And, You Thought Baylor Made a Splash This Season?
8:53 A.M., THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE (EMAIL)
We tweeted this breaking information (Yes, so if you haven't joined Twitter, do it now) last night. ESPN's final recruiting rankings were published Wednesday and according to the Worldwide Leader, Baylor's 2009 class ranks 21st nationally - and, interestingly, sixth among Big 12 schools if you go by the top 25. Want us to continue? Here's ESPN's synopsis on head coach Scott Drew's signing class:
"The Bears definitely have turned the corner from the not-so-distant dark days, and have built one of the top programs in the Big 12 since Scott Drew took over the controls in Waco. THE NATIONAL ATTENTION FROM BAYLOR'S RECENT RUN TO THE NIT CHAMPIONSHIP SEEMS TO HAVE PAID OFF (ahem, we told you so) with this very impressive 2009 class. Baylor filled its needs with at least one quality player at every position. At the top of the list if former Memphis signee Nolan Dennis (Richland Hills, Texas). Dennis is a terrific slasher to the rim and pressures the ball with great intensity on the defensive end. Two other ESPNU 100 signees are also in the fold for the Bears in 6-foot-1 point guard A.J. Walton (Little Rock, Ark.) and 6-9 power forward Cory Jefferson (Killeen, Texas). Walton is a true point guard with a pass-first approach. Although he is not a scorer by nature, Walton can hit the open jumper. Jefferson is a long and athletic live body. He has good midrange skills and tons of upside. Shooting guard Mark McLaughlin (Kenmore, Wash.) was released from his letter to attend Nevada as part of its 2008 class. He is a scoring guard with good size at 6-4 and deep range. Givon Crump (Wolfeboro, N.H.) is another long, skilled wing. This kid can score in bunches, with his jump shot being his main weapon...
And now, ESPN's college basketball class rankings:
1. Kentucky, 2. North Carolina, 3. Villanova, 4. Texas, 5. Kansas, 6. Oklahoma, 7. Georgia Tech, 8. UConn, 9. Duke, 10. Oklahoma State, 11. N.C. State, 12. Indiana, 13. UCLA, 14. Marquette, 15. Mississippi State, 16. Kansas State, 17. Louisville, 18. Pitt, 19. Washington, 20. Florida, 21. BAYLOR, 22. Minnesota, 23. Illinois, 24. Miami (Fla.), 25. Clemson
In other Tweeted News...
Guard Curtis Jerrells has worked out for the Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons. Yesterday, CJ worked out for the Dallas Mavericks. Read the excellent article written in this morning's Fort Worth Star-Telegram, as written by Big-D, Dwain Price.
And, you thought Baylor made a splash this season during its historic run in the NIT? You haven't seen anything yet. Here that ticking sound? That's our countdown to the 2009-10 season.
There's Something Unforgettable About These Unforgettables
11:19 A.M., TUESDAY, MAY 19, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE (EMAIL)
If Baylor's Unforgettables' final Curtain Call was during the program's annual basketball banquet, then Saturday's Graduation was Lagniappe. Seniors Henry Dugat, Curtis Jerrells and Kevin Rogers earned their Baylor degrees during their commencement ceremonies at the Ferrell Center Saturday afternoon - all three completing their course requirements in four years. In addition to Hendu, CJ and K-Rog, Baylor 1,000-point scorer-turned NBA Star-turned Baylor student manager David Wesley has a new title, Baylor graduate. David earned his degree during Saturday's ceremony as well, after leaving Baylor is 1992 to pursue professional basketball.
The newest Baylor alums join teammate Mamadou Diene, who graduated with his degree in December.
Congratulations to Henry, Curtis, Kevin, David and Mamadou. We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.
The Final Curtain Call for Baylor's Unforgettables
3:08 P.M., FRIDAY, MAY 8, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE (EMAIL)
The Unforgettables. Never heard of them? The term refers to the four seniors on Kentucky's 1992 team that made a deep run in the NCAA Tournament after a two-year absence from postseason play due to NCAA probation, only to fall in the East Regional final to Duke. You should remember that game. Two words: Christian Laettner. The only thing more impressive than Laettner's shot? The quartet's jerseys - Richie Farmer, Deron Feldhaus, John Pelphrey and Sean Woods - were retired by Kentucky immediately following the Duke loss.
Baylor's Unforgettables - Mamadou Diene, Henry Dugat, Curtis Jerrells and Kevin Rogers - will be honored in a similiar fashion. Their numbers will hang inside the Ferrell Center along side other great players that have donned the Baylor Green and Gold before them. During last night's annual men's basketball banquet at the Cashion Academic Center (PHOTO GALLERY), head coach Scott Drew announced the formation of a committee to honor the outgoing seniors and past Bears. The five-member committee of Drew, former Baylor student-athlete Jim Turner, former coaches Carroll Dawson and Jim Haller and Senior Associate AD Nick Joos will establish a set of criteria to determine those to be honored.
So, as the final curtain falls on Baylor's Unforgettables, remember them through all the victories and even the defeats. The good times and the bad. T.C. Williams High School will always Remember the Titans; Baylor University will always Remember its Unforgettables.
The Future is Here and It's Looking Bright
9:38 A.M., FRIDAY, MAY 1, 2009
CHRIS YANDLE (EMAIL)
Before we get started on a sunny Friday morning, TEAM FCP (We never voted on a team name, so we are taking full naming rights.) defeated TEAM "NOT FCP" 5 games to nil in Thursday's annual Athletic Media Relations Basketball Tournament at the Whetsel Practice Facility. We were already excited about Friday, but winning makes it that much more exciting. Now, let's get down to today's business...
Rivals.com released the latest edition of the 2009 Rivals.com team recruiting rankings and...Baylor jumped into the Top 20 with the spring signings of Nolan Dennis (North Richland Hills, Texas) and Mark McLaughlin (Kenmore, Wash). Baylor is No. 17 this week, coming in ahead of Kansas State (18), N.C. State (19), Washington (20), Oregon State (21), Minnesota (22), Pittsburgh (23), Florida State (24) and Alabama (25).
Of Baylor's 2009 recruiting class, Rivals.com said:
"...the Baylor Bears jump into the top 20 with the spring addition of two talented four-star winning players. Dennis...is an all-purpose type player with strong ball skills. McLaughlin...is a lethal wing scorer. Jefferson brings size to the roster, Walton is a steady point guard and Crump is a shooter with length."
On Tuesday, we mentioned updated recruiting rankings on ESPNU, Rivals.com and TexasHoops.com. We now have Hoop Scoop's updated Class of 2009 rankings:
TEAM RANK: tied-16th overall (tied-4th in Big 12)
42. Nolan Dennis
59. Cory Jefferson
77. A.J. Walton
145. Mark McLaughlin (Class of 2008 rankings)
Not a bad way to start the weekend.
AND, BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE.