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Final Class of 2011 Rankings
2:46 P.M., FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2011
CHRIS YANDLE (EMAIL)
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: Twitter: @BaylorMBB, @BaylorAthletics | Facebook: Baylor Athletics

Baylor's 2011 signing class began with Westchester Country Day School teammates Quincy Miller and Deuce Bello signing in November and ended earlier this month with the addition of Junior College Player of the Year Pierre Jackson. The three newest Bears make up Baylor's consensus top-20 signing class that ranked No. 14 by Rivals.com, No. 16 by Scout.com and No. 18 by both MaxPreps and ESPN.

Miller, a consensus top-10 recruit, joins another consensus top-10 player in a Baylor uniform, Perry Jones III, who posted one of the best freshman seasons in school history. Miller was named to the Jordan Brand Classic All-America team, but did not play because he was still recovering from a knee injury. Bello played in both the Jordan Brand Classic Regional Game (North Carolina players only) and the 39th Derby Festival Basketball Classic, scoring a game-high 20 points.

The high school teammates join Pierre Jackson, who is considered to be the top junior college transfer heading to Division I. Jackson led the College of Southern Idaho to a national championship, while garnering first-team NJCAA Region 18 and Division I All-America honors. He was also named Scenic West Athletic Conference and NJCAA Division I Player of the Year.

Miller, Bello and Jackson are three of the reasons for Baylor's skyrocketing preseason expectations for the 2011-12 season. Here are the final rankings for Baylor, Miller and Bello:

BAYLOR MILLER BELLO
Rivals.com 14
7 53
Scout.com 16
4 52
MaxPreps.com 18
7 86
ESPN 18
6 53

For constant updates on all things Baylor basketball, follow the official Twitter feed of Baylor Basketball (@BaylorMBB). It's still me, just a different Twitter name to better brand my coverage of Baylor Basketball.


Garnering More Attention
1:55 P.M., WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011
CHRIS YANDLE (EMAIL)
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: Twitter: @BaylorMBB, @BaylorAthletics | Facebook: Baylor Athletics

The 2010-11 season has long since been over and now everyone's attention has turned to that of the upcoming 2011-12 season. And the month of April has been pretty good to the Baylor Bears. With the return of Perry Jones III and the addition of NJCAA Division I Player of the Year Pierre Jackson, early expectations for the 2011-12 aren't just higher than last season...try exponentially higher. In the last week alone, Baylor has received a tremendous amount of attention from the national college basketball media:

  • Jeff Goodman of FOXSports.com ranks Baylor No. 11 in his post-draft deadline Early Preseason Top 25 for 2011-12.
  • CBSSports.com counterpart Gary Parrish has the Bears No. 14, calling PJ3's return "the biggest surprise from the one-and-done candidates."
  • Yahoo! Sports' Jason King hasn't shorted Baylor on preseason hype thus far, listing the Bears as one of his 13 teams on the rise in 2011-12. And the biggest compliment of them all:
    "Not many teams in the country will boast as much talent as the Bears, who will feature two potential Top 10 draft picks (Jones III and Quincy Miller) in the frontcourt along with another future pro in Quincy Acy. The backcourt - last year's Achilles heel - should be much improved with the addition of freshman Deuco Bello, Cal transfer Gary Franklin, Boston College transfer Brady Heslip and junior college All-American Pierre Jackson. No team in the Big 12 will be able to match Baylor's talent."

That last sentence should provide Baylor Nation with a bright outlook on 2011-12. Of course, preseason expectations in April really don't matter since anything can happen between now and November, when the season starts. Yet it's still great to see. Keeping with Jason King...

Last week, he ranked the top five programs in each of the country's top basketball states - North Carolina, Indiana, Texas, Ohio, California and Florida. The rankings were based on the current state of each program and among the factors considered were recent success, stability and future outlook. Jason's Texas Rankings: 1. Texas, 2. BAYLOR, 3. Texas A&M, 4. UTEP and 5. Texas Tech.

One more from King: Boston College transfer Brady Helip has mostly slid under the radar - which is something I like because he's that good. Well, he lists the Canadian sharp-shooter as one of 12 impact Division I tranfers for 2011-12 (Pierre Jackson was named the nation's No. 1 JUCO entering Division I by JucoRecruiting.com). King on Heslip:

"The Canadian didn't joining Boston College's team until Dec. 2009 and never saw the court for the Eagles before transferring. The Bears would've been a completely different team last season if Heslip would've been eligible. He'll give them the one thing they sorely lack: A heady, gutsy floor leader who will bring structure and discipline to an ultra-talented team."

One final thought before I go: congratulations to Curtis Jerrells and his Partizan Belgrade teammates for capturing their fifth straight NLB (Adriatic League) title last week.

For constant updates on all things Baylor basketball, follow the official Twitter feed of Baylor Basketball (@BaylorMBB). It's still me, just a different Twitter name to better brand my coverage of Baylor Basketball.


Jerrells, Carter Vying for League Titles in Europe
1:33 P.M., WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 2011
CHRIS YANDLE (EMAIL)
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: Twitter: @BaylorMBB, @BaylorAthletics | Facebook: Baylor Athletics

Former Baylor point guards Curtis Jerrells and Tweety Carter are both vying for league titles across the pond in Europe. Jerrells' Partizan Belgrade club will Union Olimpija in the Adriatic League finals Thursday. Jerrells scored 13 points in 31 minutes in Partizan's 62-58 semifinal win over Buducnost. In 18 Adriatic League games, CJ is averaging 11.9 points (second-best behind James Gist) and 2.3 assists in 24.2 minutes-per-game.

Some 875 miles north of Belgrade, Carter and Latvian power Ventspils await the Valmiera-Barons winner in the Latvian League semifinals. Ventspils received a first-round bye after posting a 22-6 regular-season record. The United States' all-time leading scorer in high school, Carter is averaging 6.6 points, 4.2 assists and 21.3 minutes in 12 Latvian League games.

Also playing professional in Europe are Darryl Middleton (Spain) and Brian Skinner (Italy). Middleton has enjoyed a prosperous 23-year playing career all across Europe; he has scored only two points in 18 total minutes (playing 3 games) with Valencia in Spain's ACB League. Since signing with Benetton Treviso of Italy's SerieA, Skinner is averaging 5.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 18.6 minutes in 10 Italian League contests.

Good luck to both CJ and Tweety in their respective postseasons.

For constant updates on all things Baylor basketball, follow the official Twitter feed of Baylor Basketball (@BaylorMBB). It's still me, just a different Twitter name to better brand my coverage of Baylor Basketball.


Jackson Named National Player of the Year
4:45 P.M., THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2011
CHRIS YANDLE (EMAIL)
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: Twitter: @BaylorMBB, @BaylorAthletics | Facebook: Baylor Athletics

http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/magicvalley.com/content/tncms/assets/editorial/3/8e/e9e/38ee9e5e-47b7-11e0-a48f-001cc4c03286-revisions/4d73234ceac7c.image.jpgPierre Jackson (shooting) was named NJCAA Player of the Year on Thursday (Photo: Magicvalley.com).

It's been a good week for Baylor basketball beginning with Monday's announcement that freshman sensation Perry Jones III will return to school for his sophomore season. On Wednesday, the Bears secured their third - and final - piece of the 2011 signing class with College of Southern Idaho PG Pierre Jackson. Not only did Jackson lead CSI to its first NJCAA Division I national title last month in 24 months, he's now the National Junior College Athletic Association's Division I Player of the Year.

Jackson, who led the Golden Eagles with 18.6 points-per-game, was the Scenic West Athletic Conference Player of the Year, first-team NJCAA Region 18 and first-team NJCAA Division I All-American. Jackson joins two of the nation's highest-rated recruits - Westchester [N.C.] Country Day school teammates Deuce Bello and Quincy Miller - in what should end up being a consensus top-25 class.

On Tuesday, I mentioned that PJ3's return means Baylor will probably be ranked in nearly every preseason Top 25 poll (much to the chagrin of Quincy Acy). What does the addition of Jackson, Miller and Bello mean? It means that Baylor could be a legitimate 13-deep team. I'm not ready to start suggesting a probable starting five, but it is quite possible that Baylor will have four future NBA draft picks on the floor at any given time - Quincy Acy, Perry Jones III, Quincy Miller and Deuce Bello. Add to that returning players Fred Ellis, Anthony Jones, Stargell Love, BoBo Morgan, Dragan Sekelja and A.J. Walton. Oh yeah, and don't forget about Canadian sharpshooter Brady Heslip, Cal transfer Gary Franklin Jr. and redshirt sophomore Cory Jefferson, who now resembles the Incredible Hulk.

