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Baylor's All-Decade Teams
12:13 P.M., THURSDAY, DEC. 31, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE  (EMAIL)

We were so inspired by Cuttin' in the Baylor Line's Justin Cange's top 10 All-Decade moments yesterday, that we, too, will take a nostalgic look back at the decade. After much deliberation and suggestions, we now will reveal our Baylor basketball ALL-DECADE TEAMS. Each of the three teams consist of five players (regardless of position). Then, we added an offensive player, defensive player and sixth man of the decade. As we look back at the first decade of the millennium, we certainly think that the next 10 years of Baylor basketball will be even better than the last...

FIRST TEAM

Guard - Curtis Jerrells (2005-2009)
Why He Made the List:
CJ put the point in "point guard". Jerrells scored at will and finished his heralded Baylor career with 1,820 points - the third-most in school history and the most this decade...BY FAR. Jerrells left Waco as the all-time leader in wins (64), games played (119), games started (119), Big 12 games played (64), Big 12 games started (64) and minutes played (3,934). He also finished in the top five in several other categories - field goals made, 3-point field goals made, free throws made, assists and steals.
Best Season: 2000-01 (15.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, First Team All-Big 12)

Guard - DeMarcus Minor (2000-2001)
Why He Made the List: The combination of Minor and fellow first-teamer Terry Black guided Baylor to 19 wins in 2001 and a berth in the NIT. That would be Baylor's last postseason appearance until 2008. Minor was the first player in school history named to the Big 12 All-Tournament Team in 2001. He finished his career as the all-time in minutes per game (37.9), third in assists per game (5.17), seventh in free throw percentage (.815), seventh in assists (310) and 10th in steals per game (1.27).
Best Season: 2000-01 (15.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.5 assists, HM All-Big 12)

Forward - Terry Black (2000-2001)
Why He Made the List: How good was Terry Black? The answer: really good. In just two seasons at Baylor, Black left a lasting impression on the program which was evident with his election to the All-Centennial Team in 2006. Black was an All-Big 12 honorable mention pick in 2000 and a first-team All-Big 12 selection in 2001. He finished his time as the all-time leader in career steals per game (2.55) at Baylor, second in career field goal percentage and third in career steals (in two seasons). He was the first first-team All-Big 12 player in Baylor history.
Best Season:
2000-01 (15.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, First Team All-Big 12)

Forward - Lawrence Roberts (2002-2003)
Why He Made the List: Roberts was the first complete power forward for the Bears since the departure of Brian Skinner a few seasons earlier. He is the only player in school history to rank in the top 10 in career rebounds per game, career blocked shots per game and career steals per game. In two seasons for the Bears, Roberts recorded 20 double-doubles, which rank seventh all-time at Baylor. Roberts was also the last Baylor player to average 10 or more rebounds in a single season (10.4 in 2002-03).
Best Season: 2002-03 (averaged a double-double with 15.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, Third Team All-Big 12)

Forward - Kevin Rogers (2005-2009)
Why He Made the List:
Dos Tres finished his career seventh in school history with 1,371 points. Last season, Rogers became the fifth player in school history to accumulate 1,000 points and 800 rebounds in a career, while tying the single-season school record for games started and games played (both 39). He was a 2009 All-Big 12 honorable mention selection by the league's coaches and was named to the Big 12 All-Tournament team in March. Rogers set a Baylor Big 12 Championship record with 20 rebounds vs. Nebraska in 2009.
Best Season: 2007-08 (12.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, Third Team All-Big 12)

SECOND TEAM

Guard - Aaron Bruce (2004-2008)
Why He Made the List: Before the `Big Three' of Curtis Jerrells, Henry Dugat and Kevin Rogers, there was Australian baller Aaron Bruce. AB instantly became a fan favorite when he burst onto the college basketball scene in 2004-05, leading the nation's freshmen in scoring with 18.2 points per game. He holds Baylor freshman season records for minutes per game (34.8), points (509) and points per game (18.2). A three-time All-Big 12 selection, Bruce was named to Baylor's All-Centennial Team in 2006...as a sophomore.
Best Season: 2004-05 (18.2 points, 3.8 assists, All-Big 12 third team, Freshman All-American)

Guard - LaceDarius Dunn (2007-present)
Why He Made the List: During his record-setting sophomore campaign last year, Dunn set the school single-season record with 109 three-pointers, while tying the single-game mark of nine at Kansas State. Dunn earned a bevy of honors, including All-Big 12 honorable mention, Big 12 Sixth Man and NIT All-Tournament team. Dunn became the first player in school history to earn Big 12 Sixth Man honors. In Baylor's NIT semifinal win over San Diego State March 31, Dunn became the second player in school history to score 1,000 career points as a sophomore. Dunn has quickly emerged as a potential threat to break Terry Teagle's career scoring mark.
Best Season: 2008-09 (15.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, Big 12 Sixth Man)

Forward - Terrance Thomas (2003-04)
Why He Made the List: `Tall T' led the Bears in scoring as a senior in 2003-04, averaging 15.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists. In his final season at Baylor, Thomas was named All-Big 12 honorable mention.
Best Season: 2003-04 (15.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists, All-Big 12 honorable mention)

Forward - Harvey Thomas (2004)
Why He Made the List: He may have only played one season in Waco, but it was a good one. Harvey Thomas averaged 15.6 points and 5.5 rebounds, earning All-Big 12 third team honors.
Best Season: 2003-04 (15.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, All-Big 12 third team)

Forward - Ekpe Udoh (2009)
Why He Made the List: This one might be the source of argument (ask Jerry Hill). But, Jerry and I have agreed to disagree. What Udoh has done in his first 11 games at Baylor is unmatched by anyone in the 2000s. He ended the decade with 17 blocks over the last two games and currently stands as Baylor's single-season and career blocked shots per game leader with 4.27. Rivals.com's Jason King solidified Udoh's selection when the BU grad named `The Nightmare' to his Midseason All-American second team.
Best Season: 2009 (14.0 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.27 blocks)

THIRD TEAM

Guard - John Lucas III (2002-2003)
Why He Made the List: His name may not show up in many places in the record book, but John Lucas III was an impressive points guard. Lucas led the Bears in assists in each of his two seasons in Waco.

Guard - Tweety Carter (2006-present)
Why He Made the List: Tweety Carter was the most heralded recruit in Baylor history when he arrived on campus as a freshman in 2006. Since then, Carter has become one of the school's best three-point shooters and has this season become an important cog in Baylor's offensive rotation. In Baylor's 64-61 win at Arizona State (Dec. 3), Carter became the 24th player in school history - and the sixth in the last four seasons - to score 1,000 career points. He may very well be the smallest guy on the court, but he does make the biggest shots...

Guard - Matt Sayman (2001-2004)
Why He Made the List: After John Lucas III and before Aaron Bruce, there was Matt Sayman. Sayman proved to be a vital role player in Baylor's rebuilding project. Sayman was the school's career leader in games played until Curtis Jerrells broke the mark last season. Sayman is currently 10th all-time in school history with 299 career assists.

Guard Henry Dugat (2005-2009)
Why He Made the List: Dugat was the second-half of Baylor's dominant backcourt from 2005-2009. Teaming up with fellow Texas guard Curtis Jerrells, the pair combined for a lethal offensive and defensive combination. Dugat was arguably the most athletic player on the court at any time for Baylor. He made as many treys as he did acrobatic finger-rolls, reverse lay-ups and fastbreak dunks.

Center - Mamadou Diene (2005-2009)
Why He Made the List:
"The Mayor" may not have provided much of a boost on the offensive end (see: 3.2 points per game in 101 career contests), but he made up for his lack of scoring on the defensive side. Diene finished his career as the second-leading career shot blocker in school history and came to Baylor as head coach Scott Drew's first recruit...He is the tallest player in program history (7-foot-1) and one of the most (if not, the most) recognizable Baylor figure in recent memory.

Offensive Player of the Decade: Curtis Jerrells
Defensive Player of the Decade: Terry Black
Sixth Man of the Decade: LaceDarius Dunn


Kangaroos in Tennis Shoes with Killer Instinct
1:46 A.M., THURSDAY, DEC. 31, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE  (EMAIL)

On the bus ride to the airport Tuesday afternoon, head coach Scott Drew distributed reading material - an excerpt from Chris Ballard's new book, The Art of a Beautiful Game: The Thinking Fan's Tour of the NBA. The players (as well as staff members) were asked to read the selected article which discussed Kobe Bryant's 'killer instinct'. That article about Kobe's killer instinct translated to a H-U-G-E 23-point road victory over Arkansas Wednesday night in North Little Rock.

And, yes, per NCAA home/away/neutral site designations, Wednesday's game was considered an Arkansas road game since it provided the game operations staff, etc. We won't argue that...Road wins do much more for the RPI than neutral site (wins).

ESPN color analyst Jimmy Dykes deserves credit for the other part of this morning's latest blog entry headline. Dykes, after a Quincy Acy jam, commented that Baylor "has jumping jacks around the rim...Kangaroos in tennis shoes..." Dykes and Texan Carter Blackburn both suggested that - after watching the Bears play Wednesday night - Baylor is the third-best team in the Big 12 behind Kansas and Texas.

Baylor's killer instinct began to surface when the Bears opened the second half firing on all cylinders, scoring seven quick points to force an Arkansas 30-second timeout. More impressive was Baylor's ability to completely shut down Arkansas' offense. Of the 11,162 fans in attendance Wednesday night, maybe 1,000 or so wore green and gold. But, during Baylor's second-half surge, you would have thought it was a Ferrell Center home game as the Baylor fans out-cheered the 10,000-plus Arkansas fans at Verizon Arena. And, as anyone in attendance can attest, Verizon Arena gets LOUD.

Not only was a national TV audience able to watch two of the nation's premier three-point shooters - Arkansas' Rotnei Clarke and Baylor's LaceDarius Dunn - they also had the opportunity to see one of the nation's most underrated power forwards...Ekpe Udoh. During shootaround Wednesday afternoon, Dykes commented that Ekpe was one of his five impact transfers so far this season. Just when you think Ekpe can't do any more destruction to Baylor's single-season and career record books, think again:

  • Udoh's 17 combined blocks in the last two games are the most in school history.
  • Seven of Udoh's eight blocks Wednesday vs. Arkansas came in the second half.
  • Udoh moved into seventh place on the school's single-season blocked shots list with 47.
  • His 47 blocks are the most by a Baylor player since Ben Echols (49) in 1999-2000.
  • Udoh increased his single-season and career blocked-shots per game average to 4.27.

UDOH AMONG GARY PARRISH'S DARKHORSES
Wednesday, Rivals.com's Jason King named Udoh to his Midseason All-American second team. Later in the day, CBSSports.com's Gary Parrish listed Udoh as one of his All-American darkhorse candidates:

Parrish on his darkhorse candidates: "That list starts with Kansas State's Jacob Pullen...And I left a recent trip to Waco really impressed with [Baylor's Ekpe] Udoh, a 6-foot-10 transfer from Michigan who is getting 14.6 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.9 blocks for the better-than-most-realize team Scott Drew has assembled. I know this sounds crazy, but it's possible Udoh could by March be considered the best post player in the Big 12 despite the presence of [Kansas' Cole] Aldrich and Dexter Pittman..."

To properly conclude the early morning post, it's time to look 'BEYOND THE BOX SCORE':

  • Baylor finished the decade with its sixth straight win.
  • Baylor has won four straight road games (two in the 2009 NIT and two this season) - the longest such streak in the Drew era since 2007-08 when the Bears won four in a row - South Carolina, Southern, Nebraska, Texas A&M.
  • Baylor improved to 28-9 in the month of December under Scott Drew and has now won 19 consecutive December games.
  • In fact, Baylor has won 19 straight games on Dec. 30.
  • Baylor has won 17 of its last 20 games, dating back to the end of the 2008-09 regular season.
  • Baylor snapped a four-game losing streak to Arkansas, posting its first win over the Razorbacks since Feb. 10, 1990.
  • Baylor held Arkansas to season lows for points in a game (47) and a half (16).
  • Baylor held Arkansas to under 50 points in the series since Feb. 7, 1956, when the Razorbacks scored 36.
  • Baylor's 23-point win is the largest margin of victory in the series with Arkansas since Jan. 29, 1974, when the Bears won by 26 (94-68).
  • Baylor is 8-0 this season when leading at the half and 71-16 in the Drew era.
  • Baylor held Arkansas' leading scorer Rotnei Clarke to 14 points on 4-of-10 shooting. Clarke, who entered the game with 46 triples, managed to make only two Wednesday night. Clarke's two made treys came from somewhere around Memphis. Clarke is - without question - the nation's best three-point shooter and the Bears were managed to hold him scoreless in the second half.

Kangaroos in Tennis Shoes with Killer Instinct may sound like a book from the library of Dr. Seuss, but it has become the best descriptor for the Baylor Bears...up to this point. There aren't many teams that can boast two three-point shooters that can score at will, a rebounding and blocking machine that is averaging a double-double through 11 games and a man by the nickname of The Cookie Monster with the motor of the Energizer Bunny.

As this decade enters its last 24 hours, we will reveal our highly anticipated All-Decade first, second and third teams later today. Now it's time to recharge the batteries before enjoying another day of air travel. Enjoy the win, BaylorNation. We will certainly enjoy it the only way we know how...

AND, BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE.


From Central Texas to Central Arkansas
11:15 A.M., WEDNESDAY, DEC. 30, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE  (EMAIL)

Tuesday's weather outside was frightful as we fought through the rain, sleet and snow to reach the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in early fashion...and then watch flight after flight flash CANCELLED on the TV monitors throughouth the concourse, including the flight before and after ours destined for Little Rock. Alas, after waiting 30 extra minutes for our flight crew to de-plane its previous aircraft, we made it to Central Arkansas a little later than we expected. But we managed to survive the very turbulent flight to The Land of A.J. Walton.

Just this morning, we've been asked by two hotel employees if we knew A.J. Walton. In a few words, during his high school days, A.J. was 'the man' on the court in Little Rock. In this morning's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Arkansas beat writer Bob Holt asked A.J. about his one-night homecoming, just a week after he was home for Christmas break. Tonight, A.J. will walk into Verizon Arena for the second time, but the first as a basketball player. His first time came just this past May when he graduated from Little Rock's Hall High School.

RIVALS.COM'S JASON KING BELIEVES IN 'THE NIGHTMARE'
Earlier today, Rivals.com college basketball writer and proud Baylor alumnus Jason King listed Ekpe Udoh on his Midseason All-American second team. Udoh (listed as a center) was one of an astounding seven Big 12 players included on King's three All-American teams.

SET YOUR DVR FOR AN INSTANT CLASSIC: BAYLOR'S 5OT WIN IN 2008 TO AIR NEW YEAR'S DAY ON ESPN CLASSIC
Baylor's 116-110 five-overtime win over Texas A&M in 2008 will be featured as part of ESPN Classic's `Best of the Decade' presentation. The game will air on New Year's Day (Jan. 1, 2010) at 6 a.m. CST on ESPN Classic (Grande Ch. 25, Time Warner Digital Cable Ch. 124). The five-overtime game, the longest contest in Baylor and Big 12 Conference history, is part of an eight-day, 192-hour special presentation of the decade's best games, comebacks, championships and clutch plays.

NINE DAYS, NINE BLOCKS
We haven't forgotten our 13-day countdown. Today is such a big day so we will make it short and simple. The ninth day of the Baylor Basketball Countdown consists of NINE Ekpe Udoh blocks. As in, Udoh blocked a career-high nine shots, falling one shy of a triple-double, in Baylor's 94-63 win Dec. 20 vs. UT Arlington.

FCP ALL-DECADE TEAMS TBR (TO BE REVEALED)
Sometime Thursday, we will reveal our Baylor Basketball All-Decade teams. After collaborating with A View from the Hill's Jerry Hill and former Baylor men's hoops SID Heath Nielsen, we feel that we have assembled the best first, second and third All-Decade teams.

SPEAKING OF DECADES...
For the second consecutive decade finale, Baylor will face a school from the state of Arkansas. In 1999, Baylor defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff in Waco to end the 90s on a winning notes. Tonight, Baylor will face the Arkansas Razorbacks in Little Rock. Other FCP decade tidbits of note:

  • Baylor has won its last five decade finales. Its last decade finale loss came in 1949 - a 71-37 loss to SMU in Dallas.
  • Baylor is 142-151 from 2000-2009. The Bears began the 2000s with five consecutive losses. Baylor enters tonight's finale on a five-game winning streak.
  • Baylor has increased its win total and decreased its loss total over the last three decades: 130-155 in the 80s, 131-152 in the 90s and 142-151 in the 2000s.
  • Baylor's 142 wins in the 2000s are the most of any decade in school history.

The A.J. Walton Edition of Multimedia Miscellanea Madness
Watch | Listen | Gametracker Gametracker | Game Notes Game Notes | Tickets

SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: ARKANSAS
• After starting the season 2-5, the Arkansas Razorbacks have won five straight games after handing former undefeated Missouri State its first loss of the season, 66-62, in overtime Dec. 22.
• Arkansas has held its last six opponents to under 70 points, which has translated to five straight wins. Arkansas' lone loss during the stretch came Dec. 2 to the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman, Okla., 67-47.
• Sophomore Rotnei Clarke leads all Razorbacks with 19.8 points per game through 11 contests, while shooting 52.9 percent (46-of-87) from three-point range. Three other Razorbacks join Clarke in double figures -- Marshawn Powell (14.4), Mike Washington (14.0) and Jemal Farmer (10.3).
• Baylor has more rebounds (430) than Arkansas (419) in two fewer games.

SERIES HISTORY
• Wednesday marks the 142nd meeting in the series between the former Southwest Conference rivals.
• Arkansas leads the series 96-45 and has won the last four meetings and seven of the last eight.
• Wednesday will be only the second meeting between the schools since Arkansas left the Southwest Conference for the SEC after the 1991-92 season.
• In the last series meeting (Jan. 5, 2008), Arkansas defeated Baylor, 85-78, in Dallas. • Baylor is 10-3 when scoring 80 points or more vs. Arkansas.
• Wednesday's meeting will the first between the schools in the month of December since 1959. Arkansas won that meeting, 71-66, Dec. 28, 1959, in Houston.

DECEMBER SUCCESS UNDER DREW
• Baylor is 27-9 in the month of December under head coach Scott Drew and has won 18 consecutive December games.
• Baylor's last December loss was Dec. 16, 2006, at No. 23 Syracuse (lost 94-71).
• Baylor's December winning streak started after back-to-back losses to South Carolina and Syracuse in 2006.

LAST TIME OUT VS. ARKANSAS (JAN. 5, 2008)
• Arkansas' Robert Weems scored 18 of his 21 points in the second half as the Razorbacks ended Baylor's six-game winning streak with an 85-78 victory in Dallas.
• Darian Thomas added 17 points, including eight straight for the Razorbacks in the go-ahead stretch in the second half when he also drew a charging foul that wiped out an alley-oop dunk for Baylor.
• The game was tied at 70 with 6:08 left when Thomas moved in front of a charging Tweety Carter, who passed the ball to Delbert Simpson for a slam. But Carter was called for a foul and the basket wiped out.
• Thomas then made two free throws, and stretched Arkansas' lead to 74-70 a minute later when he drove inside for a tough one-handed shot.
• Baylor was still within a basket with a minute to go, but leading scorer Curtis Jerrells missed two 3-pointers and Carter came up short on another.
• Weems, who had consecutive 3-pointers to tie the game at 55 with about 8 minutes left after Arkansas had fallen behind by nine, made four free throws in the final 19 seconds to clinch the game.
• Jerrells led Baylor with 18 points while Henry Dugat had 14. Kevin Rogers and Carter had 10 each. The Bears shot 61 percent (20-of-33) before halftime, but only 28 percent (11-of-39) after that.

