One Man Down, Refs on the 'Power Play' 8:26 p.m. (PT)/10:26 p.m. (CT) Sunday, November 30, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
Just before the under-12 media timeout tonight, referee Mark Reischling suffered an apparent hip injury while running up the floor. The other two officials, Bill Kennedy and Michael Eggers, opted to go with a two-man crew. Did someone say 'power play'?
Anytime I can throw hockey reference in, it's always a good night.
Live From Anaheim It's...OT in the O.C.!?! 2:42 p.m. (PT)/4:42 p.m. (CT) Sunday, November 30, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
If you've visited the 76 Classic website at any time during the tournament, you may have noticed the time-crunch schedule that is Championship Sunday. The 7th-place game between Charlotte and Cal State Fullerton began at Noon, but ran over its 2-hour time limit and went into Oooooo-vertime. Ruh-roh. Know what that means? There is a good possibility that the Baylor-Wake Forest championship game may not tip until the 8-8:30 p.m. (PT) range.
And, it's a wrap...Cal State Fullerton edges out Charlotte, 92-84, to claim 7th place in the 76 Classic. In approximately 30 minutes (3 p.m. PT), Saint Mary's and Providence will battle it out in the 5th-place game at the Anaheim Convention Center.
UTEP and 14th-ranked Arizona State will duke it out in the 3rd-place game (on ESPNU) before the tournament's marquee matchup between the 19th-ranked Wake Forest Demon Deacons and the Baylor Bears on ESPN2.
Where in the World is John Morris? 11:58 a.m. (PT)/1:58 p.m. (CT) Sunday, November 30, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
It's not quite like 'Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego', but it's close. It was a great game show during the younger years of my generation. If you look close enough, I bet JohnMorris' luggage would look a little like the bag to the left. In less than 48 hours, The Voice of the Bears has traveled some 5,117 miles (purely speculation, thanks to MapQuest), while calling one of the most exciting weekends this season in Baylor athletics. Factor in the return trip to Waco and The Voice will have traveled nearly 6,700 miles. Doesn't that get you like a free Dr Pepper and a cookie on your next flight? J Mo made the call for Thursday night's 15-point win over Providence, but had to listen to Friday's game via Sirius Satellite Radio (Channel 161, I might add) while waiting for his plane to depart Los Angeles (LAX) for Lubbock via DFW. Ironically, J Mo and Inside Baylor Sports' Robert Sheikh boarded the red-eye flight just as the clock hit :00, signifying Baylor's nine-point win over No. 14 Arizona State.
Saturday, J Mo was very close to witnessing Baylor's second upset of a nationally ranked opponent in 24 hours, but the Bears football team fell just short, 35-28, at No. 7 Texas Tech. After that, J Mo rested for his early morning flight on Sunday back to L.A. As I look at my BlackBerry, J Mo sent me a message at 9:55 a.m. (PT), proclaiming he's back in L.A. and en route to the Hilton Anaheim.
If you are charting J Mo's cross-country radio venture (much like waiting up late on Christmas Eve to track Santa, thanks to NORAD), we've got the play-by-play, flight-by-flight, venue-to-venue breakdown of J Mo's travels...
Tracking John Morris Tuesday: Waco to DFW to John Wayne Airport to Anaheim Hilton...1,553 miles Wednesday-Friday pm: Anaheim Friday late pm/Saturday early am (Baylor upsets No. 14 Arizona State, 87-78): Anaheim to LAX to DFW to Lubbock...1,782 miles Saturday pm: Baylor football suffers heartbreaking 35-28 loss at No. 7 Texas Tech Sunday am: Lubbock to DFW to LAX to Anaheim...1,782 miles Sunday pm: Baylor vs. No. 19 Wake Forest in 76 Classic championship game Monday am/pm: Anaheim Hilton to John Wayne Airport to DFW to Waco...1,553 miles
Checking out the Top 25 Fourteen (14) and 25 teams have one loss in the early going (7 of the 10 teams ranked Nos. 16-25 have one loss). A win tonight vs. No. 19 Wake Forest should solidify a spot for Baylor in the Top 25. Polls will be released around 12:30 p.m. (CT) on Monday - we will be in the air on our way to Dallas, so we will be anxiously awaiting the news once we land...
Sunday Morning Point Guard in 3-D 11:31 p.m. (PT) Saturday, November 29, 2008 1:31 a.m. (CT) Sunday, November 30, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
After a Saturday 'off' from tournament play, Baylor enters the final 24 hours leading up to its showdown with 19th-ranked Wake Forest in the 76 Classic finals Sunday. The Bears practiced for nearly an hour from 2-3 p.m. (PT) at the Anaheim Convention Center and headed back to the hotel before going to Disneyland at 4 p.m.
Previewing Wake Forest The hardwood Baylor Bears look to bring home its second straight regular-season tournament title Sunday when they face the 19th-ranked Wake Forest Demon Deacons Sunday in the finals of the second annual 76 Classic. The Demon Deacs (5-0) earned a spot in the title game with their 82-79 win over UTEP Friday afternoon. Wake Forest went 6-of-8 at the free throw line in the game's final two minutes to seal the win.
While the schools have never met on the hardwood, the schools tangled in August for head football coach Art Briles' Baylor debut. However, Wake Forest picked up a 41-13 season-opening win in Waco. Interesting note, Wake Forest was ranked 24th when it visited Waco in August; the Demon Deacons are ranked 24th in the latest ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Poll.
Wake Forest has started the season 5-0 for the fifth time in the past seven seasons and for the first time since 2006-07. The Deacs have not started a season 6-0 since 2003-04 when they started 11-0.
Before FCP continues with our Sunday ritual, you asked for it...As I'm sure you've seen, we have visual evidence of the Dos Tres/Scott Drew chest bump during Friday night's win.
The Day After Sunday (That would be Monday) Wake Forest will fly back to Winston-Salem Monday morning as the Demon Deacons host Indiana on Wednesday as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Baylor, however, will fly back to Dallas-Fort Worth Monday and should arrive in Waco Monday afternoon. Then, on Thursday, the Bears will depart for the picturesque Palouse region, aka Pullman, Wash. Baylor will play Washington State Saturday as part of the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.
Look Kids! Parliament, Big Ben (National Lampoons Reference Count: 2) An ESPN cameracrew followed both the Bears and the Demon Deacons around the park for almost two hours Saturday. (Note: at this time of year, it starts getting dark around 4:45 p.m. on the West Coast; keep that in mind.) Once in the park, the Bears made a bee-line to Tomorrowland - which opened at Disneyland on July 17, 1955 - with the intent to ride the park's most popular attraction, Space Mountain. Space Mountain likes eerily similar to the Anaheim Convention Center, no? The line to ride Space Mountain was pushing the 45-minute mark, so ESPN opted to bring the team to Splash Mountain, which, if you are not careful, can leave you very wet. With the ride down Splash Mountain in the books, the ESPN crew whisked us back to Space Mountain, only to discover that the B-I-G-G-E-S-T attraction was B-R-O-K-E-N. Ruh-roh.
So, instead of packing it in, ESPN decided to follow us to Disney's California Adventure and California Screamin'. FCP, Mamadou and Coach Morefield were the only ones not to ride California Screamin'. Someone had to keep 'Dou company, right? That final roller coaster completed our 2-hour adventure at Disneyland (Note noting the preview Note: like I noted earlier, it was dark with poor lighting in the park, so there is no actual photographical evidence of Baylor being at Disneyland, unless you count ESPN's video, which can be seen throughout Sunday night's broadcast. Whew, what a run-on). The night concluded with team dinner at the ESPNZone inside Downtown Disney.
