|Smooth Inks Five-Year Deal with Rams
8:37 A.M., FRIDAY, JULY 31, 2009
"Waco Ambassador" and former Baylor Bears offensive tackle Jason Smith signed a five-year, $62 million contract with the St. Louis Rams Thursday afternoon. Smooth, drafted No. 2 overall in April's 2009 NFL Draft, and the Rams will hold their first full-squad practice at training camp Friday.
Smooth wasn't the only former Bear signing with a NFL team Thursday as former Baylor walk-on Thomas White inked a deal with the Baltimore Ravens.
If you aren't an ESPN The Magazine subscriber, you better hurry to your local newsstand because the Baylor Bears football team is featured in the magazine's August 10th edition. A few months back, ESPN writer Bruce Feldman wrote a story on the rise of the gridiron Bears under second-year head coach Art Briles and sophomore phenom QB Robert Griffin III (pictured during ESPN's photo shoot in March).
In addition to Briles and RG3, Feldman introduces the nation to two of Baylor's biggest additions - Penn State transfer defensive tackle "Cousin" Phil Taylor and junior college transfer offensive tackle Danny Watkins.
It's an excellent read that will only make Bears fans giddy with excitement in anticipation of the 2009 football season.
It's been a busy month of July for former Lady Bears. Former Baylor standout Stasha Richards has been named the new head women's basketball coach at UT Tyler.
Richards was a four-year letterwinner for the Lady Bears, playing for current head coach Kim Mulkey and former coach Sonja Hogg. Richards helped lead Baylor to NCAA Tournament appearances in 2001 and 2002 and the Women's NIT championship game in 2003.
Since 2007, Richards has led the Fort Scott Community College program and is credited with the overall success of the NJCAA Division I program.
Baylor has concluded its time at the 2009 Big 12 Football Media Days. Head coach Art Briles and players Robert Griffin III, Jordan Lake, Joe Pawelek and J.D. Walton have left the Westin-DFW North and are headed back to Waco.
Look for more coverage from today's event later on BaylorBears.com.
12:05 P.M., TUESDAY, JULY 28, 2009
We're now in the radio interviews portion of media day. Various ESPN Radio affiliates are stationed in a central room, and players are bouncing from one interview to another. This is the tedious part of the day for the players, who often have to answer the same questions at multiple stations.
One good question came from Tony Davis of ESPN Radio in Kearney, Neb. Davis asked Joe Pawelek, "Who brings it harder, you or Jordan Lake?"
"Well, most people would say Jordan," Pawelek admitted. "But when you think about it, he gets about a five-yard head start. He's way back there in the secondary and gets to build up speed. I'm closer to the line and really don't get my momentum built up as much as he does. So don't buy into the Jordan theory too easily."
While Pawelek, Lake, Robert Griffin and head coach Art Briles are bouncing from one radio interview to the next, J.D. Walton is playing the role of roving reporter himself. Look for some of Walton's interview gems later today on BaylorBears.com.
11:30 A.M., TUESDAY, JULY 28, 2009
The players and head coach Art Briles are now meeting with local and regional television outlets (network affiliates from Dallas, Waco, Oklahoma City, Lubbock, Lincoln, etc.). Jordan Lake, who has sported a mohawk during each of the past two seasons, just dropped another great line.
When asked if he will be don the salient hairdo again this season, Lake broke the sad news.
"Well, my barber graduated," Lake said. "So, I don't think so."
No word yet on the red contacts for his eyes.
More to come.
11:20 A.M., TUESDAY, JULY 28, 2009
Jordan Lake already has led Baylor football to phenomenal heights. Well, sort of. During an interview session, Lake informed the several media members gathered around him that he has led Baylor to back-to-back-to-back national titles on NCAA Football 2010. It's the virtual world, but it's a start.
More to come.
10:50 A.M., TUESDAY, JULY 28, 2009
Baylor's time with the print media is winding down. Coach Briles first met with the entire print media contingent, upwards of 150 members. Some well-known national media members in attendance include ESPN play-by-play guru Ron Franklin, ESPN.com's Joe Schad, USA Today's Steve Wieberg and ESPN.com senior writer Ivan Maisel.
Once Briles finished with the large-group press-conference style question-and-answer period, the four players and Briles were available for break-off interviews. Most of the questions posed to Briles during that period centered around Robert Griffin III. There were a few questions about RG3's availability for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, mainly dealing with his weight as he focuses on football. Briles said he felt that 207-210 pounds was a good weight for Griffin this season and that something in the 214-216 range would be most beneficial by his senior year.
Prior to taking the stage for the press conference, Briles autographed several commemorative footballs and a Big 12 helmet. With four or five photographers snapping shots of Briles' penmanship, press conference moderator Peter Irvin commented that Briles was the most photographed coach during the autograph period in Big 12 Media Days history.