Tonight's game will tip officially (in TV terms) at 8:05 p.m. CST on ESPN2 with Carter Blackburn (pxp) and Jimmy Dykes (analyst) serving as the talent for the ESPN production. If you recall, Dykes called our NIT game vs. Georgetown in Waco last March. If you are in Little Rock, be sure to visit the Wyndham Riverfront for a Pre-Game Rally and Send-Off, courtesy of the Baylor Sports Network, at 5 p.m.

Don't forget to turn down the sound on your TV and turn up the volume on your radio dial to 1660 ESPN with The Voice of the Baylor Bears John Morris and the man that needs no introduction, Pat Nunley.


Eighteen-Game December Winning Streak
9:14 A.M., TUESDAY, DEC. 29, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE  (EMAIL)

The Fightin' Baylor Bears enter Wednesday's neutral-site game with a 9-1 record and an EIGHTeen-game winning streak in the month of December. Baylor's December winning streak began in 2006 after back-to-back losses to Syracuse and South Carolina. Since then, the Bears posted nine 90-point games during the December streak...Teams that have fallen to the Bears over the last 18 December games include:

2006: Prairie View A&M, North Carolina A&T, Delaware State; 2007: Mississippi Valley State, Wayland Baptist, (@) South Carolina, (@) Southern, Prairie View A&M, Florida A&M; 2008: (@) Washington State, Prairie View A&M, UT Arlington, Hartford, Portland State, Jackson State; 2009: (@) Arizona State, Jackson State, UT Arlington.

Wednesday will be Baylor's first neutral site game in December during the 18-game winning streak.

The last eight days of Baylor Basketball in summary form:

7. Homecourt Winning Streak
6. Double-Doubles
5. Four-block Games
4. 20-point scorers
3. 90-point games and 9-1 start
2. 200 Ferrell Center victories
1. Big 12 Player and Rookie of the Week

Baylor basketball is leaving today for Little Rock...Our departure time was bumped up just a tad in an effort to avoid the predicted wintry weather that will hit Central Texas sometime this afternoon. Want updates on the Baylor Bears? Be sure to follow your favorite Baylor basketball blog - ahem, us - on Twitter.

Hey BaylorNation, are you planning to go the game Wednesday at Verizon Arena? Don't forget about the Baylor Sports Network's Pre-Game Rally and Send-Off at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel. Pre-registration is required...You can do that online or by calling toll-free, (866) 281-9444.


Seven Straight at the Golden Dome
11:39 A.M., MONDAY, DEC. 28, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE  (EMAIL)

Baylor will play its fourth neutral site game of the 2009-10 season Wednesday when the Bears face old Southwest Conference rival Arkansas in North Little Rock, Ark. After that, the Bears travel to Columbia, S.C., to face the Gamecocks on Jan. 2. Upon its return to Waco, Baylor will defend its SEVEN-game homecourt winning streak Jan. 6 in the Ferrell Center vs. Morgan State. Baylor is 6-0 at home this season and has won seven straight at home, dating back to its 74-72 NIT win over Georgetown in March. 

ESPN's Jimmy Dykes served as the color analyst for that game against the Hoyas...and he will serve as the analyst for Wednesday's game with the Razorbacks.

Here's our daily 13 Days of Baylor Basketball Countdown summary...

SEVEN-game homecourt winning streak
SIX double-doubles
FIVE four-block games
FOUR
different 20-point scorers
THREE 90-point games and THREE straight 9-1 starts
TWO-hundred Ferrell Center victories and a trip to Hawai`i in 2010
ONE Big 12 Player and Rookie of the Week award

It's all downhill from here...We'll reveal EIGHT Tuesday, NINE Wednesday and throw in a little wrinkle New Year's Eve Thursday for number TEN.


Six Out of 10 Isn't Bad...
7:42 P.M., SUNDAY, DEC. 27, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE  (EMAIL)

Earlier this afternoon, we announced that Tweety Carter was voted one of the best male high school athletes of the decade in New Orleans by The Times-Picayune. In Baylor's last game Dec. 20 - a 94-63 win over UTA - Carter recorded his first career double-double with 12 points and a career-high 10 assists. Why do we mention that? As we continue our epic journey of the 13 Days of Basketball Basketball, day six features SIX double-doubles by Ekpe Udoh:

  1. 18 points, 11 rebounds vs. Norfolk State (Nov. 13)
  2. 13 points, 11 rebounds vs. Hardin-Simmons (Nov. 22)
  3. 17 points, 10 rebounds vs. Alabama (Nov. 26)
  4. 13 points, 11 rebounds vs. Iona (Nov. 27)
  5. 10 points, 10 rebounds at Arizona State (Dec. 3)
  6. 22 points, 16 rebounds vs. UT Arlington (Dec. 20)

Through the season's first 10 games, Udoh has six double-doubles, five more than he recorded in 67 career games with the Michigan Wolverines. How impressive are Udoh's numbers thus far? Dos Tres, Kevin Rogers, notched eight double-doubles in 39 games last season. Six out of 10 isn't bad...at all.

Let's recap what we've covered so far...

SIX double-doubles
FIVE four-block games
FOUR
different 20-point scorers
THREE 90-point games and THREE straight 9-1 starts
TWO-hundred Ferrell Center victories and a trip to Hawai`i in 2010
ONE Big 12 Player and Rookie of the Week award

We're halfway there. Well, sort of.


Tweety Finishes Fourth in Voting for The Times-Picayune's Male High School Athlete of the Decade
2:17 P.M., SUNDAY, DEC. 27, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE  (EMAIL)

Senior Tweety Carter, the first McDonald's All-American in Baylor history, finished fourth in online voting for The Times-Picayune's Male High School Athlete of the Decade Sunday. Carter received 7.17 percent of the more than 700 votes that were submitted. USC tailback Joe McKnight narrowly defeated former LSU and current Jacksonville State quarterback Ryan Perrilloux for the high school athlete of the decade crown. McKnight garnered 34.48 percent of the votes, while Perrilloux tallied 32 percent. Georgetown center Greg Monroe finished third with 15 percent of the vote.

A six-year varsity letterwinner at Reserve (La.) Christian, Carter scored a U.S.-record 7,457 career points and scored 5,748 points in four varsity seasons.


Playing Catch-Up with Four 20-Point Scorers and Udoh's Five Four-Block Games
10:16 P.M., SATURDAY, DEC. 26, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE  (EMAIL)

We wish you a belated Merry Christmas. Hopefully, BaylorNation has enjoyed its holiday season so far. We even had a white Christmas Eve in Central Texas - a great way to conclude 2009. Now, we are playing catch-up with days four and five on our 13 Days of Baylor Basketball Countdown

Last season, Baylor had five different 20-point scorers (Curtis Jerrells, Henry Dugat, LaceDarius Dunn, Tweety Carter, Kevin Rogers) in 39 games...This season, Baylor already has FOUR 20-point scorers (Dunn, Carter, Quincy Acy, Ekpe Udoh) in 10 games, along with FIVE four-block games by Ekpe 'The Nightmare' Udoh. Udoh has 39 blocls in 10 games and has eclipsed Quincy Acy's team-leading 34 blocks from a season ago.

Since it's been a few days, here's a recap of our 13 Days of Baylor Basketball thus far:

FIVE four-block games by Ekpe Udoh
FOUR
different 20-point scorers
THREE 90-point games and THREE straight 9-1 starts
TWO-hundred Ferrell Center victories and a trip to Hawai`i in 2010
ONE Big 12 Player and Rookie of the Week award

Mr. Udoh will make another appearance on the countdown Sunday with number six...Hint: He recorded his sixth in Baylor's 94-63 blowout win over UTA on Dec. 20. The players returned to Waco Saturday and will hit the court Sunday for practice to begin preparations for Wednesday's ESPN2 game vs. Arkansas. Don't know about the rest of BaylorNation, but we're ready for hoops to resume.


Three 90-point Games and Three Straight 9-1 Starts
9:24 A.M., THURSDAY, DEC. 24, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE  (EMAIL)

106-45 over Hardin-Simmons. 90-60 over Jackson State. 94-63 over UT Arlington. The latter score gave Baylor its THIRD 90-point game this season and its THIRD straight 9-1 start. 

To recap our 13 Days of Baylor Basketball thus far:

THREE 90-point games and THREE straight 9-1 starts
TWO-hundred Ferrell Center victories and a trip to Hawai`i in 2010
ONE Big 12 Player and Rookie of the Week award

Three days down, 10 more to go...It's Christmas Eve. We'll take the rest of the day off and return tomorrow as we continue our 13 Days of Baylor Basketball. Have suggestions for who should make our BAYLOR MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM OF THE DECADE? Be sure to E-mail or tweet them to us.


The 12 Days (Plus 1) of Baylor Basketball, Day Two
1:27 P.M., WEDNESDAY, DEC. 23, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE  (EMAIL)

On Tuesday, we debuted our new 13-day blogworthy column, The 12 Days (Plus 1) of Baylor Basketball. We continue our story Wednesday with the second day of Baylor Basketball. On the second day of the Christmas break, the Baylor basketball team gave to me...

The TWO-hundredth Ferrell Center victory and a trip to Hawai`i in 2010
TUESDAY: ONE each - a Big 12 Player (Dunn) and Rookie of the Week (Udoh)

BAYLOR BOUNCES JACKSON STATE, 90-60, AND POSTS WIN #200 AT FERRELL [DEC. 15]
Senior Tweety Carter scored 22 of his season-high 27 points in the first half, while Quincy Acy put on a dunking exhibition in Baylor's 90-60 win over Jackson State last week in the Ferrell Center. The win was Baylor's 200th home victory in the 22-season history of the Ferrell Center.