The most celebrated traveler in Baylor history and Voice of the Bears John Morris will make his triumphant return to Anaheim Sunday from Lubbock. How many miles has J Mo traveled since Tuesday? Well, the official JMFF (J Mo Frequent Flyer) Counter will be posted tomorrow...Alright, it's time to call it a night. We'll see you on the flip side Sunday. AND, BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE!
Don't Blog Me, I'll Blog You 12:45 p.m. (PT)/2:45 p.m. (CT) Saturday, November 29, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
It's almost 1 p.m. left-coast time here in Anaheim and there hasn't been much Baylor talk on my normal rotation of blogs today. I guess everyone was up late watching Baylor's nine-point upset of No. 14 Arizona State, which - by the way - you can watch the replay for free on ESPN360.com (The only caveat - it's only available through an ESPN360 affiliated internet provider like Verizon). Baylor's win was so good that ESPN360 replay is divided into two parts.
We are less than an hour from our scheduled practice time at the Anaheim Convention Center. Later today, we will be venturing across the street to Disneyland - yes, the happiest place on Earth. Random side note - I think I saw Wally World somewhere around here.
Like I said, there's not a lot of action on the blogs this afternoon regarding last night's win over Arizona State. Our friends over at Ballin' is a Habit - which I believe it is a habit - are still broadcasting their love for the Bears:
Baylor 87, Arizona State 78: LaceDarius Dunn had 27 points including two three's in a 14-0 run midway through the second half that pushed the lead to 15. What have I been saying about Baylor? God, I hate it when I'm right...
Don' worry BIAH; we hate it when we're right, too.
If you don't subscribe (it's free) to Sporting News Today, then you should. Today's issue featured the AP recap and box score from last night's upset win. CJ PASSES IT TO LACE AND...BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE. Clichè me.
Add this to your List of Clichès: That's DUNN-believable 10:30 a.m. (PT)/12:30 p.m. (CT) Saturday, November 29, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
He's on fire. EN FUEGO. He's unconscious. He's like butter because he's on a roll. Ok, so last night (for those of you that stayed up WAAAAAY past your bednight, kudos to you. Hopefully, Taylor E. can stay up for entire game Sunday.), LaceDarius Dunn was - dare I say it - EN --- Nope, not gonna do it. Whatever your favorite sports clichè, I will do you one better. Dunn was, well, DUNN-tastic and DUNN-believable. Write that down...
Saturday Recap Multimedia Miscellanea Madness:
(Sweet picture below. You may have seen it on the front page of the web site. It's so good, FCP wanted to use it again. Very Special Thanks to Matt Brown).
Let's recap, shall we? 14th-ranked Arizona State led by as many as five points in the early stages of the first half thanks Jeff Pendergraph's 15 first-half points - the most by a BU opponent in a half this season. With ASU leading 29-24 with 5:30 remaining until the break, Baylor scored five of its final seven points at the free throw line. C-L-U-T-C-H.
In the second half, Baylor was lights out. The Bears connected on five of its first six 3-point field goals, capping a 17-2 run, to take a commanding 53-38 lead with 14:12 remaining. The Sun Devils would chip away at the lead, but the Bears would answer. If there were any doubters doubting the talent of Baylor's backcourt, those feelings are gone and I'll tell you why. Curtis Jerrells. He's one of the best left-handed guards and one of the best point guards in the nation, end of discuss. He was 7-of-7 at the free throw line in the second half and 6-of-6 in the game's final three minutes (a career 81.3 percent FT shooter in the final 3 minutes and OT).
In the end, Dunn led all scorers with a season-high 27 points (7-of-16 FG, 7-of-13 3FG, 7-8 FT), while Jerrells chipped in a season-high 22 points and seven rebounds. Henry Dugat also reached double figures with 14.
FCP witnessed it last night (besides Coach Drew and Dos Tres chest-bumping in the second half. Totally AWESOME) - Arizona State's James Harden is the real deal. Harden scored 32 points; although 10 of his points came at the charity stripe, he scored the other 22 with at least two hands in his face. Every shot was contested by the Bears - Harden will be the Pac-10 Player of the Year; write that down.
BTW, Baylor - by far - had a great turnout for Friday night's game. They were the loudest of any group of fans at the 76 Classic. We even had one or two Bear Pit sightings...Great job, BaylorNation.
FOX Sports' Jeff Goodman's Thoughts on Baylor in the Top 25: "Baylor has established itself as a clear Top 25 team after wins over Arizona State last night and also Providence. The duo of LaceDarius Dunn and Curtis Jerrells combined for 49 points in the victory over James Harden and the Sun Devils. Harden was as good as advertised with 32 points and nine boards, but Herb Sendek will need more from his supporting cast."
According to the ESPN highlight video last night, Baylor has two new players - Curtis Juhrells (not to be confused with Curtis Jerells) and LossDarius Dunn (similar to LaceDarius Dunn). Just think, if Jurhells and LossDarius are half as good as CJ and Kool, we'd be a pretty unstoppable force. But, I wouldn't trade CJ and Lace for anything.
Baylor will go for its second consecutive eight-team regular season tournament title SUNDAY (7:30 P.M. PT/9:30 P.M. CT) vs. 19th-ranked Wake Forest in the 76 Classic finals at the Anaheim Convention Center. Remember, turn down the volume on your TV and turn up ESPN 1660 AM with Baylor's Frequent Flyer John Morris and Pat Nunley.
AND, BOOM WENT THE DYNAMITE. See, another clichè.
Anaheim's Beautiful This Time of Night 9:40 p.m. (PT)/11:40 p.m. (CT) Friday, November 28, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
Hey, the game's not on - what's the deal yo? Well, because ESPN2 allotted a 3-hour window for the showdown of offensive juggernauts Arizona State and UCLA, our tip time with the hardwood Arizona State Sun Devils was moved back 15 minutes to 11:45 p.m. (CT).
If the ASU-UCLA football game has not concluded in time for our tip on ESPN2, our game will be carried live on ESPNU. Upon the conclusion of ASU-UCLA, our game WILL BE JOINED IN PROGRESS on the deuce.
So, sit back, relax...Turn down the volume on your TV and turn up ESPN 1660 AM (or Sirius Channel 161 or our live web stream at BaylorBears.com). Statement Week is now in session. See you after the show.
Raising Arizona (State) 9:59 a.m. (PT)/11:59 a.m. (CT) Friday, November 28, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
There's today's pop culture reference. Happy Black Friday, BaylorNation, if you want to call it that. In case you went to bed early last night or the wee hours this morning, Baylor held Providence to 27.4 percent from the floor for a 72-56 win late Thursday night here in Anaheim. The reward for Baylor is a 11:30 p.m. (CT) showdown - yes, you are not imagining things. That is the correct tip time. TV rules. - against 14th-ranked Arizona State on ESPN2 and ESPN360.com. ASU will be Baylor's first (of presumably many) nationally ranked opponent of the 2008-09 campaign.
Friday Multimedia Miscellanea Madness
Racking Up Frequent Flyer Miles John Morris, The Voice of the Bears and temporary Voice of the UTEP Miners, will serve as play-by-play for Friday's 12:45 p.m. (PT) game between UTEP and 19th-ranked Wake Forest (or, in ESPN's case, 24th-ranked). Afterwards, J Mo and Inside Baylor Sports camera guru Robert Sheikh will be boarding the red-eye to Lubbock for Saturday's game between the Gridiron Bears and Red Raiders. THEN, J Mo will be flying back to the left coast to cover Baylor's final game at the 76 Classic on Sunday, only to fly back to Waco with the team on Monday. Did I mention we also go back to the Pacific Time Zone Thursday when we travel to The Palouse?
Thursday Revisited Thursday night's scuffle with Providence was physical and up-tempo - a speed Baylor is accustomed to playing. One thing Baylor fans noticed last night - if you were watching, which I am sure you were - is the Bears were forcing shots and playing with a sense of urgency at times. However, that didn't last long once Dos Tres, CJ, Lace and Tweety began firing on all cylinders. Mr. Tresfinished with a season-high-tying 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting with a team-high seven rebounds before fouling out with 2:44 remaining in regulation.
The Cookie Monster added seven points and five rebounds, while delivering a message to the nation with what has become his signature dunk - the two-handed, rim-rattling slam. Dunk you very much.
FCP People Watch If you looked close enough behind the Baylor bench (and past my shiny Superdome-sized head), Baylor fans noticed a very familiar face in the stands. None other than BU blocked shots record holder, 1,000-point scorer and current Los Angeles Clipper Brian Skinner was in attendance cheering the Bears to victory. And, in case you were wondering, Skinner was also sporting his sweet beard.
Arizona State Preview The Arizona State Sun Devils (4-0) topped Charlotte 84-56 in the first round of the 76 Classic Thursday night behind Jeff Pendergraph's 23 points and 10 boards. ASU shot 61 percent (25-of-41) from the floor and was 26-of-31 (83 percent) from the foul line, including 19-of-20 (95 percent) in the second half. Through four games this year, the Sun Devils are allowing 53.0 points per game, holding opponents to .351 from the field and .290 from 3-point range, shooting 52.9 percent from the field and 76.3 percent from the foul line. ASU was 7-8 in games against NCAA Tournament teams a year ago, with wins over Arizona (twice), USC, Stanford, Oregon, Xavier and Coppin State. ASU is 4-0 for just the third time in 22 seasons and second time in 14 seasons (2005-06 and 1994-95). It will try and start 5-0 for the first time since 1985-86. Its other 4-0 start in the past 14 years was in 2005-06. It is ranked 14th in this week's AP poll and was ranked 15th in the preseason poll for the first time since 1991-92.
Series History Friday's meeting will be the fourth between the schools as Arizona State leads the series 2-1. It will be the third meeting at a neutral site. In the series' last meeting, the Sun Devils defeated the Bears 89-73 at the 1988 Fidelity Holiday Classic in Richmond, Va. Baylor's only series win was a 44-31 triumph at the 1938 All-College Tournament in Oklahoma City, Okla. BU is 8-20 all-time vs. the Pac-10. Arizona State will be the first of two Pac-10 opponents for the Bears. Next Saturday, Baylor will face the Washington State Cougars in Pullman, Wash.
THURSDAY'S QUOTE OF THE NIGHT:"Curtis Jerrells could score in a phone booth." - ESPN2 talent
FRIDAY'S STAT OF THE NIGHT:Baylor is 9-64 vs. nationally ranked opponents since the 1996-97 season and 2-32 under head coach Scott Drew. Both wins vs. Top 25 teams of the Drew Era came last season (Texas A&M, Kansas State). In summation, I hope that Taylor E. and the rest of BaylorNation can stay up a little later tonight to watch one of the biggest - if not, the biggest - game of Baylor's season thus far. Barring multiple overtimes or the unthinkable, Baylor and 14th-ranked Arizona State will tip at 11:30 p.m. (CT) on The Deuce, ESPN2. FCP will catch you on the flip side Saturday with more bloggy goodness.
Previewing Providence 10:36 a.m. (PT)/12:36 p.m. (CT) Thursday, November 27, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
Once again, from the Baylor Basketball family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving. Sorry for the less-than-catchy title this morning, but today begins - in the words of head coach Scott Drew - Statement Week. This week is the week that Baylor can make a statement to the rest of the nation and jockey for its rightful position in the Top 25.
The second annual 76 Classic (known as the Anaheim Classic last year) officially tips off in less than hour with UTEP and Saint Mary's. FCP would like to note that the Voice of the Bears, John Morris, will be moonlighting at the Voice of the Miners for this morning's contest. UTEP is an ISP school and its normal play-by-play guy is with the Miners football team for its game with East Carolina in Greenville, N.C. So, for today, FCP is a UTEP fan only because J Mo is making the call.
Earlier this week you voted for who you thought would be named the 76 Classic MVP...Now, you can voice your opinion about the tournament champion! (P.S. Vote Baylor)
Do you need evidence that Friday is going to be BLOG-tastic? The ubiquitous college basketblog that is RUSH THE COURT will be at the Anaheim Convention Center live and in-person for the semifinal round. And, if RTC's prognostication is correct...Well, just read what they had to say.
Bear Foundation Insider extraordinare Jerry Hill featured a great article on California native Fred Ellis in this morning's Baylor Bear Insider. Here's the - oh, wait... It's reserved for Bear Foundation members. If you didn't get one this morning, then you need to join BF. Always a great read!
Here's the Cliff's Notes preview of the Providence Friars After a disappointing 70-66 loss to Northeastern, Providence (3-1) has bounced back with wins over Dartmouth (100-82), Sacred Heart (111-87) and Maine (83-62). The Friars are led by first-year head coach Keno Davis, who became a household name of sorts (well, in Des Moines, Iowa, anyway) after a 28-5 season last year at Drake. PC, which reached national prominence during its magical run to the 1987 Final Four under then-unknown head coach Rick Pitino, is led offensively by Weyinmi Efejuku (12.5 points, 3.0 rebounds), Jonathan Kale (11.8 points, 4.5 rebounds) and Geoff McDermott (10.8 points, 10.0 rebounds). The Friars are also loaded off the bench - much like the Bears - with Jeff Xavier (12.8 points, 3.8 rebounds) and Marshon Brooks (15.0 points, 4.5 rebounds).
BOTTOM LINE: Baylor has the upper hand when it comes to its backcourt (Jerrells, Dugat, Carter, Dunn), while also possessing one of the best underrated power forwards in the nation (Dos Tres). The match-up FCP is looking forward to is The Cookie Monster vs. Geoff McDermott. I think TCM's fan club will be adding a few more members after tonights' game.
76 CLASSIC (THURSDAY GAMES | ALL TIMES CENTRAL) 1 p.m. | Saint Mary's vs. UTEP (ESPNU) 3:30 p.m. | Wake Forest vs. Cal State Fullerton (ESPN2) 8 p.m. | Arizona State vs. Charlotte (ESPNU) 10:30 p.m. | Providence vs. Baylor (ESPN2)
We'll see you later tonight (early morning for Central Texas) for a recap of tonight's game.
Just Another (Thanksgiving) Day in Paradise 10:50 p.m. (PT) Wednesday, November 26, 2008 12:50 a.m. (CT) Thursday, November 27, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
A quick aside: Yup, that Space Mountain-looking building (which opened in 1967) will be the host site for the 76 Classic this week; it is also the annual site of the Big West Basketball Tournament every March. In addition to its Big West and 76 hosting responsibilities, the ACC has also served as the home of the former ABA charter franchise Anaheim Amigos for the 1967-68 season, the venue for men's wrestling during the 1984 Summer Olympics and is the current home to the Anaheim Arsenal of the NBA D-League.
After practice - practice?!?! we're talking about practice?! Thanks A.I. - Inside Baylor Sports' Robert Sheikh and I visited Downtown Disney and ESPNZone, where, well, they have a GINORMOUS amount of TVs. Later Wednesday evening, the 76 Classic and Disney held a pre-tournament dinner for the participating teams, staff and families at Disney's California Adventure - Imagine 163,696 square miles of California condensed into a 55-acre theme park. Sensory overload! Each team even took a picture with the man himself, Mickey Mouse.
After dinner, we ventured throughout the park, which is adjacent to both the aforementioned Downtown Disney and the original Disneyland, and rode The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (At 183 feet in the air, Anaheim is a beautiful city at night). If you've never ridden Tower of Terror, you need to. So cool.
So, the first day in California is officially in the books. Tomorrow is Gameday. Baylor and Providence tip off at 8:30 p.m. (PT)/10:30 p.m. (CT) as the last game of the day at the 76 Classic. Be sure to set your TV to ESPN2 (in HD, too), turn down the volume and turn up John Morris and Pat Nunley on ESPN 1660 AM. FCP will be back tomorrow (California)/later today (in Central Texas) with a little more insight into Thursday's battle between the Bears and the Friars.
Until then, Happy Thanksgiving. Watch football. Eat. Take a loooooooooong nap. Then watch the Bears.
Was that Mickey Mouse or the Concierge? 9:41 a.m. (PT)/11:41 a.m. (CT) Wednesday, November 26, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
It's Wednesday and normally you would be anxiously waiting on the edge of your seat for Wednesdays With Webguy, but since he is on permanant hiatus, I'll take his place. The atmosphere here in the lobby of the Hilton Anaheim is buzzing as teams begin preparing for the three-day 76 Classic this morning. 14th-ranked Arizona State and 19th-ranked (or, according to ESPN, 24th-ranked) Wake Forest are sitting in the lobby waiting for their practice times. Not many Baylor Bears have made their way to the lobby yet as we do not practice at the arena until 11:30 a.m. (PT).
FCP People Watch: Arizona State All-American James Harden, Saint Mary's Patty Mills, Diamon Simpson and head coaches Herb Sendek (Arizona State), Dino Gaudio (Wake Forest), Bobby Lutz (Charlotte) were all seen walking around the lobby, scoping out the scene here at the Hilton.
FCP hates to be the bearer of bad news, but there will be no in-game blogging this week from sunny Anaheim...Instead, FCP will be keeping daily notes every day and, if you're lucky, FCP may have a special guest or two to share their thoughts on the week at hand.
Hopefully, this morning's entry will get WWW rolling.
Planes, Trains and 'The Duke' 9:58 p.m. (PT)/11:58 p.m. (CT) Tuesday, November 25, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
Less than seven hours after departing the Ferrell Center, FCP and the Baylor Bears arrived at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana - yes, that John Wayne. You know? The Duke? - on time at 6:30 p.m. (PT) and with (most of) our baggage loaded and ready for the hotel. Some bags didn't make it on our flight, but they have arrived in SoCal on a later flight from DFW.
With players, (most of the) baggage and support staff aboard the bus, we left 'The Duke' and picked up dinner and headed to our home for the next six days...The Hilton Anaheim. About 10 blocks away from the hotel, we were stuck in traffic between Angels Stadium and the Honda Center, which was previously known as the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim and colloquially called The Pond (back in the day when the Anaheim Ducks were actually the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Well, the traffic jam outside the Honda Center was not for a Ducks home game (they don't play at home until Friday), but for a Coldplay concert.
Rush The Court checks in with the Big 12 On Monday, RTC checked in with its Big 12 correspondent, recapping last week and previewing the week ahead. Baylor, of course, was listed one of the teams doing well in the league thus far:
Baylor's documented scoring machine has not disappointed as they are averaging almost 95 points a game. In addition to what they already had, Baylor got a new scoring threat in THE COOKIE MONSTER (aka Quincy Acy). The freshman has yet to miss a shot, scoring 18 straight baskets over his 3-game career, breaking a Big 12 record. With an assist for every two baskets, that means the Bears are doing a good job of playing some team ball. They get a warm up with Jacksonville on Monday night before heading to Anaheim for the 76 Classic. NOTE: RTC really didn't call him 'The Cookie Monster'...FCP decided to change his name in creative editing. DOUBLE NOTE: This was written on Monday before Baylor's eight-point win over Jacksonville and Acy's consecutive field goals streak ending at 20.
If you scroll towards the bottom (under Games to Watch), FCP noticed that Baylor is listed as opening against Providence, then most likely Arizona State and then probably Saint Mary's or Wake Forest. Almost sounds like a championship game prediction.
We hit the floor tomorrow for practice around 11:30 a.m. During practice, Coach Drew will meet with the ESPN talent for Thursday night's game, Scott Graham (pxp) and Stephen Bardo (color analyst).
FCP...in HD (And, No Links!?!?) 11:49 a.m. Tuesday, November 25, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
Wouldn't that be great? Sitting on your couch, watching the Baylor-Providence game Thursday and...Oh, wait - what's that? Full Court Press in spectacular H-D. Ahhh. Unfortunately, that is impossible, but at least you can catch the Baylor Bears in action Thanksgiving Night vs. Providence in High Definition on ESPN2, beginning at 10:30 p.m. (CT). The game will also be carried on ESPN's internet broadband channel, ESPN360.com.
I don't have much time as I am putting the finishing touches on game notes and trying to pack for six days. During our six-day sojourn in Southern California, FCP will provide insight and behind-the-scenes looks into the Baylor Bears as they make their first road trip of the year.
Monday Night Retrospective: To recap last night, JU gave Baylor all it could handle in the first half as the Bears "bear"-ly clung to a 34-32 halftime advantage. Also, in the first half, The Cookie Monster extended his streak to 20 consecutive field goals made, but attempt No. 21 - a baseline jumper - hit the back of the iron...But, what a glorious streak it was (and is). Now, LaceDarius Dunn, who was - dare I say - EN FUEGO last night, ended the game with five straight 3-point field goals made. He is one short of the Big 12 record of six, which has occurred, ironically, six times.
I'm sorry to disappoint you today, BaylorNation, but FCP has no fun-filled links or gratutious pictures of Cookie Monster. Today, we are strictly business, but have no fear loyal FCP readers, we will be back...Better than ever tomorrow (or is that today, Pacific Time?). Well, you'll just have to wait and see, won't you?
This is for Austin...AND, BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE.
Acy Named Big 12 Co-Rookie of the Week 3:32 p.m. Monday, November 24, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
Freshman power forward Quincy Acy - ahem, 'The Cookie Monster' - was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Co-Rookie of the Week on Monday. Acy becomes the 11th player in school history to earn Big 12 Rookie of the Week honors, joining teammates Curtis Jerrells, Tweety Carter and LaceDarius Dunn.
With 18 consecutive field goals in the jar (Get it? Cookie jar. Ok, nevermind) bag, Acy now sets his sights on the NCAA record of 25 set by American University's Ray Voelkel in 1978.
'The Cookie Monster' 9:47 a.m. Monday, November 24, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
It's Monday and FCP is livin' that thing we call 'the dream.' L-I-V-I-N. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their e-mails regarding the search for Quincy Acy's nickname. Unbeknownst to FCP, Mr. Acy appears to have been labeled as 'The Cookie Monster' in high school because he dunks a lot and cleans the glass. Thanks to Ashley H. for the insight.
So, rather than doing a week-long poll and voting on the fan submissions, we are going to use TCM ('The Cookie Monster') here on out because FCP thinks that is a perfect nickname. Plus, TMC is already a fan favorite.
Speaking of 'The Cookie Monster'...TCM got lots of love from The Quad, The New York Times College Sports Blog, Saturday night regarding his Big 12 record-setting to performance to start his career.
Monday Multimedia Miscellanea Madness (Whoa! Check out the Alliteration)
NOTE: LIVE VIDEO WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR MONDAY VS. JACKSONVILLE. VIDEO IS FREE FOR ALL-ACCESS MEMBERS AND CAN BE SEEN LIVE IN THE STATE OF TEXAS ONLY.
Rock the Vote (or, in FCP's case, rock the salmon sweater). The Official 76 Classic Website has posted a poll asking who will be named the most outstanding player in this week's tournament (P.S. Vote for CJ).
CJ Flying 'Under the Radar'. Senior Curtis Jerrells is listed among seven potential pro prospects flying 'under the radar': Jerrells, who has led the Bears in scoring, assists and popcorn sales for three consecutive years, is the catalyst for Baylor's impressive revival.
And, finally...FCP leaves with the YouTube video of Baylor basketball's player intro. Wait for it....And, BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE.
Sunday Morning Point Guard 9:38 a.m. Sunday, November 23, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
The third installment of Sunday Morning Point Guard is loaded with jams, slams and thank-you-ma'ams. If you watched yesterday's 42-point thumping of Southern in person at the Ferrell Center, you know what I'm talking about.
Quincy Acy, the beast from Mesquite, scored a career-high-tying 15 points, while etching his name in the Big 12 Conference record book. Acy has made 18 consecutive field goals, setting a new Big 12 record for consecutive field goals made. He is a perfect 18-of-18 from the floor in three games - 11 of those 18 field goals have been of the rim-bending variety. The Q-man is still seven off the NCAA record of 25 set by American's Ray Voelkel in 1978.
Henry Dugat finished one assist shy of recording just the third triple-double in school history Saturday. Dugat scored 13 points with 10 rebounds - all defensive - and 9 assists (both career highs). You may recognize the only two players in BU history with triple-doubles: David Wesley in 1991 (11 points, 13 rebounds, 13 assists) and Brian Skinner in 1995 (15 points, 11 rebounds, 10 blocks).
Monday, the Bears welcome Atlantic Sun Conference preseason favorite Jacksonville (0-3) to the Ferrell Center. The A-Sun is the conference of such mid-major programs as Belmont (remember Duke in the 2008 NCAA Tournament?), Campbell, East Tennessee State, Florida Gulf Coast, Kennesaw State, Lipscomb, Mercer, North Florida, USC Upstate and Stetson.
Quincy Acy Nickname Contest UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who have already submitted their suggestions for Quincy Acy's nickname. You have ALL WEEK to submit your best. FCP has an early favorite, but you will have to wait and see when the ballot is released.
Road to the Final Four at Ford Field: Second Edition of Bracketology [The Bleacher Report] Bleacher Report posted its second edition of Bracketology Saturday. The Bears are listed as a No. 4 seed in the East and are paired predicted Horizon League champion Cleveland State. The other six teams in Baylor's side of the bracket: No. 1 UConn, No. 16 Mount St. Mary's; No. 8 Mercer, No. 9 UAB; No. 5 Michigan, No. 12 Temple.
Ranking Big 12 Coaches...CollegeHoops.Net CollegeHoops.Net has ranked the Big 12 coaches in order of greatness. And..........head coach Scott Drew is numero dos behind Kansas' Bill Self. Here's the breakdown and synopsis of each coach.
Don't forget, BaylorNation. Tomorrow. Baylor-Jacksonville. Bears looking for second straight 4-0 start. How many more shots can Quincy Acy make without a miss? 7 p.m. AND, BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE.
FCP asks...'What should be Quincy Acy's nickname?' 8:40 p.m. Saturday, November 21, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
What a game, huh? First off, congratulations again to Quincy Acy for setting a new Big 12 record with 18 consecutive field goals made. There will be several notable notes in Monday's edition of game notes. So, the Baylor Bears already feature an array of nicknames used daily: CJ, Hendu, K-Rog (aka Dos Tres), Kool and Tweety. Now, BaylorNation, what say you for QUINCY ACY? You've read Doug Gottlieb's interpretation for Acy, calling him a 'dunkaholic' and a 'beast'.
FCP thinks it's time that the newest Big 12 record holder deserves name recognition. The suggestion box is now open - you suggest the best names and then BaylorNation votes for the best one.
Sound good? And, who knows? The BaylorNation citizen with the best nickname suggestion may get a listing in a FCP or in-game blog posting. Don't forget to tune in tomorrow for Sunday Morning Point Guard.
Gottlieb to the World: 'Baylor the Real Deal' 7:21 p.m. Friday, November 21, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
Listen up, BaylorNation. You know it must be pretty 'Blogtastic' if FCP is making its second post of the day. As many of you may remember, Doug Gottlieb was the color analyst for Baylor's systematic thumping of Centenary, 90-55, as part of ESPN's College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon Tuesday afternoon at the Ferrell Center.
According to FCP's sources (thanks to Wednesday's With Webguy for the tip), Gottlieb posted on his ESPN College Basketball blog today that Baylor's 'the real deal'. Prior to Tuesday's 35-point win, Gottlieb was already a fan of Baylor's foursome in the backcourt - Curtis Jerrells, Henry Dugat, Tweety Carter and LaceDarius Dunn. Well, in the last 72 hours, FCP thinks that Quincy Acy's fan club has grown exponentially; Gottlieb referred to Acy as a 'dunkaholic' and a 'beast'. Basketball jargon aside, those are pretty complimentary adjectives to describe a power forward.
Baylor's performance on Tuesday may have raised eyebrows for some, but, for most of the nation, it solidified the Bears as one of the best offenses in Division I.
Here's the rest of what Gottlieb had to say about the Bears:
"After having a chance to see Baylor up close, I believe this might be the year they finally have an interior presence. The Bears have long been respected for their guard play, but now Kevin Rogers is working the low- and mid-post game, and freshman dunkaholic Quincy Acy is a beast. Acy is a 6-foot-7 high-motor, low-post dunker who simply catches and finishes as well as triggers the break with his shot-blocking.
"The coaches at BU put up quotes on the bulletin board -- not from opponents, but from Baylor players, who roundly agree that after their thumping in the tournament last season that defense is something they might need to research. Tweety Carter, who was suspended for the team's first three games, might have to fight tooth and nail for the minutes he received last season, as LaceDarius Dunn has added an off-the-dribble game to his deadly set shot.
"And add Curtis Jerrells to the list of dynamic point guards you might not have heard of. After watching him thoroughly dominate against lowly Centenary, it made me wonder how I would guard him. Seriously. Jerrells has a great burst and shoots it well off either hand. Like most lefties, he likes to shoot going right and drive going left, and his hesitation game is nasty. And he obviously has been in the weight room in the offseason. Good luck with that matchup. Should be an interesting clash of styles if both teams advance in Anaheim, as Arizona State appears to be waiting on the Bears."
What to Watch: Saturday vs. Southern 9:21 a.m. Friday, November 21, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
It's been a busy week here at FCP, but we've made it [mostly] unscathed to Friday. After impressive victories over Paul Quinn last week and Centenary on Tuesday, Baylor - among other schools receiving votes in both The Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Polls - will go for the trifecta Saturday against the Southern Jaguars. For more on the Jags, visit our Men's Basketball Gameday Central Page.
Saturday Multimedia Miscellanea Madness
NOTE: LIVE VIDEO WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR SATURDAY VS. SOUTHERN AND MONDAY VS. JACKSONVILLE. VIDEO IS FREE FOR ALL-ACCESS MEMBERS AND CAN BE SEEN LIVE IN THE STATE OF TEXAS ONLY.
Here's 10 Things to Watch during Saturday's game with Southern:
Under head coach Scott Drew, Baylor is 21-2 when scoring 90 or more points.
Tuesday's 90-point outburst vs. Centenary marked the fifth time in the Drew Era that Baylor has posted back-to-back 90-point games.
If Baylor scores 90 or more points vs. Southern, it will mark the first back-to-back-to-back 90-plus point games in the Drew Era and the first since the 2001-02 season.
Baylor has had five players score in double figures for the first two games. And, for the second straight game, Curtis Jerrells, LaceDarius Dunn, Quincy Acy, Henry Dugat and Kevin Rogers scored in double figures.
Baylor has made at least one 3-point field goal in 488 straight games.
Freshman Quincy Acy is 13-for-13 from the floor through the first two games of the season. Acy is four short of the Big 12 consecutive field goals made mark of 17 set by Texas A&M's DeAndre Jordan in 2007.