I will say this now: Jefferson will benefit greatly from his redshirt season and has already transformed into a much stronger power forward with an incredible shooting range. Heslip could be Baylor's "hidden gem." A threat from anywhere on the court, Heslip will take over the role as Baylor's 3-point specialist vacated by senior LaceDarius Dunn.

The 2011-12 season could feature an ensemble of players never before seen in the green and gold.

For constant updates on all things Baylor basketball, follow the official Twitter feed of Baylor Basketball (@BaylorMBB). It's still me, just a different Twitter name to better brand my coverage of Baylor Basketball.


Looking Back on Udoh's Rookie Season
12:55 P.M., THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2011
CHRIS YANDLE (EMAIL)
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: Twitter: @BaylorMBB, @BaylorAthletics | Facebook: Baylor Athletics

His final season line looks something like this: 4.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 17.8 minutes in 58 games, including 18 starts. Less than 10 months after becoming the first NBA lottery pick in Baylor history, Golden State rookie Ekpe Udoh put the finishing touches on his first season in the NBA Wednesday during the Warriors' 110-86 win over Portland in Oakland. All things considered, "The Nightmare" had a productive rookie campaign in the Bay Area.

A few weeks after being drafted sixth overall by the Warriors, it was announced that Udoh would miss six months with a left wrist injury. So right away, Udoh was behind the eight ball compared to other rookies - he missed summer league, training camp and the first 22 games of the season. Despite the setback, Udoh worked...and he worked...and he worked some more. Finally, Udoh made his NBA debut Dec. 10, 2010...one month earlier than expected. It wasn't much of a debut - a 106-84 home loss to Miami - but Udoh did score two points in three minutes.

Ten days later, Golden State fans got a pretty good understanding of Udoh's game. The Edmond, Okla., native posted three straight games with three blocks, proving that he is and will be a major defensive presence for the Warriors. Those were the first three of his 24 multi-block games. He finished with 86 blocks (in 58 games) - tops among NBA rookies, while also leading all rookies in blocks-per-game (1.48) and blocks-per-48-minutes (4.01). That's pretty impressive considering he missed summer league, training camp AND the first 22 games of the season.

He played a career-high 39 minutes in a one-point road loss March 29 at Oklahoma City; he concluded his rookie season with a trifecta of career highs...he swatted away a career-high six blocked shots in an April 11 road loss at Denver. In Wednesday's regular-season finale, Udoh posted a career-high four steals and tied a career high for both assists (four) and rebounds (eight). His best offensive outing was Feb. 10 at Phoenix, shooting 8-of-12 for a career-best 16 points.

With his first NBA season in the books, Udoh now has a full offseason ahead of him. Congratulations Ekpe on a great rookie season!

For constant updates on all things Baylor basketball, follow the official Twitter feed of Baylor Basketball (@BaylorMBB). It's still me, just a different Twitter name to better brand my coverage of Baylor Basketball.


PJ3's Return Puts Baylor Back on Preseason Radar
10:20 A.M., TUESDAY, APRIL 12, 2011
CHRIS YANDLE (EMAIL)
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: Twitter: @BaylorMBB, @BaylorAthletics | Facebook: Baylor Athletics

Photo: Duane Laverty, Waco Tribune-Herald

It was about this time last year when future NBA lottery pick Ekpe Udoh announced he was forgoing his senior season to enter the NBA Draft. And when LaceDarius Dunn proclaimed he was returning to Baylor for his senior season.

And on Monday, the entire nation heard the news that freshman sensation Perry Jones III, who was touted by many as a near-lock lottery pick in the upcoming 2011 NBA Draft, is returning to Baylor for his sophomore season. A decision of this magnitude shows Perry's maturity and should be commended; he wants to better himself and he believes that will be accomplished by staying another year at Baylor. With the return of PJ3, that does mean he will have to sit out the first five games of the 2011-12 campaign to satisfy his six-game NCAA suspension. Within moments of tweeting the news, Perry's announcement swept the social media landscape. Here's a look at some of the PJ3 headlines: John Werner, Waco-Tribune-Herald (subscription required); Mike Piellucci, FOXSportsSouthwest.com; Chris Derrett, The Baylor Lariat; Andy Katz, ESPN.com with video and KWTX.com.

In the blink of an eye, Baylor went from going unranked in the ridiculously early Top 25 polls for the 2011-12 season to being a Top 25 team. Over the last few seasons, here's what I've learned: preseason polls are like a rocking chair...it gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere.

Soon-to-be-senior PF Quincy Acy, who is nearing Baylor's 1,000-point career milestone, doesn't want to be ranked. And I'm not joking, either. Here's what Q told head coach Scott Drew shortly after Monday's announcement: "I hope no ranks us at ESPN [or anywhere]. We've gone from NCAA tournament, to NIT championship game, to Elite Eight to seventh in the Big 12 and no postseason. Hopefully with Perry back, we'll be in the postseason for sure."

Quincy makes a very valid point.

  • In 2009, Baylor was projected to finish in the top three of the Big 12 standings and was certain to make another return to the NCAA Tournament. End result: Baylor finished ninth with a 5-11 Big 12 record, but regrouped to put together the greatest postseason run in school history, advancing to the NIT championship game.
  • After losing its four-man senior class (and no one having a clue about the impact Ekpe Udoh would later make), Baylor was picked to finish 10th in the Big 12 in 2010. The Bears set school records for wins (28) and Big 12 wins (11) and were four minutes away from a Final Four appearance. Baylor finished the season ranked 10th in the ESPN/USA TODAY coaches poll.
  • Even with the losses of Udoh, Tweety Carter and Josh Lomers, Baylor went from the hunter to being the hunted. Preseason expectations reached an all-time high in Waco and the Bears were serious Final Four contenders. But the 2010-11 season ended with six losses in its last eight games, PJ3 missing Baylor's first-round Big 12 Championship game and its streak of consecutive postseason appearances and 20-win seasons stopping at three.

Going off those three seasons alone, history would indicate that Baylor shouldn't be ranked. With winning came great expectations last season. With arguably the most athletic frontcourt in the nation (Quincy Acy, Perry Jones III, Anthony Jones, Quincy Miller) in 2011-12, Baylor is sure to receive high preseason expectations for the second consecutive season. Preseason projections in April are an inexact science; just last year, Baylor is picked as high as No. 4 by ESPN.com's Andy Katz (Baylor started the season ranked No. 17).

Add to Baylor's "four-headed frontcourt monster" sophomore forward Cory Jefferson and guards  Stargell Love, Brady Heslip and Gary Franklin Jr. (has to sit out fall semester to complete one-year NCAA rule for transfers); junior starting PG A.J. Walton and incoming SG Deuce Bello. Don't forget junior F Jacob Neubert and junior C Dragan Sekelja. The 2011-12 season could be Coach Drew's most fun team to watch yet...

Now Jones III has a chance to shatter his numbers from his freshman season, which should be included among the greatest freshman seasons in school history. Following his announcement, members of the Baylor basketball team celebrated the great news by...what else...enjoying Perry's favorite non-basketball hobby - paintball. They win as a team, they lose as a team, they celebrate as a team.

Perry's announcement joins the list of reasons that Baylor has indeed arrived among the nation's elite basketball programs: top-25 rankings, postseason appearances, an NBA lottery pick, College GameDay live in Waco and underclassmen announcing their returns to school. And, by all accounts, Baylor will continue its push to be among the nation's elite as it will more than likely be ranked in the preseason Top 25 polls closer to the start of the 2011-12 season.

But that's a good problem to have.

For constant updates on all things Baylor basketball, follow the official Twitter feed of Baylor Basketball (@BaylorMBB). It's still me, just a different Twitter name to better brand my coverage of Baylor Basketball.


Former Baylor Assistants Becoming Head Coaches
1:55 P.M., FRIDAY, APRIL 8, 2011
CHRIS YANDLE (EMAIL)
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: Twitter: @BaylorMBB, @BaylorAthletics | Facebook: Baylor Athletics

Is Baylor becoming a pipeline for future head coaches? On Tuesday, Baylor's all-time assists leader Nelson Haggerty became the head coach at NCAA Division II Midwestern State, replacing fellow Baylor alum Grant McCasland, who took the head coaching job at rival Abilene Christian.

It might be a debatable point now that three former assistant coaches have been tabbed head coaches within the last month, including two this week. First, Billy Gillispie (1995-97) was named the 14th head coach in Texas Tech history last month. Then just this week, Dionne Phelps (1998-99) took over at NAIA program Oklahoma City University and Rodney Terry (1996-98) became the new head coach at Frenso State.

That brings the grand total to nine; as in nine former Baylor assistants are currently head coaches at one level or another. Six of the nine are head coaches at the Division I level, while there is one each in Division II, NJCAA and NBA:

Haggerty was on Anderson's staff at Central Missouri. In fact, Haggerty has been to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight in four of the last five years as an assistant coach. Plus, there are two Baylor alums coaching in the NBA - Melvin Hunt is an assistant coach with the Denver Nuggets, while David Wesley is an assistant with the Texas Legends of the D-League.

For constant updates on all things Baylor basketball, follow the official Twitter feed of Baylor Basketball (@BaylorMBB). It's still me, just a different Twitter name to better brand my coverage of Baylor Basketball.


An International Pipeline
2:43 P.M., WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6, 2011
CHRIS YANDLE (EMAIL)
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: Twitter: @BaylorMBB, @BaylorAthletics | Facebook: Baylor Athletics

Until recently, not many Baylor basketball players played professionally overseas. Within the last two years, as many as eight former players - Kevin Rogers, Henry Dugat, Tommy Swanson, Brian Skinner, Aaron Bruce, Curtis Jerrells, Tweety Carter and Darryl Middleton - have ventured to foreign countries, continuing their dreams of playing professional basketball.

Three of those eight are currently not playing professionally. Kevin Rogers, known to the Baylor Nation as Dos Tres, played three games for Panionios ON Telecoms Athens (Greece) in 2009-10 before returning stateside to play for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League. Former Baylor teammate Henry Dugat played 18 games in Mexico for Toros Nuevo Laredo, averaging 15.8 points-per-game during 2009-10 season. Rogers (knee) and Dugat (foot), who both underwent surgery in the last year, are currently in the final stages of rehab and should be playing professional hoops again soon.

After a two-year professional tour that included stops in England (DMU Leicester Riders), France (Etoile D'Or Saint Leonard) and Japan (Sendai 89ers), Tommy Swanson is now a teacher in the Fort Worth (Texas) Independent School District. He joined FWISD after a four-month stint working in compliance, facilities and operations management at SMU.

Now, here are five former Bears still playing professional overseas...

  • A standout from Temple, Texas, and Baylor's all-time blocked shots leader, Brian Skinner enjoyed a fulfilling 12-year NBA career, playing for seven different teams. After a second tour of duty with the L.A. Clippers in 2009-10, Skinner was cut and his NBA career appeared over. Then, Skinner signed with the Milwaukee Bucks for the third time, but only played two games (three total minutes). In January, Skinner signed a contract to play for Benetton Treviso of the Italian SerieA League. In eight games, Skinner is averaging 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 19.3 minutes.
  • Aaron Bruce returned to his native Austrlia for a second stint with the Adelaide 36ers of the National Basketball League. Bruce averaged 6.0 points and 2.7 assists in 15 games. Now AB has switched gears, playing for the Eastern Mavericks of the Central Australian Basketball League. He scored 15 points and dished out 13 assists in his CABL debut April 2 against West Adelaide.
  • From all indications, Curtis Jerrells is adapting well to the European game, playing for KK Partizan Belgrade (Serbia). Jerrells is second on the team with 12.4 points-per-game in five Serbian League contests, while dishing out a team-best 3.8 assists-per-contest. CJ averaged 3.8 assists in 10 Euroleague games, compared to 2.4 in 17 Adriatic League games. Yes, Partizan competes in three leagues...
  • Tweety Carter just completed his first month of competition in Latvia for Ventspils. Carter is averaging 6.5 points and 4.0 assists in eight Latvian League contests. In his second Latvian League game, Carter had 10 assists in a 95-69 win over Turiba. And just last week, Carter scored a season-high 16 points and handed out eight assists in 101-43 rout of the same Turiba team.
  • Baylor Hall of Famer Darryl Middleton signed a two-month contract with Valencia of the Spanish ACB League in March. Middleton is the oldest player to appear in an ACB league game. He is now in his 23rd season of professional basketball and turns 45 in July. He averaged 8.3 points and 4.5 rebounds in 27 games with Spanish second-division club Girona. Here's a good article on Middleton becoming the oldest player in ACB history (with the help of Google Translate, of course).

Two more for the road...
This former Bear isn't playing basketball overseas, but he is part of the "World" Famous Harlem Globetrotters, Aundre Branch. Better known as "Hot Shot." Golden State's Ekpe Udoh continues to lead all NBA rookies in blocked shots (73) and blocks-per-game (1.35) in only 54 games.

For constant updates on all things Baylor basketball, follow the official Twitter feed of Baylor Basketball (@BaylorMBB). It's still me, just a different Twitter name to better brand my coverage of Baylor Basketball.


Dunn Withdraws from Portsmouth Invitational
1:30 P.M., WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6, 2011
CHRIS YANDLE (EMAIL)
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: Twitter: @BaylorMBB, @BaylorAthletics | Facebook: Baylor Athletics

Three days after his name was added to the list of 64 seniors competing, Baylor guard LaceDarius Dunn has withdrawn from competition at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament after suffering an injury to his finger on his shooting hand. 

X-rays to his finger were negative; the evaluating physician suggested Dunn rest it for two weeks to avoid further aggravating the injury.

For constant updates on all things Baylor basketball, follow the official Twitter feed of Baylor Basketball (@BaylorMBB). It's still me, just a different Twitter name to better brand my coverage of Baylor Basketball.


Haggerty Joins Head Coaching Ranks
4:02 P.M., TUESDAY, APRIL 5, 2011
CHRIS YANDLE (EMAIL)
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: Twitter: @BaylorMBB, @BaylorAthletics | Facebook: Baylor Athletics

Photo courtesy of Midwestern State University

Back in November, Baylor alums and Midwestern State coaches Grant McCasland and Nelson Haggertyreturned to the Ferrell Center for an exhibition game against the Baylor Bears. In just two seasons at Midwestern State, McCasland led the Mustangs to a 56-12 mark and back-to-back NCAA Division II Elite Eight appearances. McCasland parlayed those two very successful seasons at Midwestern State into the head coaching job at Lone Star Conference rival Abilene Christian.

And after two seasons as an assistant on McCasland's staff, Haggerty was named the ninth coach in Midwestern State men's basketball history Tuesday. Haggerty also becomes the first African-American to be hired as a head coach of any sport at Midwestern State.

A two-time All-Southwest Conference performer at Baylor, he led the nation with 10.1 assists-per-game during his senior season in 1994-95. Haggerty owns the Baylor single-game, single-season and career assists records. As a sophomore, Haggerty set the Baylor single-game record with 19 assists vs. Oral Roberts (2/27/93). As a senior, Haggerty shattered both Baylor single-season records for assists (284) and assists-per-game (10.14). His 699 career assists and 7.13 career assists-per-game average still stand as the Baylor all-time records.

Haggerty has been to four of the last five NCAA Division II Elite Eights - the last two with the Mustangs and in 2007 and 2009 as an assistant at Central Missouri.

For constant updates on all things Baylor basketball, follow the official Twitter feed of Baylor Basketball (@BaylorMBB). It's still me, just a different Twitter name to better brand my coverage of Baylor Basketball.


Dunn Finishes Fourth at 3-Point Championships
9:04 A.M., FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2011
CHRIS YANDLE (EMAIL)
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: Twitter: @BaylorMBB, @BaylorAthletics | Facebook: Baylor Athletics

Senior guard LaceDarius Dunn, who concluded his college career as the Baylor and Big 12 all-time leading scorer with 2,285 career points, capped his brilliant collegiate career Thursday at the 23rd annual State Farm College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships in Houston. Dunn was one of eight sharp-shooters on the men's side, including Kansas State's Jacob Pullen, Kansas' Brady Morningstar and College of Charleston standout Andrew Goudelock.

Like most 3-point competitions, there were five racks with five balls each. The first four balls were worth one point and the fifth ball - the "money ball" - was worth two. The highest you can score is 30 in any given round. Dunn took care of business in the first round, scoring 15 points (one of three players with 15 in the first round) to advance to the semifinals.

In the semifinals, the first two shooters Ole Miss' Chris Warren and Mississippi State's Ravern Johnson scored 17 and 16, respectively. Since only the top two move on to the finals, Dunn needed to beat 17. However, the Monroe, La., made only 12 to finish fourth in the men's competition. Goudelock went on to beat Warren in the finals to claim the title. Goudelock then went on to edge women's champion Cerie Mosgrove from UMass, 17-15, in the Battle of the Champions.

In the slam dunk portion of the contest, YouTube sensation and small competitor Jacob Tucker (5-foot-11 guard from Division III Illinois College), won the Denny's Slam Dunk Championship. He defeated UNC Asheville's John Williams in the finals. Tucker, whose YouTube highlight video has garnered more than 3 million views, won the Facebook fan vote for the only non-Division I spot in the event.

For constant updates on all things Baylor basketball, follow the official Twitter feed of Baylor Basketball (@BaylorMBB). It's still me, just a different Twitter name to better brand my coverage of Baylor Basketball.

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