MEN'S HOOPS HAWAI`I BOUND IN 2010 [DEC. 22]
The Baylor men's basketball team was been selected to participate in the 2010 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center on the campus of the University of Hawai`i at Manoa. The field was announced Tuesday by ESPN Regional Television, Inc. (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN. Baylor's inclusion in the first-year event marks the third consecutive season the Bears will play in an ESPN-hosted tournament. In 2008, Baylor lost in the championship game of the 76 Classic in Anaheim, Calif. Last month, the Bears finished fifth at the Old Spice Classic in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Two days down, 11 more to go. Thursday's HINT: 90. Towards the end of our 13-day journey, we will unveil our own BAYLOR MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM OF THE DECADE. Have suggestions on who you think should be included? E-mail or tweet them to us.


Aloha and Mele Kalikimaka
11:11 P.M., TUESDAY, DEC. 22, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE  (EMAIL)

Don't know the lyrics to the Hawaiian Christmas song, Mele Kalikimaka? That's ok because you have about 365 days to learn the lyrics...Around 10 p.m. CST this evening, ESPN Regional Television announced that Baylor, along with six other schools (and one to be determined) will play in the 2010 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic on the campus of the University of Hawai`i at Manoa in Honolulu.

The 2010 tournament field includes host school Hawai`i, Butler, Florida State, Mississippi, San Diego, Utah and that to-be-determined-eighth-school. Five of the seven teams reached the postseason in 2008-09, with Butler, Florida State, Mississippi State and Utah playing in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. The fifth school in the postseason? The Baylor Bears, which advanced to the championship game of the 2009 National Invitation Tournament. The field includes no less than six teams that have made a mark in the postseason in the last two years:

  • BAYLOR has enjoyed unprecedented success through the past two seasons, including its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 20 years in 2007-08. Last season, the Bears advanced to the 2009 NIT championship game and posted back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in school history. Baylor's 45 wins are the most wins in a two-year span in the program's 104-season history.
  • Baylor head coach Scott Drew's alma mater, BUTLER, ranks among the most successful men's basketball programs in Division I through the past three seasons with an 85-17 record. In each of the last three seasons, the Bulldogs have captured the Horizon League regular-season championship, advanced to the NCAA Tournament and have been ranked in the Top 25.
  • We saw the Seminoles in Orlando last month and we'll see them next year in Hawai`i. FLORIDA STATE is the fourth winningest program in the ACC in the last three seasons. The Seminoles have won 20 or more games in four of the last five seasons and have played in the postseason for a school-record four consecutive seasons, including last year's NCAA Tournament.
  • Diamond Head Classic host HAWAI`I hasn't been to the NCAA Tournament when the Rainbows set a new school record with 27 wins in 2001-02. Hawai`i finished the season ranked No. 25 in the AP Poll and became the first (and only) team in school history to win both the WAC regular-season and tournament titles in the same season. UH participated in both the 2003 and 2004 National Invitation Tournaments, falling one game shy of a trip to Madison Square Garden in 2004.
  • MISSISSIPPI STATE won 23 games last season to earn a spot in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs captured the 2009 SEC Tournament championship and have claimed two of the last three SEC Western Division regular-season titles. MSU has made the NCAA Tournament in five of the last eight seasons.
  • SAN DIEGO missed the postseason last year, but enjoyed a memorable 2007-08 campaign in which it went 22-14, captured the West Coast Conference Tournament and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after knocking off No. 2 seed UConn.
  • UTAH is coming off a 24-10 season in which the Runnin' Utes earned a share of the Mountain West Conference regular-season title, captured the MWC Tournament championship and gained a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the highest seed ever earned by a MWC team. Utah also finished the season ranked in the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2005.

The trip to Hawai`i in 2010 will mark the fifth in-season tournament trip to the Aloha State for Baylor and the first since 2003 when the Bears played in Laie for the Surf 'N Slam-Hawai`i Classic. Baylor is 3-8 (.273) in its four previous tournaments in Hawai'i - 1987 Maui Classic (1-2), 1994 Hawai`i-Nike Festival (1-2), 1998 Honolulu Shootout (1-2) and 2003 Surf 'N Slam (1-2).

This will be FCP's second trip to Hawai`i for an in-season tournament...We visited the island of Oahu for the 44th Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic with the Ragin' Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette. ULL finished 2-1 in the tournament, which was held at the Stan Sheriff Center (exterior shot) on the Hawai`i-Manoa campus. Is it just us or does the SSC bear an uncanny resemblance to that of the Ferrell Center (exterior shot)?

We'll return Wednesday for the second day of our 13 Days of Baylor Basketball. If you missed the first day, that's quite alright...You have 12 more days to catch up.


The 12 Days (Plus 1) of Baylor Basketball
11:37 A.M., TUESDAY, DEC. 22, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE  (EMAIL)

Members of the Baylor basketball team and the majority of the support staff began their Christmas vacation Monday afternoon...What better way to celebrate the next few weeks than to unveil our 12 DAYS (PLUS 1) OF BAYLOR BASKETBALL. What's that? Well, it's our Baylor basketball version of The 12 Days of Christmas. We added an extra day (because Baylor plays South Carolina 13 days from today), so we will unveil a new stat/topic/tidbit every day until Jan. 2.

We'll kick things off with the first day of the Christmas break, the Baylor basketball team gave to me...

ONE each - Big 12 Player of the Week (LaceDarius Dunn) and Big 12 Rookie of the Week (Ekpe Udoh):

DUNN NAMED PHILLIPS 66 BIG 12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK [NOV. 16]
LaceDarius Dunn
was named Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week for Nov. 9-15 after he averaged 30.5 points as Baylor won its first two games of the season. The junior guard started the year with a game-high 32 points in the Bears' 86-58 win over Norfolk State (Nov. 13). He followed with a game-high 29 points, including six three-point field goals, in Baylor's 71-69 victory over Hartford (Nov. 15). In two outings, Dunn shot 48.8 percent (21-of-43) from the floor, including 50 percent (10-of-20) from 3-point range. He also buried 90 percent (9-of-10) of his shots from the free throw line.

'THE NIGHTMARE' GARNERS BIG 12 TOP ROOKIE HONOR [NOV. 30]
Ekpe Udoh
became the first Baylor non-freshman to win the Big 12 Rookie of the Week honor since Tim Bush in 2005 when 'The Nightmare' took home the top rookie nod Nov. 30 after his performance at the Old Spice Classic. Udoh averaged 15.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 4.3 blocks last week to the lead Baylor to a 2-1 record at the Old Spice Classic in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. He posted back-to-back double-doubles in Baylor's first two games at the Old Spice - 17 points and 10 rebounds vs. Alabama (Nov. 26) and 13 points, a career-high tying 11 rebounds and five blocked shots vs. Iona (Nov. 27) Udoh concluded the tournament with 15 points, nine rebounds, four assists and a season-high six blocked shots in Baylor's 69-64 win over Xavier Sunday. For Udoh's efforts, he was named to the Old Spice Classic All-Tournament Team.

One day down, 12 more to go. Check back Wednesday to see what we have in store for the second day. Here's a hint: it happened last Tuesday vs. Jackson State.


Udoh, Jerrells Beginning to Garner Attention
3:12 P.M., MONDAY, DEC. 21, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE  (EMAIL)

Yes, that Jerrells. Former Baylor great and the third-leading scorer in school history, Curtis Jerrells was named NBA D-League Co-Performer of the Week (with teammate Dwayne Jones) Monday. The duo led the Austin Toros to a 2-0 record, which included road wins over the Albuquerque Thunderbirds. CJ averaged 30.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 3.0 steals, while shooting 58 percent from the field in the Toros' two games in the Land of Enchantment. Jerrells is averaging 20.3 points, 3.9 boards and 5.6 assists through 11 games for the Toros. Not too shabby.

While there's a good chance that he won't catch up to CJ's 1,820 career points he amassed while in Waco, Baylor blockologist Ekpe 'The Nightmare' Udoh is slowing beginning to garner national attention after an epic performance Sunday in the Ferrell Center. He's giving Baylor fans a new meaning to the complete package. Udoh's career performance Sunday (22 points, 16 rebounds, nine blocks) was arguably the greatest all-around game by a Baylor Bear big man since Brian Skinner's second career triple-double Nov. 29, 1997, vs. Eastern Washington. Skinner's line that night: 24 points, 14 rebounds, 10 blocks. It was also the first 20-point, 15-rebound performance by a Baylor player since Lawrence Roberts in 2003. That last little tidbit even made the College Basketball Nation blog on ESPN.com. What say you, Gary Parrish?

From Parrish's 'Monday Look Back' column on CBSSports.com:

Final thought: Syracuse's Wesley Johnson (from Corsicana) has long been declared the nation's most impact transfer.

He deserves that title.

But have you seen Baylor's Ekpe Udoh?

I saw him Sunday, and I left the Ferrell Center impressed. As did UT Arlington head coach Scott Cross.

"He was phenomenal," Cross said. "He definitely looked like someboby who can play at the next level."

Udoh finished with 22 points, 16 rebounds and nine blocks in Baylor's 94-63 win. The transfer from Michigan is now averaging 14.6 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.9 blocks per game, and he's a mjor reason why the Bears are off to a surprising 9-1 start.

Is Udoh as good as Johnson? Maybe not.

But he does seem good enough to push the Bears back to the NCAA Tournament.

We'll keep an eye on what the rest of the national writers (FOXSports.com's Jeff Goodman and Rivals.com's Jason King) have to say about Udoh in the upcoming days...

BAYLOR HOLDING STRONG IN LATEST NCAA STATISTICAL RANKINGS
Through Dec. 20, Baylor ranks in the top 20 of six major statistical categories - rebounding margin (2nd), field goal percentage defense (4th), blocked shots per game (14th), field goal percentage (17th), winning percentage (18th) and scoring margin (19th). After his nine blocks Sunday, Ekpe Udoh ranks fifth in the nation with 3.9 blocked shots per game. Wow. While he ranks sixth nationally in total blocks (39), Udoh is averaging more blocked shots per game than 225 NCAA Division I teams. Double Wow.

12 (PLUS 1) DAYS OF BAYLOR BASKETBALL
Since we are in the holiday spirit - beginning tomorrow - we will celebrate the 12 (plus 1) days of Baylor Basketball...Our take on the 12 Days of Christmas. HINT: All 13 days will have something to do with the season's first 10 games. Check back often to see what's in store.