During Tuesday's win, Baylor shot 64 percent from the floor (32-50), the highest percentage since the Bears shot 65.2 oercent (45-69) against Prairie View A&M (12/5/95). Tuesday's 64 percent showing was the highest shooting percentage of the Scott Drew Era.
Curtis Jerrells enters Saturday in 12th place with 1,222 career points. Jerrells is one point from moving into 11th place (Willie Sublett - 1,223), two points from 10th place (David Wesley - 1,224) and nine points from 9th place (Vinnie Johnson - 1,231). Jerrells is also in 6th place with 313 assists and needs one more to move into 5th place (314). CJ is three assists away from 4th place (316) and seven from 3rd place (Aaron Bruce - 320).
Louisiana guards Tweety Carter and LaceDarius Dunn currently own streaks of 11 and 7 consecutive games with at least one 3-pointer made, respectively.
See you at the Ferrell on Saturday.
College Hoops Marathon Redux, Two Days Late 10:39 a.m. Thursday, November 20, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
Hey, Baylor Nation. FCP is back after setting up the new digs at the newly-opened Alwin O. and Dorothy Highers Athletics Complex. Alright, so FCP has had a little less than 48 hours to disect and digest ESPN's 33 hours of coverage during its College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon Monday night/Tuesday. From what FCP has seen and heard, college basketball talking heads have been very positive thus far of Baylor's showing on ESPN Tuesday. And, in case you missed the seven games after Baylor's 35-point win over Centenary, here's how the rest of the Marathon fared:
FCP found some interesting comments while surfing the web Wednesday (BTW, What's up with Wednesdays with Webguy? Nothing again this week. Boo!). FOX Sports on MSN posted its Tuesday Review on Wednesday (courtesy of Daniel Damico, Bleacher Report) and talked about Baylor's dominance of Centenary and the Bears' best-known student manager, David Wesley.
The aforementioned ubiquitous college basketblog, Rush the Court, was very complimentary of the Bears during its ESPN Hoops Marathon Live Blog. Scroll down to the following time entries: 4:13 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 4:48 p.m., 4:52 p.m., 5:20 p.m., 5:28 p.m. and 5:38 p.m. For fun, here's RTC's 4:30 and 4:48 p.m. entries:
4:30pm -- By the looks of it, Baylor's future is pretty freakin' bright, and they have come out and put the wood to Centenary with a 33-14 start. "Quincy Acy" just SOUNDS like a guy with serious hops and make no mistake -- kid's a baller. LaceDarius Dunn -- do you want to play a guy [creative editing] like LaceDarius Dunn??!? - just hit a spinning fade-away jumper from about ten feet, VERY softly off glass, that actually got me off the recliner for a second. Nasty.
4:48pm -- It's 39-18 and Henry Dugat just hit a ball-cradling air-hanging spinner off the glass. Baylor is as athletic as Memphis -- maybe LAST year's Memphis. This is just sick.
And, finally...FOX Sports posted its Hoops Hysteria 2009 NCAA Tournament Bracket earlier this week. Baylor is predicted as a No. 10 seed against No. 7 Charlotte with the Bears advanced to the second round to face No. 2 UConn.
Only time will tell.
Gone Fishin', Be Back Thursday 8:57 a.m. Wednesday, November 19, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
FCP is moving into its new office today at the Highers Complex on S. University Parks. So, there will be no blogging today until we unpack all of our boxes. See you on Thursday.
It's Gonna Be A Blog-tastic Tuesday 11:01 a.m. Tuesday, November 18, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
Exactly 12 hours ago, ESPN kicked off its College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon at Midnight ET (11 p.m. for us Central Texas folks) with the John Calipari Invitational - aka UMass at Memphis. I never thought I'd watch more than two hours (Baylor-Centenary) of ESPN's 33 hours of college basketball goodness, but luckily for me and the rest of Baylor Nation, FCP was up late, livin' the college basketball dream, to watch the first three games of the 14-game marathon.
For those of you who couldn't pass off FCP as your doctor's note for Tuesday...you are in luck. All 14 games (including Baylor's 3 p.m. contest vs. Centenary) will be streamed live on ESPN360.com (but only if your internet provider carries it).
And, if those blogs aren't enough...we are unveiling our In-Game Hoops Blog today! If you are lucky, FCP might make a special guest appearance.
What? You mean to tell me you haven't watched the first 12 hours of ESPN's College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. No worries, Baylor Nation. FCP has rounded up last night's (and this morning's) results:
Game 1: (12) Memphis 80, UMass 58 | Box Score | Recap Game 2: Saint Mary's 99, Fresno State 85 | Box Score | Recap Game 3: Hawai`i 67, Idaho State 64 (OT) | Box Score | Recap Game 4: Drexel 66, Penn 64 | Box Score | Recap Game 5: Iowa at Kansas (women) Game 6: Liberty at UNC Asheville Game 7: CENTENARY AT BAYLOR Game 8: Richmond at Syracuse (CBE Classic) Game 9: Loyola (Ill.) at (10) Purdue Game 10: St. John's at Boston College Game 11: Kentucky at North Carolina Game 12: Florida Gulf Coast at Kansas (CBE Classic) Game 13: (21) Davidson at (14) Oklahoma Game 14: UAB at Arizona
Here's Your Doctor's Note 9:15 a.m. Monday, November 17, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
It's a cold Monday morning outside, but FCP surely doesn't have a 'case of the Mondays' this week. And, here are my THREE REASONSwhy:
Baylor won its fifth season opener under sixth-year head coach Scott Drew after a 108-50 thrashing (not to be confused with Washington Redskins receiver James Thrash) of Paul Quinn Saturday night at the Ferrell Center. And, for those of you scoring at home, that is the second time FCP has used the word thrashing (make that three times) in two days.
Quincy Acyis a stud. Plain and simple. I mean, look at his stat line from Saturday: 13 points, 11 rebounds (led team), 5 blocks (led team), 5 steals (led team) and 4 dunks (led team). He is officially an early-season contender as one of the Big 12's best freshmen.
ESPN'S COLLEGE HOOPS TIP-OFF MARATHON (see further explanation below)
Please Call in sick Tuesday Normally, FCP would never condone playing hooky from work to partake in watching a sporting event. BUT, Tuesday is a different story. For only the FOURTH time in school history, a Baylor home game at the Ferrell Center will be broadcast live on ESPN. Not ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN Plus or ESPNEWS. ESPN - the flagship of "The Worldwide Leader in Sports."It will be the first of two home ESPN telecasts at the Ferrell this season.
In summation: Bears-Gents tip at 3:05 p.m. (TV time) Tuesday on ESPN (and ESPN360.com) during ESPN's College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. The Bears-Gents tilt will be the 7th of 14 telecasts broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN360.com.
Here's your doctor's note for Tuesday. See you at the Ferrell.
Sunday Morning Point Guard 10:32 a.m. Sunday, November 16, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
The second edition of Sunday Morning Point Guard is chock-full of dunk-you-very-much goodness. For those of you that missed last night's 58-point thrashing of Paul Quinn, it was the Quincy Acy highlight reel. While FCP is sad to report that we have no video highlights to show you, I can offer you a photo gallery, courtesy of the Waco Tribune-Herald.
Baylor Basketball Gameday Central: The Morning After BaylorBears.com's new Basketball Gameday Central page has links to everything you need to know about last night's game: Recap, Stats, Quotes and Notes. We will also have photo galleries and video for most games during the season.
Of course, we've taken it upon ourselves to list the best tidbits from last night's game:
Baylor scored more than 100 points for the seventh time in the Drew Era. The Bears are 7-0 in those games.
Baylor is 56-3 all-time when scoring 100-plus points.
Baylor's 58-point win is the third-largest margin of victory in school history (66 vs. Austin College in 1978; 59 vs. Hardin-Simmons in 2001).
