Baylor a big step forward, or it can be a class that takes Baylor a baby step forward.

The guys have four games coming up that are all winnable. Colorado and Iowa State are a combined 3-10 in conference play. The Iowa State game is on the road, but we beat them last year by 18 points and should have a very good chance to beat them this year. Following those games we have a rematch against OU in Waco and a road trip to Missouri. OU played their heads off in Norman and I don't think they can replicate that performance again. Missouri is tough, especially in Columbia and even more with their pressure defense, but if our guards continue to improve and gel, there's no reason to think we shouldn't be able to handle that pressure enough to get some good transition scores.

This four game stretch will make or break our season.

The women have two big games coming up on the road. Going to Lincoln to face Nebraska is going to be one of the toughest games of the year, and heading out to Lubbock is always tough and the Lady Raiders are really starting to put their team together. Neither game is one Baylor fans should feel comfortable about, but they are both still definitely winnable, and Baylor should probably be favored in both. If Baylor can knock off Nebraska, we should lock up 2nd place, and possibly set up a showdown matchup against OU in Norman for first place.

So, Baylor fans, warm up your prayer benches!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Baylor Falters Late to Texas

What a game that was. Aaron Bruce and Kevin Rogers definitely came to play and the rest of the team also played a very solid game.

This was probably our best all-aroud game of the year, and it came against one of the most talented teams we'll face this season.

What did this game come down to? I'd say that of all the statistics, the most telling is this one:

Free Throw Attempts:

Baylor - 10
Texas - 33


Yes, Baylor did intentionally foul Texas late in the game, but that was 4 fouls. So that's still basically a 3-1 advantage towards Texas. And it's not because Baylor was shooting a ton of 3s. In fact, both Baylor and Texas shot the same number of 3s (26). Baylor hit 9 and Texas hit 10. In fact, Texas took a much higher percentage of their FG attempts from behind the arc than Baylor did. And Baylor had a TON more points in the paint (40-16). Baylor also led in 2nd chance points (16-14) and fast break points (22-6).

Baylor had ONE free throw attempt in the first half, while taking 20 2-pt FGs. Baylor took 9 attempts in the second half. Baylor only missed 2 FTs in the game.

Texas had 8 FT attempts in the first half (and trailed by 6 points), but after (I'm sure) Barnes had a little chat with the refs, Texas was sent to the line TWENTY-FIVE times in the second half. That's more than 2.5 times Baylor's opportunities. Baylor and Texas took exactly the same number of 2-pt FG attempts in the second half.

Now, getting away from the FT argument, AJ Abrams made some terrific shots tonight, and Durant showed why he's one of the best (if not THE best) players in college basketball this year. They both had great games tonight, and were the reason that Texas was able to stay in the game at all.

I'm still not impressed by Augustin, and I think the rest of Texas' players are good players, but not really all that special. Bottom line, unless Texas finds another player of Durant's caliber for next year (and there aren't any players like that) they are going to take a step backward next year.

I think we have a great chance to beat Texas when they come to Waco, and I will definitely be there to see it.