Sunday Afternoon Point Guard, The Triple-Double That Almost Was Edition
6:22 P.M., SUNDAY, DEC. 20, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE  (EMAIL)

Nevermind the grammatically unsound headline, picture this: 22 points, 16 rebounds, nine blocks. We believe that some UT Arlington Maverick players might have some nightmares about Ekpe 'The Nightmare' Udoh after he bombarded UTA Sunday afternoon, helping Baylor to a 94-63 win. Udoh established career highs in points and rebounds, becoming the first Baylor player to post 20 or more points and 15 or more boards in a game since Lawrence Roberts did it almost seven years ago vs. Texas Tech. Udoh simple was - in a word - amazing. He definitely caught the attention of the three national basketball writers in attendance for Sunday's game, which Baylor head coach Scott Drew dubbed "The Three Wise Men" - FOXSports.com's Jeff Goodman, CBSSports.com's Gary Parrish and Rivals.com/Yahoo! Sports' Jason King.

In the span of six days, Udoh has re-established career highs in points, rebounds and assists, while tying his career-high with nine blocks. All of this VERY impressive for a player who never recorded a double-double or scored more than 14 points in a game before suiting up for the Bears this season. If their was a nickname more suitable than The Nightmare, believe us, we would use it.

Through 10 games, Udoh has an astounding 39 blocks - a 3.9 block-per-game average. He has already surpassed Quincy Acy's team-best 34 blocks (which he did in 39 games) from a season ago. His 3.9 blocks per game average is now the best career average by a Baylor player, supplanting Brian Skinner (3.36) for the time being. Amazing.

However, Udoh wasn't the only Baylor player turning heads Sunday afternoon. The Cookie Monster has become synonymous with the monster dunk. We swear Acy's head almost hit the roof of the Ferrell Center on the in-bounds pass he took from A.J. Walton to which he then flushed it down...with authority and then some.

And how about Tweety Carter? Granted, he didn't reach his goal of 27 points for a fourth consecutive game, but he managed the Baylor offense, dishing out a career-high 10 assists. Carter is the first Baylor player with 10 or more assists in a game since Curtis Jerrells had 10 vs. Oklahoma State in January of this calendar year (Jan. 17, 2009). That was the same game that Acy made every bit of his first career start count with a then career-high 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Lace Dunn returned to his kool form, tossing in 17 points in 30 minutes to snap out of his recent shooting slump.

To summarize, let's revisit our Keys to the Game that we hastily put together this morning before tip-off...We're going to give ourselves a perfect score for this game. First, Tweety Carter, while he didn't reach his 27.0 points-per-game average over the last three games, he did manage to dish out a career-high 10 assists. Check. Second, Ekpe Udoh dominated on both ends of the court with a career-high 22 points, career-high 16 rebounds and career-high tying nine blocks. Check. Third, Lace Dunn found a rhythm, drilling four treys to give Baylor momentum. Check. Baylor forced 24 turnovers that translated to 32 points. Checkmate.

Now, it's time for our new (and favorite) segment, 'BEYOND THE BOX SCORE':

  • Baylor continues its impressive streak of 18 consecutive wins in the month of December.
  • Baylor is now 43-6 in the Scott Drew era when scoring 80-plus points, including wins in 13 of their last 14 games.
  • Baylor posted back-to-back 90-point games for the first time since the beginning of the 2008-09 season when the Bears scored 108 vs. Paul Quinn and 90 vs. Centenary.
  • Quincy Acy has now scored in double figures in back-to-back games, while posting his 10th career double-figure scoring game.
  • Tweety Carter is now 19th in school history with 1,064 career points and fourth all-time with 323 assists.
  • Baylor is now 37-3 in its last 40 non-conference home games since losing to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in Dec. 2004. Two of those three losses came to South Carolina.
  • Josh Lomers now has 63 career wins - one shy of the school mark of 64 held by Curtis Jerrells, Kevin Rogers and Henry Dugat. Tweety Carter has 62 and LaceDarius Dunn 53.

With 10 games in the books, the Baylor Bears will get time off to enjoy the Christmas holiday with their families before reporting back to work for the 26th. Then, it's time to prepare for a H-U-G-E road swing with Arkansas and South Carolina. Two games that could give Baylor tons of momentum heading into Big 12 play. That's all for now from the Ferrell Center...

AND, BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE.


Not Your Typical Lazy Sunday
11:16 A.M., SUNDAY, DEC. 20, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE  (EMAIL)

Today is not your typical lazy Sunday.Why, you ask? For starters, Baylor (8-1) is playing its third (and rare) Sunday home game when the Bears host the UT Arlington Mavericks (4-3) today at 2 p.m. On top of that, today is Baylor's first televised home game of the 2009-10 season; Greg Lucas (play-by-play) and Jim Haller (analyst) will serve as the talent for the FOX Sports Southwest** telecast this afternoon.

TV Footnote: Today's game is also available on ESPN360.com and ESPN Full Court.

What else is different about today's game? There will be not one, not two, but three national college basketball writers in attendance for the game - FOXSports.com's Jeff Goodman, CBSSports.com's Gary Parrish and Rivals.com/Yahoo! Sports' (and Baylor alum) Jason King.

For the first time this season, Baylor will have a real shot at showcasing its young talent as well as its three-headed monster in Ekpe 'The Nightmare' Udoh, Tweety Carter and LaceDarius Dunn.

Without further ado, here's...
Sunday's Multimedia Miscellanea Madness
Watch | Listen | Gametracker Gametracker | Game Notes Game Notes | Tickets | In-Game Blog In-Game Blog

SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: UT ARLINGTON
• UT Arlington will play its first game in 15 days Sunday when the Mavericks visit the Ferrell Center. UTA (4-3) had won three straight games before suffering a 71-67 loss to SIU-Edwardsville in the championship game of the Drake Hy-Vee Classic Dec. 5.
• The Mavericks are 3-48 all-time against teams in the Big 12 with their only wins coming against Texas A&M (1970), Baylor (1980) and Oklahoma State (1987). Since their 69-58 win Dec. 3, 1987, at Oklahoma State, the Mavs have gone 0-21 against current Big 12 schools.
• Senior forward Tommy Moffitt, who is the Mavericks leading rebounder at 7.7 per game, will be out 6-8 weeks after breaking his left foot Dec. 4 vs. North Dakota.
• Senior guard Marquez Haynes ranks second in the nation (throught Dec. 13) with 25.7 points per game. He has scored 30 or more points three times this season -- three shy of the UTA single-season record (Sam Norton, 1983-84).

SERIES HISTORY
• Sunday marks the 13th meeting in the series.
• Baylor leads the series 11-1 with all 12 previous series meetings occurring in Waco.
• Three of the last four meetings have been decided by five points or fewer.
• Sunday also marks the first time the teams will meet in consecutive seasons since 1982-83 (Dec. 9, 1982) and 1983-84 (Dec. 7, 1983).
• Baylor is 5-0 when scoring 90 points or more vs. UT Arlington.
• Baylor is 9-1 vs. UT Arlington in the month of December.

DECEMBER SUCCESS UNDER DREW
• Baylor is 26-9 in the month of December under head coach Scott Drew and has won 17 consecutive December games.
• Baylor's last December loss was Dec. 16, 2006, at No. 23 Syracuse (lost 94-71).
• Baylor's December winning streak started after back-to-back losses to South Carolina and Syracuse in 2006.

FCP'S 'KEYS TO THE GAME'
• DEMOND. TWEETY. CARTER. Enough said.
• Baylor has a huge size advantage over UTA. If Ekpe Udoh can set the tone early, the Bears could dominate inside the 3-point line...
• and outside the arc if LaceDarius Dunn finds his rhythm.
• Baylor's transition game. The Bears did it Tuesday vs. Jackson State and turnovers hurt them in last season's meeting with UTA.

It's BaylorNation's last chance to see the Bears at home in 2009. And, 2010 could be even more exciting.

Don't forget to turn down the sound on your TV and turn up the volume on your radio dial to 1660 ESPN with The Voice of the Baylor Bears John Morris and the man that needs no introduction, Pat Nunley. If you can make to the Ferrell Center, come out and support your Baylor Bears - and bring your church bulletins! You get a free ticket if you do.

AND, BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE.


The Week The Last 36 Hours in Review: A Twitter Retrospective
8:44 P.M., FRIDAY, DEC. 18, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE  (EMAIL)

Now that we've shaken off all the rust from our long layoff, the last few days have been crammed with all sorts of tidbits and interesting stats. And if you're not on the social networking micro-blogging site, Twitter, then you're not following FCP and thus missing out on some of the 'tweeted' goodies that we offer throughout the week. So, to sum up the last 36 hours in Baylor basketball, here's a Twitter Retrospective:

December 17th, 7:40 a.m.
#BaylorMBB's 116-110 5OT win over Texas A&M in 2008 voted one of the 10 best CBB games of the 2000s by @si_photos. 

BAYLOR'S 5OT WIN OVER TEXAS A&M VOTED ONE OF DECADE'S BEST BY CNNSI.COM
Rewind to Jan. 23, 2008...No. 25 Baylor needed five overtimes to outrun the No. 18 Texas A&M Aggies, 116-110, in College Station. Earlier this week, CNNSI.com ranked Baylor's 5OT win No. 10 on its list of the 10 best college hoops games of the 2000s:

"In the longest game in Big 12 history, Curtis Jerrells scored 11 of his 36 points in the fifth and final overtime to lift Baylor after five of the 11 Bears who had played had fouled out and two others had four fouls. Three players logged at least 56 minutes for Texas A&M, including Bryan Davis, who finished with 30 points and 14 rebounds, and Dominique Kirk, whose buzzer-beating tip-in forced the second overtime."

December 17th, 11:24 a.m.
More Draft hype for Ekpe Udoh: ESPN's Chad Ford has 'The Nightmare' as one of best power forwards in 2010.
#BaylorMBB

ESPN'S CHAD FORD LISTS UDOH ON POWER FORWARD POSITION DRAFT BOARD
People are starting to take notice of Baylor junior forward Ekpe Udoh, who is listed on Chad Ford's power forward position draft board. Udoh is listed as the ninth-best power forward on the 2010 draft board and the 19th-best player.

http://onmilwaukee.com/images/articles/ha/harlemglobetrotters10/harlemglobetrotters10_story1.jpg

December 17th, 9:23 p.m.
#BaylorMBB all-time 3pt leader and Globetrotter Aundre Branch interviewed recently by OnMilwaukee.com (@onmilwaukee)

ONMILWAUKEE.COM INTERVIEWS FORMER BAYLOR BEAR ANUDRE BRANCH
Former Baylor Bear Aundre 'Hot Shot' Branch is in his seventh season with the Harlem Globetrotters, a world-famous basketball team that has shown off its athleticism and comedic skills every New Year's Eve in Milwaukee for 40 years. Recently, OnMilwaukee.com talked to Branch about his life as a Harlem Globetrotter.

December 17th, 11:15 p.m.
Tweety Carter has made 17 consecutive FTs dating back to overtime of #BaylorMBB's 72-62 win over @icgaels at the @oldspiceclassic in Nov.

TWEETY CARTER...EN FUEGO
Not only has Tweety Carter scored 27 points in three consecutive games - a first by a Baylor Bear since Curtis Jerrells did it four straight games at the end of the 2006-07 season - but he has made 17 consecutive free throws. That's after Carter went 3-of-8 during Baylor's 2009 postseason run and 1-of-2 to start this season.

December 18th, 8:22 p.m.
Be sure to set your DVRs on New Year's - ESPN Classic to re-air #BaylorMBB's 5OT win over Texas A&M as part of 'Best of the Decade' stunt.

ESPN CLASSIC TO RE-AIR BAYLOR'S 5OT WIN OVER TEXAS A&M
To celebrate the close of the decade, ESPN Classic is planning a Best of the Decade special, including college basketball content. Baylor's 116-110 5OT win over Texas A&M in College Station at 7 a.m. CST New Year's Day.

Be sure to check back Saturday as we preview Baylor's final home game before the Chrstimas break. The Bears host the UT Arlington Mavericks Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Ferrell Center. Sunday's game will be televised live on FOX Sports Southwest and will also be available on ESPN360.com and ESPN Full Court.

AND, BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE.


Early Wednesday Morning Afterthoughts
12:36 A.M., WEDNESDAY, DEC. 16, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE  (EMAIL)

For a few minutes during the first half of Baylor's 90-60 win over Jackson State, the Bears looked like a team that hadn't played in 12 days. But, a 30-point home win loaded with individual accolades is exactly what the doctor ordered for the Bears, which improved to 8-1 overall.

If you revisit our 'Keys to the Game' we posted Wednesday afternoon, three out of four isn't bad. Tweety Carter was and still is EN FUEGO. We think he's still in the zone after he posted his third consecutive 27-point game Tuesday night. Yes. Third consecutive 20-point game. Tweety is the first Baylor player to post three consecutive 20-point games since fellow 1,000-point club member and current Austin Toros point guard Curtis Jerrells did it four straight games during the 2006-07 season:

  1. 27 points - Feb. 24, 2007, at No. 8 Texas A&M (lost 97-87)
  2. 20 points - Feb. 28, 2007, at Texas Tech (lost 85-74)
  3. 21 points - March 3, 2007, vs. Oklahoma State (won 86-82)
  4. 31 points - March 8, 2007, vs. Missouri (won 97-83)

Jerrells nearly recorded a fifth consecutive 20-point game...CJ scored 19 points in Baylor's 74-69 loss to No. 14 Texas in the Big 12 Championship semifinal in Oklahoma City, Okla. Side Note: Our research also shows that Harvey Thomas posted three straight 20-point games during the 2003-04 season.

Quincy Acy benefited from the high-percentage shot Tuesday as 'The Cookie Monster' scored a career-high 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting. Acy's lone miss was a short jumper at the 10:46 mark of the second half, but he made his other nine field goal attempts count in a BIG way. Acy put on a dunking clinic, including a pair of textbook alley-oop dunks (assists courtesy Tweety Carter). Ekpe Udoh didn't have a good shooting night (1-of-7), but he did have a nice line in the box score: 6 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists (career high), 4 blocks. Udoh's four blocks gave him 30 for the season, which qualifies him to be ranked in Baylor's career blocked shots per game category...Udoh's 3.33 blocked shots per game ranks second all-time at Baylor behind Brian Skinner (3.36).

Ok, we're going to gloss over LaceDarius Dunn's lowest scoring game (three points) since 2008 at Colorado. He'll get another chance to snap out of his shooting slump Sunday vs. UTA.

Baylor forced 17 turnovers...that translated into 23 points for the Bears.

TWEETY HONORED PRE-GAME, LOMERS' GOATEE MAKES DEBUT
Prior to Tuesday's 90-60 win, Baylor honored senior point guard Tweety Carter with a commemorative game ball in recognition for scoring his 1,000th career point Dec. 3 at Arizona State. Not only was it Tweety's home debut Tuesday, but it was also the debut of Josh Lomers' goatee. The result? Six points in 17 minutes.

WE COUNTED, RE-COUNTED AND COUNTED SOME MORE
We made extra-sure that we didn't mess up this stat: Baylor's 30-point win Tuesday was its 200th victory in the 22-season history of the Ferrell Center. Baylor is now 200-128 (.610) inside the friendly confines of the Golden Dome. Baylor has started the season 5-0 at home for the ninth time in Ferrell Center history.

MAKE ROOM FOR (TWEETY) CARTER
Senior Tweety Carter moved up the career leaderboard in four major categories Tuesday. With his 27 points, Carter moved into 21st place on Baylor's career scoring list with 1,052 points, passing Don Heathington (1,040), Kelvin Chalmers (1,045) and Winston Moore (1,046). Carter moved into seventh place in both career assists (313) and career steals (118). He is now alone in fifth place in BU history with 213 career 3-point field goals made.

THREE TIMES 20
With Quincy Acy's career-high 20 pointes Tuesday, four diferent Baylor Bears have scored 20 or more points this season (Acy, Tweety Carter, LaceDarius Dunn, Ekpe Udoh). In fact, Baylor has had a 20-point scorer in six of its nine games this season - Norfolk State (Dunn), Hartford (Dunn, Udoh), Hardin-Simmons (Dunn), Xavier (Carter), Arizona State (Carter) and Jackson State (Acy, Carter). Interesting Stat line: Four of Baylor's 20-point scorers this season have scored exactly 27 points.


Shake Off the Rust...It's Game Day
2:22 P.M., TUESDAY, DEC. 15, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE  (EMAIL)

After enduring what amounts to (tied for) the longest layoff between games in school history, men's hoops returns to the hardwood tonight when the Baylor Bears host the Jackson State Tigers in the Ferrell Center. When the Tigers and Bears (no Lions, no 'oh my') tip off Tuesday night, it will be Baylor's first game in 1,027,740 seconds/17,129 minutes/285ish hours. In layman's terms, it will be exactly 11 days, 21 hours and 29 minutes since tipping at 9:36 p.m. CST in Tempe.

Last season, Baylor (7-1), then ranked No. 19 in the AP Top 25, crushed Jackson State, 113-78, on New Year's Eve. That was also Baylor's last December home game...The Bears enter Tuesday looking to preserve two huge streaks - a 16-game December winning streak and a 34-0 all-time record vs. the SWAC. And, for those that may have forgotten where we were this time last season, here's a refresher course. That's right...a 7-1 Baylor team, fresh off a huge road win at a Pac-10 opponent, won its December home debut. Another common denominator? Baylor plays a SWAC school in its December home opener, followed by a Dec. 20 home matchup against - wait for it - UT Arlington.

IT'S NEVER TOO EARLY FOR BRACKETOLOGY
If you remember from last season, we are utterly fascinated with all the self-proclaimed bracketologists' take on the NCAA Tournament. Well, it appears Bracketography.com is the first site to post its inaugural 2010 NCAA Tournament Bracketology Report. In early returns, Bracketography.com has Baylor as a No. 8 seed in Milwaukee, Wis., paired against No. 9 Richmond. Also in that bracket? A possible rematch of the 2008 NCAA First Round game...No. 1 Purdue squares off against the winner of the play-in game.

BAYLOR TRIO RISING IN RIVALS.COM POWER RANKINGS
Ekpe Udoh
, Tweety Carter and LaceDarius Dunn are all ranked in the latest Rivals.com Position Power Rankings. 'The Nightmare' is rated as No. 22 (and rising) among the nation's top 25 centers after delivering his fifth double-double this season Dec. 3 at Arizona State. Also rising on the point guard charts is Tweety, who enters the week No. 23 overall after posting back-to-back 27-point games. Even though Kool/Radar was held to just seven points in Baylor's road win at ASU, Dunn is still No. 18 among shooting guards.

BAYLOR CONTINUES TO DOMINATE IN WEEKLY NCAA STATISTICS SUMMARY
Baylor ranks in the top 50 nationally in nine team categories in the latest NCAA Weekly Statistics Summary - 2nd in rebound margin (+12.6), 5th in field goal percentage defense (35.5), 15th in field goal percentage (50.0), 19th in blocked shots per game (6.1), 27th in winning percentage (.875), 30th in scoring margin (+15.3), 34th in person fouls per game (16.0), 44th in 3-point field goal percentage (39.7) and 46th in scoring defense (60.4). Keep in mind these rankings are among 334 non-provisional Division I teams eligible to be included in the stat summary.

'The Nightmare' ranks eighth nationally in field goal percentage (66.2), 10th in blocked shots per game (3.3) and 13th in double-doubles (five). Udoh averages more blocked shots per game than 157 NCAA Division I teams (177 of the 334 Division I teams eligible to be ranked in the NCAA stat summary average 3.3 blocks per game or more entering play Monday).