Baylor is now 19-10 all-time vs. current NAIA member schools (if we beat Paul Quinn tonight).
Baylor is 31-5 in the Drew Era when scoring 80-plus points.
Over the past six seasons Baylor is 88-9 when totaling an equal or higher shooting percentage than its opponents.
Baylor teams have made at least one 3-point field goal in 487 straight games.
Call in sick Tuesday Don't forget Baylor Nation to call in to work sick on Tuesday. Why would FCP ask you to do something like that? I'll tell you why - Baylor hosts Centenary Tuesday at 3 p.m. on ESPN (and ESPN360.com) during ESPN's College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. The Bears-Gents tilt will be the 7th of 14 telecasts broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN360.com. It's going to be F-U-N. So, call in sick and we'll see you at the Ferrell Tuesday.
T.G.I. Casual Friday 9:55 a.m. Friday, November 14, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
Here's to you, Friday morning. It's going to be a Baylor-filled (and busy) weekend beginning tonight with the women's hoops opener against Florida Atlantic. Saturday features the NCAA Cross Country Regional at Cottonwood, followed by volleyball vs. Texas A&M at Noon, the much-anticipated 105th Battle of the Brazos at 3 p.m. and it's capped off by......BAYLOR MEN'S HOOPS VS. PAUL QUINN AT 7:30 P.M. (Game information below)
Yet, ANOTHER Big 12 Preview Blog As has been chronicled here on FCP, there seems to be an infinite roll call of college basketball blogs (not including FCP because FCP is cool, fun and fresh). Well, FCP stumbled upon yet another college basketball blog previewing the Big 12 Conference. The Online Sports Guys cover a vast array of sports from college to pro, including - yes - the Canadian Football League. Awesome, eh. But, I digress...OSG previewed the Big 12 and here's its predicted order of finish: 1. BAYLOR, yada, yada, yada. OSG has it - Baylor numero uno (and the best team in the Big 12).
ESPN's Fran Fraschilla's Take on the 2008-09 Big 12 Season One of our favorite college basketball analysts here at FCP, Fran Fraschilla, who will work the Big 12's Big Monday telecasts on ESPN, provided his take on the upcoming season with a Q&A session on Big12Sports.com Thursday. (And, if you haven't been to the new Big12Sports.com website, then shame on you.) Like always, FCP provides you with the abridged Baylor edition, although Fran has a lot of great insight into the new season:
What's your view on Baylor? "One of the most explosive offensive teams in the country. Curtis Jerrells (CJ) is impossible to guard one-on-one and LaceDarius Dunn (Lace, Kool) is on the verge of Big 12 stardom. The key for Baylor is getting solid play inside. Kevin Rogers (K-Rog, Dos Tres) needs to be a physical, double-double guy consistently they can do some damage in the NCAA Tournament. They're so good on the perimeter they just need more balance inside. Making the NCAA Tournament is no longer the be-all, end-all at Baylor."
The Closing List Randy Riggs of the Austin American-Statesman sat down with CJ and Scott Drew for his preview Friday...The Dallas Morning News published its Big 12 men's basketball preview Thursday. Of course the Bears, DMN said: "The program's resurrection won't end with last season's NCAA Tournament appearance. Four returning starters could help the Bears take the next step."...Are you an avid NJIT or Longwood fan and want to know where your team stands? I present The Rivals.com 343 (Baylor is No. 28...I just wanted to mention those schools)...And, finally - ESPN's Dick Vitale projected his field of 65 teams Wednesday; Baylor is one of six Big 12 schools picked to make the 'Big Dance', joining Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Missouri.
Livin' in the Top 25 9:06 a.m. Thursday, November 13, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
The dust has settled after what was a busy National Signing Day (Early Period) Wednesday. Now, let the recruiting prognostication begin - granted, all signing class rankings are subjective, but it's still intriguing to see the breakdown the day after.
Rivals.com Top 25 No. 25 - Baylor squeezed into Rivals.com's Top 25 list after the addition of top 40 recruit Cory Jefferson, A.J. Walton (No. 132) and Givon Crump (No. 142). Here's Rivals' synopsis:
"The Bears have a good-looking three-man class coming to Waco. All three should see significant time as freshmen. Jefferson gives the team a long and athletic post defender with substantial upside. Walton is a strong-bodied, heady point guard that also could develop into a major defender. Crump, a 6-foot-7 wing, can really stretch the defense because of his long-range ability."
On the flipside, Scout.com did not list the Bears' three-man class among the nation's top 25. Here are the nation's top classes, as told by Rivals.com and Scout.com.
Livin' in the Top 25, just not the Top 20 Monday, I mentioned that Sports Illustrated listed its Top 20 poll on its website and Baylor was not among the nation's 20 best teams. This morning, FCP checked the inbox and found an e-mail from SI, and guess what? The Bears ARENo. 23 in this week's College Basketball Preview issue of Sports Illustrated. According to analyst Bill Trocchi: With four double-digit scorers returning from the Big 12's second-most prolific offense (but worst D), the Bears should get back-to-back NCAA bids for the first time.
Signing Day Officially in the Books 3:37 p.m. Wednesday, November 12, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
National Signing Day (Early Period) for Baylor men's basketball is officially complete. Head coach Scott Drew and his staff signed three players to NLIs Wednesday. And, for those that are unaware, the Bears signed Givon Crump (Wolfeboro, N.H.), A.J. Walton (Little Rock, Ark.) and Cory Jefferson (Killeen).
Now, Back to the Season at Hand...If you've been following FCP, you know that we lovePreseason Bracketology. ESPN's Joe Lunardi revealed his latest 65-team NCAA bracket earlier today and had the Bears as a No. 7 seed (and falling) in the Indianapolis Region (Midwest) paired with No. 10 Clemson in Minneapolis.
Set Your DVRs Fox Sports regional networks in Big 12 Conference South Division markets will televise a series of college basketball specials beginning this week that will preview the 2008-09 seasons for Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech. The 30-minute COLLEGE HOOPS PREVIEW shows will be carried on FS Southwest, FS Oklahoma and FS Houston.
Here's the listings in your neck of the woods for Baylor's College Hoops Preview Show: Wed., Nov. 19 at 12:30 p.m. (FS Southwest, FS Houston, FS Oklahoma) and Wed., Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. (FS Southwest)
"My breakout team is Baylor. The four incredible guards, Curtis Jerrells, Henry Dugat, Tweety Carter, and LaceDarius Dunn will be one of the best backcourts in the country. Add in stud forward Kevin Rogers and you get a team that can really score. If they play any semblance of defense, they could easily make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament."
So, who is Paul Quinn? PQC is a private, historically black college (HBCU) in Dallas (the campus moved to Dallas from Waco in 1990). The Fighting Tigers are a member of the NAIA Division I Red River Athletic Conference.
Don't Forget: Today is National Signing Day. Be sure to check back here at BaylorBears.com to see the Class of 2009.
What It Is! 11:23 a.m. Tuesday, November 11, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
Tuesday, that's What It Is! Last night signified the official start to the 2008-09 college basketball season with the opening game of the 2K Sports Classic (Duke beat Presbyterian College, 80-49) on ESPNU. Normally, FCP would not talk about non-Baylor games, but, it's the start of a new season, so it merited a small, yet special mention.
ESPN.com senior college basketball writer Andy Katz checked in with a few of his top 25 teams and talked about Baylor in his blog Monday. Here's his five points as the season nears, according to head coach Scott Drew:
The rotation is set. Drew is pleased that he has the order of who will be in the game at what times. Expect to see these guards on the floor plenty: sophomore LaceDarius Dunn, senior Henry Dugat, junior Tweety Carter and senior Curtis Jerrells. The rotation inside: senior Kevin Rogers, senior Mamadou Diene, freshman Quincy Acy, freshman Anthony Jones and freshman Fred Ellis.