In the player interview room, probably 80 percent of the media hovered around RG3 with Jordan Lake, Joe Pawelek and J.D. Walton being interviewed by three-to-six media members at a time. When one reporter asked Griffin about transfer lineman Danny Watkins, the latter dropped a great analogy:
"He's been a firefighter," Griffin said. "So, he knows when the heat is on, there's a job to get done. He's been in situations where lives are at stake."
Then Griffin capped his answer with a touch of comic relief.
"[Watkins] knows my life is at stake back there," Griffin said with a smile.
More to come.
9:20 A.M., TUESDAY, JULY 28, 2009
Greetings from the Westin-DFW North in Irving, Texas, home of the 2009 Big 12 Conference Football Media Days. This is the second day of the three-day event, which started Monday with Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Texas A&M taking center stage. Today, Baylor, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma are on the docket.
Things have just gotten underway for the Bears. Head coach Art Briles is joined by quarterback Robert Griffin III, safety Jordan Lake, linebacker Joe Pawelek and center J.D. Walton for the voracious media circus.
First up for the Bears is an hour-long interview session with national television outlets such as ESPN, FSN, Versus, etc. That is in session right now. At 9:45 a.m., the Bears meet with the print media for 45 minutes, followed by a 40-minute breakout session with local and regional television outlets. The day concludes with a 40-minute window of interviews with radio outlets.
That schedule will be pushed back about 15 minutes as Missouri was late arriving due to travel delays. The Tigers were scheduled for the print media session (which - for all intents and purposes - is the biggest ring in this circus) during Baylor's national television window (8:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.). However, Missouri just arrived. But the show must go on.
Check back throughout the day for updates from the event and as many humorous anecdotes as possible.
With the start of fall practice days away, the construction crew has been hard at work, applying the finishing touches to the interior of the Allison Indoor Practice Facility. The turf surface has been laid and the remaining bags of rubber pellets will be added early this week.
Once crews flatten the surface and the interior is cleaned, landscape will be added to the exterior of the Allison Indoor Practice Facility. It's hard to believe that the first piece of turf was rolled out just 11 days ago.
It was a busy weekend for four former Baylor Bears. From the hardwood to the tennis courts, here's the blog buzz from all across BaylorNation:
So Makes Third WNBA All-Star Appearance
Quiroga, Turfcats Battle for Inaugural SIFL Championship
Jimmy Walker Hanging Tough at RBC Canadian Open
Becker Reaches Semifinals at Indianapolis
The Baylor Bears football team was picked to finish fifth in the South Division of the 2009 Big 12 Media Preseason Poll released Thursday morning. Nebraska was predicted to win the North Division, while Texas was tabbed to win the South Division.
The Preseason All-Big 12 Team will be released Friday, July 24. Head coaches and selected student-athletes will converge in Irving, Texas, July 27-29 for the annual Big 12 Football Media Days. Live video coverage will be featured on Big12Sports.com.
After playing two preseason games for the WNBA's Washington Mystics in May, former Baylor Lady Bears standout Bernice Mosby was released by the Mystics (WNBA rosters reduced from 12 to 11 this season). But, Mosby stayed with the club as an intern in the media relations department. She was added to the roster on July 6 when Tasha Humphrey was released.
In her regular season debut, Mosby scored 10 points, while grabbed four rebounds in a 96-94 loss to Minnesota on July 7. In her last two games, Mosby is averaging 8.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in 22.0 minutes. As a WNBA rookie in 2007, Mosby averaged 3.0 points and 2.8 rebounds in 28 games. Last year, she played in 24 games - starting one - while averaging 2.0 points and 2.2 rebounds.
Hernando Today, a publication of the Tampa Tribune, highlighted the return on the 2007 first-round WNBA draft pick to the hardwood. The Mystics played one more game - vs. Chicago on Thursday - before the 2009 WNBA All-Star Game is played Sunday in Connecticut.
(Update courtesy of Jerry Hill and the Bear Foundation Insider)
Former Baylor Lady Bears All-American and 2006 Big 12 Player of the Year Sophia Young was selected Monday to play in her third WNBA All-Star game. Young, in her fourth season with the San Antonio Silver Stars, was one of 12 reserve players selected by the league. Young earned a spot on the Western Conference All-Star squad as a rookie in 2006 and again in 2007. There were no all-star teams named in 2008 (Beijing Olympics).
This season, Young is averaging 16.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.5 steals per game. She ranks seventh in the WNBA in scoring and fourth in rebounding.
The 2009 WNBA All-Star Game, the ninth in league history, will be held Sat., July 25, at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn., and will be televised nationally on ABC at 2:30 p.m. CT.
Also, check out the latest episode of So All-Access, Season 2 (courtesy of SilverStars.com).
Thursday has been a big day for Baylor football. First, the Bears unveiled their 2009 uniforms. Then, the first piece of turf was laid at the Jay and Jenny Allison Indoor Practice Facility. The total process of laying the turf, sewing it together and adding the sand/rubber will total approximately 10 days.
Baylor junior men's golfer Cody Paladino lost his opening match to Jesse Massie (Louisville, Ky.) 3 and 2 in the Round of 64 at the 84th U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. Paladino was 2-up through four holes, but Massie evened the match two holes later. Massie took his first lead with a birdie on hole No. 7 to go 1-up. Paladino regained the lead on No. 9, but Massie squared the match again on holes 10 and 11. Massie went up for good on the 13th hole and won the match 3 and 2 after winning the 16th hole.
Former Baylor men's tennis assistant coach Pawel Gajdzik, who helped guide the Bears to the 2004 national title and the 2005 national indoor team title, has been named head men's tennis coach at Purdue, effective Aug. 23.
Gajdzik spent six seasons at Baylor before taking over as head coach last season at Northern Illinois. He led the Huskies to a 9-10 overall record, including a 3-2 mark in the Mid-American Conference.
Currently, four of Matt Knoll's former assistants are currently coaching at major conference schools: ACC - Kyle Spencer, head coach at Maryland; BIG EAST - Ryan Sachire, associate head coach at Notre Dame; Big Ten - Pawel Gajdzik, head coach at Purdue; SEC - Sam Winterbotham, head coach at Tennessee.
For the second consecutive summer, Baylor men's golfer Cody Paladino has advanced to the Round of 64 match-play at the 84th U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. Paladino, who qualified for match-play with 36-hole score of 146 at the par-71 Jimmie Austin/OU Golf Club in Norman, Okla., will face Jesse Massie (Louisville, Ky.) at 12:21 p.m. The winner advances to the Round of 16 against the winner of Brad Benjamin (Rockford, Ill.)/Ben Freeman (Fargo, N.D.) Thursday at 9:06 a.m.
Last year, Paladino needed 21 holes to best Phillip Choi (Orlando, Fla.) to advance to the Round of 32 at the Public Links in Aurora, Colo. The Kensington, Conn., native lost to Oklahoma State's Rickie Fowler 4 and 3 in the Round of 32.
In May, Paladino became the first Baylor men's golfer in program history to earn an individual berth in the NCAA Championships. Paladino finished tied for 47th overall with a 7-over 220 at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.
Four former Baylor men's golfers competed at the Adams Golf Texarkana Classic, which wrapped up Saturday at the par-72 Texarkana Golf Ranch. Baylor alum Ryan Baca led all former Bears, tying for fourth overall with 9-under 279. Baca finished three shots behind the winner, Mark Walker, who beat Kelly Grunewald in a sudden-death playoff to win the mini-tour event.
Other former Baylor golfers in the field were Jason Hill (tied for 15th, 3-under 285), Jeremy Alcorn (tied for 42nd, 6-over 294) and Bill Allcorn (47th, 8-over 296). The week before, Allcorn had missed the cut in his pro debut at the Avid Golf Classic in Gunter, Texas.
In other Tour News...Former Baylor All-American golfer Jimmy Walker finished tied for 39th at last week's John Deere Classic, carding a 7-under 277. Walker moved up to 169th on the PGA Tour money list with $205,569 and is 154th in the FedEx Cup standings with 188 points.
Baylor women's golfer Hannah Burke carded a 3-under 69 Monday afternoon at the initial qualifying stage of the Ricoh Women's British Open. Burke was one of 26 players that moved on to Final Qualifying which will be played at Fairhaven Golf Club in Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire, July 27, 2009.
Broosova: Baylor's Slovakian Sensation
12:46 P.M., MONDAY, JULY 13, 2009
Baylor women's tennis All-Big 12 performer Lenka Broosova is easily adjusting to American-style tennis. Like Allcorn, Broosova was featured in the latest edition of the Baylor Line.
Baylor track star and U.S. Olympian Michael Johnson will be inducted in the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame August 12 in Chicago. The induction ceremony will be nationally televised on NBC Sept. 5 at 2 p.m. Johnson ran track at Baylor from 1987-90, winning five national titles in the 200 meters and 4x400-meter relay. He went on to claim four Olympic gold medals.
was featured in the latest issue of the Baylor Line.
Lukacs won his lone Davis Cup match last year, downing Konstantinos Mikos, 6-1, 6-2 in Hungary's 5-0 win over Greece.
Baylor has signed a two-year agreement to play Duke in football, starting with a Sept. 23, 2017 game in Waco and a Sept. 15, 2018 game in Durham. Duke leads the all-time series, 1-0, having registered a 12-7 victory over the Bears at Durham in 1958.
The Bears are 14-16 all-time against an opponent from the Atlantic Coast Conference. Baylor will open the 2009 season against Wake Forest of the ACC. Check out the complete list of future games.
Dugat Joins Jerrells on Mavs' Summer Roster
6:05 P.M., TUESDAY, JULY 7, 2009
After sharing the court for the last four years of their college career, Henry Dugat and Curtis Jerrells will once again be reunited as Dugat was named to the Dallas Mavericks' roster earlier Tuesday afternoon.
Dugat ended his Baylor career with 1,229 points (10.5 ppg) and was a member of the winningest class in Baylor history with 64 wins. Dugat finished fourth on Baylor's all-time list in steals with 152 over his four-year career.
Dugat, Jerrells and the rest of the Dallas summer league squad will head to Las Vegas Thursday before kicking off its five-game NBASL schedule on Friday, July 10 vs. Milwaukee.
Barron Named Asst. Coach at NC State
2:10 P.M., MONDAY, JULY 6, 2009
Richard Barron, associate head women's basketball coach for the Lady Bears, has been named assistant coach for North Carolina State.
Barron spent the last two seasons with the Lady Bears as the recruiting coordinator, landing both the top class and player (Brittney Griner) in the 2009 class. In his two-year tenure, Barron saw the BU post a 54-13 record, back-to-back NCAA appearances and a Big 12 Tournament title.
Barron spent six seasons at Princeton prior to joining the Lady Bear basketball program in 2007. In his tenure at Princeton, Barron posted a 74-91 record after inheriting a team that went 2-25 in the season prior to his arrival. The Tigers posted an 11-16 record his first season and under his guidance, went on to claim the 2005-06 Ivy League title. Prior to taking the reins of the Princeton program, he spent five seasons at the University of the South. His last season there, Barron led the team to the first conference championship in school history and a national ranking of No. 8 in Division III. He posted a 77-48 record with the Tigers and owns an 11-year career record of 152-139.
During his tenure at Princeton, Barron coached five players to All-Ivy honors on either the first team, second team or honorable mention. In 2006, Princeton had two players, Becky Brown and Meagan Cowher, honored on the first-team All-Ivy. It was the first time since 1981 that two of the five first-team positions went to Princeton players. Cowher repeated first-team honors in 2007.
Bruiser to Appear on New ESPN.com TV Spot
8:39 A.M., THURSDAY, JULY 2, 2009
Bruiser is one of three college mascots appearing in one ESPN.com's new TV spots beginning Friday. Two new TV spots for ESPN.com's year-long brand campaign featuring TV, print and online elements will premiere on July 3 on the ESPN family of networks. At 15 minutes past the hour, ESPN.com's "Wild" TV spot will highlight the performance skills of Bruiser, Penn State's Nittany Lion and the Clemson Tiger. At 30 minutes past, the spot will include stars Mia Hamm, the Swiss bobsled team, O.J. Mayo of the Memphis Grizzlies and Samari Rolle of the Baltimore Ravens.
Created by ESPN and Widen + Kenneday New York, the campaign seeks to illustrate ESPN.com's breadth and depth at serving sports fans by giving them instant access to the sports they love and the control to consume it as they desire. Each TV spot will close with an invitation to fans to "Follow Your Sports."
Sic 'em, Bruiser.
Baylor football signee Bryce Petty shredded Team Mexico's defense for 136 passing yards and two touchdowns as Team USA posted its second consecutive shut out, 55-0, Wednesday in Canton, Ohio. Tevin Reese, another Baylor signee, recorded a team-high three catches for 48 yards.
In two games, Petty is 11-for-16 for 194 yards and three touchdowns, while Reese has hauled in six catches for 88 yards and a touchdown. Team USA has routed its first two opponents by a combined score of 133-0.
Team USA will face Team Canada in the Gold Medal game of the 2009 IFAF Junior World Championship (JWC) on Sunday, July 5, at 12 p.m. CDT. In its opening game, Canada defeated New Zealand 55-0. Earlier today, Canada edged Japan 38-35.
Baylor's Floyd Casey Stadium is the site for the final day of Camp LT 2009 today, but there will be another football camp coming to FCS. Former Baylor quarterback and safety Odell James will host the 3rd annual Odell James Football Camp July 8-11. The Junior Camp is for players in grades 3-6, while the Senior Camp is for grades 7-12. Cost is $225 for overnight or $175 for commuters. James serves as one of Baylor's Assistant Directors of Football Operations. To register, call (254) 845-4151 or register online.
Room is still available for the Volleyball All-Skill and Positional Skills Camps. The All-Skill Camp will be held July 9-11, while the Positional Skills Camp will be July 13-15. For more information, visit the Volleyball Camps Page.