Lace ranks 21st in three-point field goals per game (3.3) and 45th in points per game (19.1).

Without further ado, here's...
Tuesday's December Home Debut of Multimedia Miscellanea Madness
Watch | Listen | Gametracker Gametracker | Game Notes Game Notes | Tickets | In-Game Blog In-Game Blog

SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: JACKSON STATE
Dating back to the end of last season, Jackson State (0-6) has lost seven straight games. Jackson State, which finished the 2008-09 season 18-15 and 15-3 in SWAC play, is playing its fifth road game in seven contests to open the season. Garrison Johnson leads all Jackson State scorers with 16.8 points per game. Tyrone Hanson is the only other Tiger averaging double figures in scoring with 11.0 points. Hanson and Cason Burk are Jackson State's top rebounders, averaging 4.7 and 4.5 boards per game, respectively.

SERIES HISTORY
• Tuesday marks the third consecutive season the teams will meet.
• Baylor leads the brief series 2-0 -- both wins coming in Waco.
• Baylor has scored 100 or more points in the first two meetings, including a Scott Drew era record 113 points in regulation last season (BU scored a Drew era record 116 points vs. Texas A&M in five overtimes in 2008).

DECEMBER SUCCESS UNDER DREW
• Baylor is 25-9 in the month of December under head coach Scott Drew and has won 16 consecutive December games.
• Baylor's last December loss was Dec. 16, 2006, at No. 23 Syracuse (lost 94-71).
• Baylor's December winning streak started after back-to-back losses to South Carolina and Syracuse in 2006.

FCP'S 'KEYS TO THE GAME'
• Ok, so we were pretty spot on with our Keys to the Game for Xavier and Arizona State. We said it in Orlando. We said it in Tempe. Let's make it three times: DEMOND. TWEETY. CARTER. Back-to-back 27-point games. Tonight is his 2009-10 home debut. We think he'll make it count.
The Three-Headed Monster - Josh Lomers, Ekpe Udoh and Quincy Acy. Jackson State cannot match Baylor height for height. The nation's second-tallest team could see Udoh have another big night.
• Tonight's the night LaceDarius Dunn ends his shooting slump.
• Baylor's transition game. If Baylor can force turnovers and convert on the other end of the floor, the Bears could hang triple digits on the Tigers for the third year in a row.

It seems like it's been a while since Baylor's last home game. But, the Bears are finished with exams and are ready to rock the Ferrell Center Tuesday after a 12-day hiatus. 

AND, BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE.


Change of Plans: South Carolina Game Time Moved Up
10:40 A.M., MONDAY, DEC. 14, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE  (EMAIL)

The South Carolina Athletics Department announced Monday that the Jan. 2 contest between Baylor and Gamecocks will be moved to NOON EST (11 A.M. CST) to avoid conflict with the 2 p.m. EST kickoff of the PapaJohns.com Bowl between South Carolina and UConn.

The Baylor-USC game will still be televised by FOX Sports Carolinas. Don't worry...Baylor officials are working with FOX Sports Southwest to televise the game back in Waco.


The Return of 'Sunday Afternoon Point Guard'
4:44 P.M., SUNDAY, DEC. 13, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE  (EMAIL)

For those of you that may have missed it last season, today marks the return of Sunday Afternoon Point Guard - our basketball take on football's Monday Morning Quarterback...With final exams winding down, the action will once again heat up on the court as the Baylor Bears will play two home games before the Christmas break.

Since we're in the midst of an 11-day layoff from basketball action, here are a few tidbits we've learned during our time away from press row:

  1. The man known simply as 'The Nighmare (on South University Parks Drive)', Ekpe Udoh, has emerged as probably THE BEST complete power forward in school history. How good is he? He already has five double-doubles through the first eight games and needs just four more blocks to break into the school's top 10 for career blocked shots per game. If he blocks four shots Tuesday vs. Jackson State, he will be averaging 3.33 per game, which would rank second all-time behind Brian Skinner.
  2. Twitter is a wonderful thing. It came in extra handy when we prematurely changed the channel during CBS' Saturday telecast of Kentucky-Indiana. According to a CBS graphic during the game, Baylor has the second-tallest team (based on average height) in the nation at 6-foot-6. Kentucky leads the nation with an average of 6-foot-7. That's a lot of Quincy Acys.
  3. LaceDarius Dunn (209) and Tweety Carter (209) have combined for 418 career 3-point field goals made in their time at Baylor. Their 11 teammates have made a combined 38 career triples.
  4. At Arizona State, Tweety Carter became the 24th player in school history to score 1,000 career points. Carter, who currently stands 24th all-time with 1,025 points, will be the last Baylor Bear for a while to reach to the millennium mark. The nearest non-senior to the 1,000-point mark is Quincy Acy who has 238 points. Senior Josh Lomers has 403 points, while junior Ekpe Udoh has 485 points (including his time at Michigan).
  5. Baylor has won 16 consecutive games in the month of December and is 25-9 in the year's final month under head coach Scott Drew. Baylor's last December loss came Dec. 16, 2006, at No. 23 Syracuse (lost 94-71).
  6. A win Tuesday over Jackson State would be Baylor's 200th victory in the 22-season history of the Ferrell Center.
  7. Since posting a 21-53 record (.284) in Drew's first three seasons, Baylor is 67-43 (.609) in its last 110 games.
  8. Since losing to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at home in Dec. 2004, Baylor is 35-3 in its last 38 non-conference home games.

A Quick Parting Shot before we go: For all the latest and greatest happenings with Baylor Basketball, be sure to follow us on Twitter at @BaylorFCP. Or head coach Scott Drew and assistant coach Paul Mills.

It seems like months since Baylor's last game. And if it feels like that for us, imagine how the guys feel...


Udoh No Longer Baylor's Secret
9:38 A.M., TUESDAY, DEC. 8, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE  (EMAIL)

All throughout the preseason, we've commented time and time again that Baylor's Ekpe 'The Nightmare' Udoh is the real deal. He was doing a good job of staying Baylor's secret weapon for the first four games of the season. Once the nation got a glimpse of the former Michigan forward at the Old Spice Classic and last week at Arizona State, the cat was out of the bag.

Udoh, who ranks seventh nationally in double-doubles, ninth in field goal percentage and 12th in blocked shots per game, is listed as one of ESPN NBA Draft analyst Chad Ford's breakout players (Insider subscription required). For those without an Insider subscription, here's what Ford had to say on Ekpe:

After two promising, but unfulfilling years at Michigan, Udoh is now wearing a Baylor jersey and seems to be finally capitalizing on his potential. NBA teams love shotblockers with long arms and good leaping ability, and Udoh has the production to match, averaging nearly 10 boards and 3.5 blocks per game.

Udoh is proving to be more than just a shotblocker. He has improved dramatically on the offensive end of the game, and shows a nice face-the-basket game. He can create his own shot off the dribble and has shown some impressive footwork in the paint. He needs to get stronger and clearly is still a work in progress, but Udoh has begun to appear on the NBA draft radar screen in a big way. In the first month of the season he's moved all the way up from a second-round pick to somewhere between 15 and 25 in the draft.

Ekpe is no longer a secret in Waco. Udoh's five double-doubles and 26 blocked shots lead the Big 12. Before you know it, Ekpe will be a household name...


What Do Baylor and North Carolina Have in Common? A Lot More than You Think...
2:10 P.M., MONDAY, DEC. 7, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE  (EMAIL)

A few weeks ago, we mentioned that Baylor and 2009 national runner-up Michigan State have finished fifth in the last two Old Spice Classics. Here's something you may not have known about the common thread between the Bears and 2009 national champion North Carolina. UNC and Baylor lead all of Division I with 14 wins since the end of the 2008-09 regular season (conference tournament, postseason and 2009-10 regular season thus far).

UNC is 14-2 over that stretch, while Baylor is 14-3. Syracuse, Michigan State and Villanova have each won 13 games.

The Big 12 school with the second-most wins in that stretch? No. 1 Kansas and Texas Tech both with nine victories. Eight of Texas Tech's nine wins have come this season.

Baylor Among ORVs (Others Receiving Votes)
The AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Top 25 Polls were released Monday. Baylor is receiving 17 votes in the AP Top 25 Poll and one vote in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. It is the second time this season Baylor has received votes in the AP Poll and the first mention in the Coaches Poll.


Tweety Rises to the Occasion...Again
7:40 A.M. MST, FRIDAY, DEC. 4, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE  (EMAIL)

During pregame warm-ups Thursday night at Wells Fargo Arena, there was a small cluster of Arizona State fans heckling Tweety Carter after he missed a layup - "YOU can't even make a layup!". That wasn't an issue for Tweety since he drained a plethora of triples (SEVEN, to be exact). I believe we didn't hear that group after he drained four triples over a three-minute span, including three in successive Baylor possessions. Welcome to Baylor Basketball, 2009-10

While LaceDarius Dunn was not the overwhelming fan favorite at Wells Fargo, Carter did what he does best - step up his game. For the smallest guy on the court, he certainly was making the biggest shots. Tweety played 39 of Baylor's 40 minutes, getting a quick breather in the first half. Didn't matter. Carter was electrifying in the second half, hitting five 3-pointers to spark Baylor's late rally from 10 points down to silence the 7,948 in attendance.

Slightly overshadowed by Tweety's Oscar-winning performance, 'The Nightmare' scored 10 points and snagged 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. Baylor, which entered the night fifth in the nation in rebounding margin (+12.7), held the Sun Devils to a season-low 18 rebounds. ASU's 18 boards match a Scott Drew era low set by Prairie View A&M, Dec. 28, 2004.

Aside from our successful approach to Baylor's 'KEYS TO THE GAME' (save Josh Lomers' new nickname of 'The Big Cactus'), here's something else you should know about last night's win:

  • Baylor is the first Big 12 team to win two road games in the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.
  • Baylor has now won 16 consecutive games in the month of December, dating back to its loss at No. 23 Syracuse in 2006.
  • Tweety Carter became the 24th player to score 1,000 career points in Baylor history. To paraphrase Lace's sentiments postgame: Tweety joined HIM in the 1,000-point club.

Thursday, one Arizona newspaper dubbed the game as a 'must-win' for Arizona State. It was also a 'must-win' for the Bears...It gave Baylor back-to-back marquee wins and hopefully silenced some of the critics, finally.

We'll leave you with these few final thoughts: Baylor shot near 60 percent last night - the second-best shooting percentage against a Herb Sendek team in 107 games (Florida shot 60.5 percent at Arizona State in March 2008)...Carter tied a season high with 27 points (set vs. Xavier); during last season's 87-78 win over the Sun Devils, Lace scored - gasp - 27 points. Coincidence?

We're leaving on a jet plane...No, seriously, our plane is now boarding in Phoenix. Enjoy the layoff, BaylorNation. 7-1 certainly does feel sweet.

AND, BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE.


The Land of Cactus and The Valley of the Sun (Devils)
3:13 P.M. MST, THURSDAY, DEC. 3, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE  (EMAIL)

Last year for the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series, we were enjoying our can of Cougar Gold Cheese during our three-day sojourn to Pullman, Wash. This go-round, we don't need a compass or a two-day headstart to reach our destination...This year, the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series brings us to The Valley of the Sun and Tempe, Ariz.. And situated within the city of Tempe is Baylor's Thursday night opponent, the Arizona State Sun Devils. In the course of 363 days, we've traded the Palouse for Hayden Butte, which is referred to by locals as A Mountain.

To put it in perspective, Arizona State's student enrollment for the Fall 2009 semester is 68,064. That is not a misprint. There are twice as many students that attend Arizona State than residents that live in RGIII's hometown of Copperas Cove. In the 2008-09 academic year, 15,610 students graduated from ASU...Baylor's Fall 2009 enrollment? 14,614.

While we've certainly enjoyed our trip thus far to the Land of Cactus (coined by ASU SID Doug Tammaro), it's gameday! (How easily amused are we? Our hotel has an M&M dispenser in the lobby!)

According to The Arizona Republic, Thursday's game is a must-win for the Sun Devils. We do agree that it is a B-I-G game for the Bears as it would add another solid victory to their early postseason résumé. Whichever way you look at tonight's game, Arizona State will look to avenge last season's loss when the Bears dominated the 14th-ranked Sun Devils in Anaheim.

Thursday's Desert Edition of Multimedia Miscellanea Madness
Listen | Gametracker Live Stats | Game Notes Game Notes | [Complete FSN Affiliate Listings]

SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: ARIZONA STATE
After going 8-22 (.267) in Coach Herb Sendek's first year (2006-2007), the Sun Devils are 52-24 (.684) since and giving up just 60.9 points per game in his 106 games...Four Sun Devils are currently averaging in double digits and ASU is shooting 52-of-120 (.433) from downtown and 52.5 percent (178-of-339) from the field...ASU has had six players lead or share the team lead in scoring in its seven games and has five players on its roster who have had a 20-point game in their career...Senior Derek Glasser is averaging 12.3 points and is shooting 50 percent (10-of-20) from the three-point stripe and 84.8 percent from the free throw line (28-of-33) this year...Glasser posted a career-high 24 points in the Nov. 27 win over LSU...Junior Rihards Kuksiks is the third-best returning three-point shooter in the nation according to official NCAA statistics; Kuksiks was 93-of-210 from the arc last year, which was eighth nationally - Only Portland's Jared Stohl (89-of-195 for .456) and Troy's Brandon Hazzard (83-of-185 for .449) are returners with better net swishing digits than the Latvian native.

SERIES HISTORY
• Thursday marks the fifth series meeting and the second of three consecutive seasons the teams will meet.
• The series is tied 2-2 after Baylor upset No. 14 Arizona State, 87-78, at the 76 Classic last season in Anaheim, Calif.
• Baylor is 0-1 in the series at Tempe - a 90-87 loss (Dec. 17, 1965).
• Baylor is 10-20 all-time vs. current members of the Pac-10 Conference.
• The Bears have won their two games against Pac-10 schools - wins over Arizona State and at Washington State last season.
• Baylor is 3-10 all-time at Pac-10 schools. Baylor's only three wins at a Pac-10 opponent - Dec. 6, 2008, at Washington State, Dec. 7, 1955, at Oregon State and Dec. 19, 1947 at UCLA.

BIG 12/PAC-10 HARDWOOD SERIES HISTORY
• Baylor is 1-1 through its first two games of the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.
• Baylor split its series with Washington State; the visiting team won both games.
• Arizona State will travel to Waco for the second-half of the series with Baylor in 2010-11.

FCP'S 'KEYS TO THE GAME'
• We said it last week. We'll say it again: TWEETY CARTER. Carter is the key to our offense. As goes Tweety and the rest of Baylor's stable of guards, so do the Bears.
The Big Men. Josh Lomers, Ekpe Udoh and Quincy Acy could have huge nights for the Bears. 'The Nightmare' has 25 blocks - 14 more than the entire Arizona State team. Udoh and Acy ('The Cookie Monster') both have cool nicknames...Lomers could be renamed 'The Big Cactus' tonight if he has a big game.
• Free Throws. Free Throws. Free Throws.
• Perimeter shooting. Arizona State has the nation's third-best 3-pointer shooter (Kuksiks), but he's no LaceDarius Dunn. If Dunn, Carter and Anthony Jones start to heat up, it could be a long night for the Sun Devils' 'D'.

FCP's Food for Thought: Thursday's FSN announcers will be Steve Physioc (play-by-play) and Marques Johnson (analyst)...Physioc, who was the play-by-play commentator for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for 14 years, served as the TV talent for Baylor's game at Missouri last season...Johnson, a five-time NBA All-Star, was the color analyst for Baylor's 58-52 win at Washington State last season...FCP and Inside Baylor Sports' Robert Shiekh lunched at Chipotle - why do you care? Click this link to see what happened the last time we did.

We'll have our coffee courtside tonight with the 9:36 p.m. CST tip time (official TV start). Don't forget: Turn down the sound on your TV and tune your radio to ESPN 1660 AM at 9 p.m. CST to listen to The Voice of the Baylor Bears, John Morris, and The Man, The Myth, The Legend, Pat Nunley, from Wells Fargo Arena. The weather outside may be frightful in Waco tonight, but Baylor basketball on national television is surely delightful...It's Gameday.

AND, BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE.


After a Cornucopia of Hoops, It's a Short December
11:14 A.M., WEDNESDAY, DEC. 2, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE  (EMAIL)

It's our first post in Central Standard Time in almost two weeks...Luckily we remembered how to tell time. After the whirlwind that was the month of November, Baylor hoops will tap the brakes in December as the Bears have only four games on the docket.

Baylor concluded the month of November with a 6-1 mark this season and has won 16 of its last 18 20 of its last 23 (clerical error) non-conference games in the 11th month. Baylor is 25-6 in November under head coach Scott Drew. Baylor's December record is nearly as impressive with the Bears posting a 24-9 mark.

Baylor has won 15 consecutive games in the month of December. Last December loss? Dec. 16, 2006, at No. 23 Syracuse. That was just the game. The epic tale of the Baylor's travel exploits to Syracuse was another story, as told by former MBB SID Heath Nielsen below:

Roughly 28 hours after leaving Waco the Bears' travel party arrived in Syracuse Friday, Dec. 15, 2006, at 11 p.m. EST, but without any luggage (including uniforms and playing shoes). The Bears missed their scheduled practice at the Carrier Dome Friday night and instead conducted a walk-through at a vacant gate at the DFW airport.

Here's the entire Tale of Two Cities back story:
The Baylor basketball travel party left the Ferrell Center in Waco after practice Thurs., Dec. 14, 2006, at approximately 6 p.m. CST. The team had booked rooms in Dallas in order to catch an early morning flight to Syracuse - American Airlines' only direct flight of the day.

The team arrived at DFW before 9 a.m. CST Friday, but after roughly three hours of multiple delays the orginal direct flight to Syracuse was canceled. American eventually booked the party on two later flights, with the bulk of the team to leave at 4:30 p.m. with a connection on a different airline in Washington D.C.

After rescheduling the flight, the staff found an empty wing of the American Airlines concourse and created a makeshift lane on the ground with some packing tape and conducted an approximately 45-minute walk-through practice using a Gatorade bottle for a basketball.

At 4:30, the majority of the team departed and arrived in D.C. around 8:20 EST. The transfer from American to U.S. Airways caused some headaches and delays in D.C. and the flight arrived in Syracuse around 11 p.m. EST, without any luggage. A few staff members were also yet to arrive from a separate flight through Pittsburgh.

It gets better...
As for Saturday, the luggage (was said to still be in Dallas) is expected to arrive in small increments throughout the day. The hope is that uniforms, practice gear, shoes and training supplies arrive in time for the originally scheduled shootaround (11:30 a.m. ET) and more importantly for the game (6 CT/7 ET).

And like we said...that was just the beginning. When Baylor's gear had yet to arrive Saturday morning, Syracuse loaned BU practice jerseys and shoes for its Noon EST shootaround at the Carrier Dome. The SU training staff also provided all necessary tape for the practice.

With the game looming and the Bears gearless, PLAN B was carried out successfully:

Two basketball managers drove Baylor's home white uniforms and extra shoes to DFW at 4 a.m. CST to catch a direct flight Saturday morning to Syracuse. However, the white uniforms were not necessary after all because all but two bags from the travel party's original luggage arrived at the hotel from Chicago, Dallas and D.C. around 2:30 p.m. EST.

Whew! We tried to make the story as abridged as possible, but it was hard taking out any of the details. Despite morning snow and wintry conditions in Dallas, we promise that tonight's flight to Phoenix will be smoother. If not, we have tons of bloggage material waiting in the que.

One more detail we neglected to tell you - Tweety Carter scored a career-high 31 points that night vs. the Syracuse Orange. And entering Thursday's game in Tempe, the aforementioned Carter needs two points to eclipse the 1,000-point mark for this career.

But, then again, you already knew that, right?

AND, BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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