4:20 P.M., WEDS., OCT. 10, 2012
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It's that time of year when magazines preview the 2012-13 season. Over the next week we'll take a look at what some of the major national publications have to say about the 2012-13 Bears. We'll begin with Athlon Sports' 2012-13 Preview, which features Baylor's Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year Pierre Jackson as one of three players on the cover.
Part of the reason Jackson is on the cover is because he's picked as a first-team All-American, but Athlon also lists its top 10 in a number of superlatives. Jackson is listed as the nation's No. 1 scorer, junior guard Brady Heslip is No. 6 nationally among shooters, and freshman center Isaiah Austin is No. 3 among post men.
Heslip is picked as one of 10 members of Athlon's International Dream Team: "Every team needs a 3-point sharpshooter, and our squad has one of the best in the nation, Baylor's Brady Heslip."
Austin is tabbed as one of 10 Impact Freshmen: "The 7-footer from Arlington, Texas, will be one of the best big men in the Big 12 in '12-13. His game has few weaknesses, if any. He has the skills to play on the win but has the size to be a dominant player around the basket -- both offensively and defensively." Austin is also tabbed as an honorable mention All-American.
As a team, the Bears are picked No. 17 nationally, which is second in the Big 12 behind only Kansas (No. 4). Two of Baylor's non-conference opponents are listed in the preseason top 25: No. 3 Kentucky and No. 25 Gonzaga - both road games.
In the Big 12 Conference preview portion, the Bears are picked second behind Kansas: "Led by Pierre Jackson, the Bears boast one of the country's deepest backcourts, but their two most talented post players are both freshmen."
Jackson is tabbed as Big 12 Player of the Year and a first-team All-Big 12 pick, while Austin is named second-team All-Big 12 and Heslip is picked to the third team.
Baylor's incoming recruiting class is picked as the league's best: "Isaiah Austin is the highest-rated prospect headed to the Big 12, but Baylor also snagged top-100 prospects Ricardo Gathers and L.J. Rose, plus talented big man Chad Rykhoek." Don't forget about the last member of the signing class, Taurean Prince.
There's an entire page breaking down the Bears, but we won't detail all of that information. Here's the magazine's Final Analysis: "The Bears would love to win an outright conference championship for the first time since 1948 ... The keys to ending Kansas' streak will be another banner season from Jackson and Heslip, breakthrough performances from (Deuce) Bello and (Cory) Jefferson and significant contributions from freshman Austin and Gathers, both of whom must develop quickly. If those things occur, the Bears' potential is limitless."
Check back with Full Court Press for another preseason publication preview in the near future, and don't forget about Moonlight Madness on Friday. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the event starts at 8:30 p.m. There will tons of giveaways, including electricity jerseys, so be sure to be at the Ferrell Center on Friday as the Bears kick off the 2012-13 season.
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