Busy May Continues
For those of you not following the Baylor Sports Ministry team's journey in Kenya, you need to. The team's blog includes some great photos, testimonials, videos and a few candids of men's basketball forward Fred Ellis. Freddy won't be the only men's basketball player going overseas this summer...Soon-to-be sophomores A.J. Walton and Cory Jefferson will be traveling with Athletes In Action for its 10-day tour of Poland. The 10 Division I players depart May 29 and will play four games against pro teams before returning stateside June 7.
Walton and Jefferson are playing with AIA as part of the same European tour as teammate Quincy Acy did last summer. You can watch all four AIA basketball games from Poland LIVE online.
UDOH WATCH 3.0
We should know in the next few weeks if Udoh will be invited to the NBA Draft in New York City. We think he will definitely be in the Green Room at Madison Square Garden. The 2010 NBA Draft will air live June 24 beginning at 6 p.m. CDT on ESPN. Click here for the first and second round NBA Draft order.
Don't forget to follow FCP on Twitter.
Drew, Dunn Take Home Top TABC Honors
Congratulations to Baylor head men's basketball coach Scott Drew and soon-to-be senior shooting guard LaceDarius Dunn for being named the Division I Men's Coach of the Year and Division I Men's Player of the Year, respectively, by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches. In his seventh season at Baylor, Drew led the Bears to a school-record 28 wins and an Elite Eight appearance in Houston.
Dunn, who is thought of by many as the nation's best two-guard, averaged nearly 20.0 points per game, while establishing the Baylor single-season and career records for 3-point field goals made. The Monroe, La., native ranks fourth all-time at Baylor with 1,739 career points and needs 460 points to become the school's all-time leading scorer.
McCASLAND NAMED SMALL COLLEGE COACH OF THE YEAR
Final Recruiting Class Rankings and Still More Mock Drafts
Baylor's three-man 2010 recruiting class ranks No. 22 in ESPN's final team recruiting rankings that were released earlier today. The Bears are ranked third among Big 12 schools - behind Texas (No. 8), Missouri (No. 14) and ahead of Kansas (No. 23). Head coach Scott Drew's recruiting class features ESPNU No. 7 overall prospect Perry Jones (Duncanville, Texas) and ESPNU No. 88 overall prospect Stargell Love (Lumberton, N.C.). Add Bakari Turner (Plano, Texas) to the mix and the Bears are looking pretty good in 2010-11. Rivals.com also lists Baylor's 2010 class as a Top-25 group, ranking the Bears No. 25 overall - and fourth among Big 12 schools (see previous three mentioned - Texas, Missouri and Kansas).
MORE MOCK DRAFTS
More Mock Drafts: Udoh Becoming Solid Lottery Pick
Since our last NBA mock draft update earlier today, Baylor NBA-bound power forward Ekpe Udoh has appeared in several more mock draft boards as a solid lottery pick. HoopsWorld.com projects Udoh as the No. 7 overall pick by the Detroit Pistons in next month's NBA Draft - Udoh's highest draft projection thus far.
SI.com and NBC Sports also have 'The Nightmare' as a potential lottery selection; Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen has the Utah Jazz drafting Udoh with the No. 9 overall pick, while the Memphis Grizzlies are projected to pick Udoh 12th overall, according to NBA Sports. Dime Magazine thinks Udoh will slip to the Miami Heat, which have the 18th overall selection.
Udoh will be attending the NBA Pre-Draft Camp in Chicago today and tomorrow.
NBA Mock Drafts, v2.0: From Clipper Red to Memphis Blues
Prior to game two of the Eastern Conference Finals last night, the NBA held its annual Draft Lottery in Secaucus, N.J. And, against all odds - no seriously, they had a 10.3 percent chance of winning - the Washington Wizards were awarded the No. 1 overall pick in next month's NBA Draft. The Washington Post has a great breakdown of how the NBA Draft Lottery works, chances of winning, etc.
If you remember our post from two weeks ago, you'll remember that ESPN.com Insider Chad Ford projected Ekpe Udoh to go to the Indiana Pacers with the No. 10 overall pick. Now that the 2010 NBA Draft order is complete, NBA mock draft boards far and wide have updated their projections and Udoh is anywhere from a No. 8 pick to No. 25.
The 2010 NBA Draft will air live June 24 beginning at 6 p.m. CDT on ESPN. Click here for the first and second round NBA Draft order.
Former Assistant to be Inducted into Hall of Fame
Former Baylor basketball assistant coach Larry Brown is one of seven people that will inducted into the Texas High School Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2010.
Brown, a 1971 Stephen F. Austin graduate, spent the 1995-96 season as an assistant on Harry Miller's staff at Baylor. One of the original founders of the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, Brown served as president for the association in 1979-81 - one of only two coaches to serve two terms.
All seven honorees will be inducted at the Hall of Fame banquet during the TABC clinic May 22 in San Antonio. Tickets are $25 for the general public and $10 for TABC members can be purchased by contacting the TABC office at (281) 313-8222.
Winningest Senior Class Leaves Baylor as Graduates
Tweety Carter and Josh Lomers were two of 44 Baylor student-athletes that received their bachelor's degree during graduation ceremonies held in the Ferrell Center over the weekend. Carter and Lomers comprise the winningest senior class in Baylor basketball history, leading the Bears to three consecutive postseason appearances and three straight 20-win seasons.
Baylor head coach Scott Drew has graduated 13 out of 14 seniors during his tenure along the banks of the Brazos River. The 14th is Aaron Bruce, who is scheduled to graduate this summer.
Congratulations to Tweety and Josh on earning their degrees and we wish them the best of luck in their future (and hopefully, professional basketball) endeavors.
Baylor No. 28 in Total Attendance for 2009-10
The NCAA released the final attendance figures for the 2009-10 season and the Baylor Bears ranked 28th overall in total attendance. More than 403,000 fans flocked to arenas and stadiums nationwide to watch the Bears this past season. Baylor, which finished the season 28-8 and lost to eventual national champion Duke in the Elite Eight, outdrew national runner-up Butler, which ranked 29th with 401,314 fans.
For the first time in league history, all 12 conference squads are ranked among the top 100 nationally in attendance. As a conference, the Big 12 set a record with an average of 11,214 fans total coming through the turnstiles. Baylor, which established Ferrell Center records for average and single-game attandance, ranked 69th nationally in average home attandance.
The 403,393 Baylor Nation faithful is a school record for total single-season attendance. During the Bears' NIT run to Madison Square Garden in 2008-09, only 337,000 fans walked through the turnstiles to watch Baylor. And with preseason expectations already reaching an all-time high, 2010-11 could be yet another record-setting season. Oh, and add another top-15 preseason ranking for the Bears - No. 15 by Rivals.com.
With Winning Comes Great Expectations
Over the last three seasons under head coach Scott Drew, Baylor basketball has risen to new heights. How high is that rise? Well, the program is still rising. Baylor is 73-34 in its last 107 games (.682 winning percentage), while posting three consecutive 20-win seasons and three straight postseason appearances. And there are no signs of letting up.
Now, 45 days after falling to eventual national champion Duke in the Elite Eight, Baylor's expectations have increased. Even with the loss of seniors Tweety Carter, Josh Lomers and projected NBA lottery pick Ekpe Udoh. With winning comes great expectations. Last month, ESPN.com bracketologist Joe Lunardi annointed Baylor as one of his four No. 1 seeds in his early projections for the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
Another ESPN college basketball analyst - Andy Katz - thinks highly of Drew's 2010-11 squad. Very highly. When Baylor fans here the No. 4, they think of Quincy Acy. Now, the No. 4 represents Katz's preseason ranking of the Bears. Baylor is three spots below the Blue Devils in Katz's initial poll; here's what Katz had to say about the Bears:
"Putting Baylor this high puts a lot on the shoulders of incoming freshman Perry Jones. Let's see if he lives up to the hype of being not just better than Ekpe Udoh but the best big man in the country. The Bears also lost Tweety Carter, but return LaceDarius Dunn and can legimately claim to be the team to beat in the Big 12..."
Baylor is surrounded by many familiar faces in Katz's Top 25 - No. 1 Duke, No. 2 Purdue, No. 5 Kansas State, No. 14 Missouri, No. 16 Kansas, No. 21 Georgetown, No. 22 Virginia Tech and No. 24 San Diego State.
Rush The Court also has Baylor in the top 10, ranking the Bears No. 9 in its Post-Deadline (NBA Draft) Top 25...SI.com's Luke Winn lists Baylor No. 13 in his post-NBA Draft exodus College Basketball Power Rankings. Winn also cites an interesting stat featuring scoring machine LaceDarius Dunn:
"The Bears' defensive is going to take a step back without Ekpe Udoh in the middle, but the focal point of their offense, LaceDarius Dunn, is back for another year in the 31 Percent Club - a crew of about 70 players nationwide who take at least 31 percent of their team's shots while on the floor."
Among those (31 Percent Club members) returning among major-conference teams: Trey Thompkins (Georgia), Klay Thompson (Washington State), Jimmer Fredette (BYU), Kim English (Missouri) and E'Twaun Moore (Purdue).
We conclude with Jeff Goodman's 2010-11 Preseason Top 25 Poll. Like the others, he projects Baylor as a top-20 team in 2010-11, ranking the Bears No. 17 in his preseason poll.
FYI...College basketball starts in 157 days.
NBA Mock Drafts, v1.0: An Indiana 'Nightmare'?
Just try the NBA Lottery Mock Draft on ESPN.com. NBA Insider's Chad Ford breaks down 2,184 potential lottery scenarios based on the current standings...Every time you play, it generates a new 'lottery'. We simulated the NBA Lottery Mock Draft 10 different times...Baylor All-America power forward Ekpe Udoh was projected to go to the Indiana Pacers with either the No. 10 or No. 11 selection all 10 times.
The 2010 NBA Draft Lottery will be held Tue., May 18, and the NBA Draft will take place five weeks later on Thurs., June 24, at 6 p.m. CDT on ESPN in New York City. Everyone's NBA Mock Draft boards will change after they learn the Draft Lottery order later this month...Until then, here's what some of the NBA Mock Draft boards think about Udoh:
Where will Udoh land? Like the months-worth of Bracketology, no one knows for sure. But, once the NBA Lottery order is revealed later this month, we will have a better idea.