Shot selection is still a constant concern. That has to improve.
Blocking out has also been a problem in practice.
The Bears have the thrust of their system in place but are still behind in putting in a lot of their zone offense and defense.
Acy has been impressive. His highlight reel of dunks should be good fodder for many a television network this season. Drew said he's definitely going to help the Bears answer interior-scoring issues.
Rivals.com Preseason Power Rankings Rivals' Preseason Power Rankings - which rank the top players in the nation at each position - came out this morning. CJ starts out as the No. 16 point guard. Lace and Dos Tres just missed getting ranked.
[Insert Monday's Title Here] 9:36 a.m. Monday, November 10, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
Ah, another week, another Monday. But, this just isn't any week FCP faithful. It's BAYLOR BASKETBALL SEASON-OPENING GAME WEEK. Yeah, I said it. You've had this day circled on the calendar since we officially announced our schedule in September. For those of you in attedance for Saturday's exhibition with Tarleton, hopefully you got a glimpse of what to expect this season...Lots of speed, lots of scoring, lots of dunks (thanks K-Rog, Quincy and Hendu).
Baylor: Baylor is a team that returns it top 8 scorers from last season led by Curtis Jerrells. They were the Big 12's highest-scoring team and who could forget the epic 5-OT game with Texas A&M last season (FCP took the liberty of putting the good stuff at the bottom; see video). Kevin Rogers (Dos Tres), LaceDarius Dunn (Kool) and Henry Dugat (Hendu) are scoring machines that provide a depth of experience. A senior-laden team, Scott Drew has built this team from scratch and is creating dividends by making the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 20 years. But Baylor will not win the conference because its defense is suspect and its frontcourt will need to improve (We beg to differ). However, they tasted the feeling of the NCAA Tournament got kicked out right away, but it will different this year and I expect that they will make the Tournament again and at least win one game. (Courtesy: Patrick Marshall, RTC correspondent for the Missouri Valley and Big 12 Conferences)
Cutting to the chase: Preseason Bracketology. Baylor is listed as a No. 6 seed (flip-flopped scenario from a year ago) vs. No. 11 UNLV in Miami. The result? A Baylor win and a date with No. 3 Florida in the second round.
Sunday Morning Point Guard 10:47 a.m. Sunday, November 9, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
Football talking heads have 'Monday Morning Quarterback' and ESPN's Page 2 has 'Tuesday Morning Quarterback.' Well, make room for FCP's Sunday Morning Point Guard. In case you missed it last night, it was the Lace-Hendu-Dos Tres show as the trio combined for 45 points to lead the upstart Bears to a 76-44 runaway victory over Tarleton State in front of 5,876 fans at the Ferrell Center. 'Cool' finished with 18 points and 7 boards, while Dos Tres came up two rebounds short of a double-double (15 points and 8 boards).
One More Season Preview... Baylor was picked to finish 3rd in the Big 12, according to Northwestern Wins: A College Hoops Blog 2008-09 Big 12 Preview. Here's the bottom line: "The job this program has done through epic trials and tribulations to make the NCAA Tournament last season and hopefully contend for the Big 12 title this year is truly remarkable. They'll be a national favorite and deservedly so. The talent assembled could reach unimagined heights four years ago with [LaceDarius] Dunn, [Curtis] Jerrells, [Kevin] Rogers and [Henry] Dugat leading the charge. Watch out for the rejuvenated Bears."
Now, we are less than 7 days away from the season opener against the Paul Quinn College Tigers...So, this upcoming week, FCP will be previewing Saturday's tilt. And, Boom Goes the Dynamite.
Friday Night Lights, Courtside 6:33 p.m. Friday, November 7, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
FCP is so eagerly anticipating Saturday's exhibition showdown with the Tarleton State Texans that we thought Ballin' is a Habit deserves more props from FCP...Earlier today, BIAH listed its Top 10 Centers and you get 10 guesses as to what Baylor Bear was mentioned among the nation's best 'centers.' Give up? The answer is not really a center, but the most underrated power forward in the Big 12 - Dos Tres, K-Rog, Kevin Rogers.
Dos Tres broke into the top 10 at #5 - Rogers might be the best athlete on this list. He can really get out and run the floor, which is what makes him such a good fit for this Baylor squad. Offensively, he is most effective when he is a finisher, especially at the room, and he is great in the Bears' pick-and-roll.
Nice work BIAH - one thing, FCP opines that K-Rog should be listed among the Top 10 Power Forwards (we think he deserves a Top 3 showing).
Sophomore 3-point extraordinare LaceDarius Dunn continues to earn the respect of media syndicates for his work off the bench during his rookie campaign last year. The Bleacher Report listed 'Cool' 2nd on its Best Sixth Men in the Nation list. Of 'Cool,' B/R suggested: "Lace...emerged as the Big 12's best sixth man as a freshman last year. Dunn is a terrific three-point shooter at over 40 percent but can also score in the paint...Dunn will be the sparkplug off the bench."
And, finally...In anticipation of the Nov. 18 release of EA's NCAA Basketball 09, GameCinemaHD took it upon itself to search for top 20 impact players (per position) on this year's game. Good news: Baylor's #0 (aka Curtis Jerrells) is ranked as the 11th-best shooting guard on the game. Maybe, just maybe, FCP will try to copy Wednesdays with Webguy and do some fun in-season simulation. Then again, we'll just keep livin' the dream.
Are You Ready? 10:55 a.m. Friday, November 7, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
TGIF! You know what that means? The Baylor Bears hit the floor tomorrow night for their exhibition tilt with the Tarleton State Texans. We all remember last year's exhibition outing with the Texans, but it's a new season.
With that said, here's all you need to know for Saturday's exhibition game:
Team on the rise Baylor. The Bears' first NCAA tournament appearance in 20 years wasn't a fluke. In fact, if the Bears don't make back-to-back trips to the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history this season they will be considered a disappointment. All five scorers are back from a team that earned an at-large bid, including four guards who will make up one the nation's elite backcourts. The quartet of Tweety Carter, LaceDarius Dunn, Henry Dugat and preseason All-Big 12 pick Curtis Jerrells combined for 228 3-pointers last season, which was more than the total of eight other Big 12 teams. The Bears also have added a pair of four-star prospects who bring some much-needed size, forwards Quincy Acy (6-7) and Anthony Jones (6-9).FCP Note: Where's K-Rog?
Coach on the rise: Baylor's Scott Drew.
Curtis Jerrells was named to Rivals' All-Big 12 first-eam, while LaceDarius Dunn earned second-team honors. Still no Dos Tres. Anthony Jones was named to the All-Freshman team.
Grandiosa Dos Tres 8:47 a.m. Thursday, November 6, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
As we enter the final few days before the Bears' exhibition game with Tarleton State on Saturday, college basketball fever continues to sweep the nation. Far and wide, college hoops intellectuals have high expectations for the Baylor Bears this season. Since the debut of FCP last month, we have chronicled every (or, almost every) preseason prognostication for the 2008-09 season. That statement was quickly devoid of trush this morning, when FCP read this preview, courtesy of Basketnet.it - yes, an Italian basketball website:
Dopo aver visto Baylor all'opera nella scorsa stagione, dietro Kansas risulta impossibile non piazzare i Bears, visto i frutti evidenti del lavoro messo in atto dall'head coach Scott Drew e dal suo staff, che hanno proiettato Baylor ad una stagione di vittorie. La squadra nella stagione che andiamo a vivere ritrova i suoi 5 migliori produttori di punti della scorsa stagione e uno dei migliori backcourt di tutta la NCAA. Curtis Jerrells è un grandissimo talento e proviene da una stagione la scorsa, nella quale ha prodotto 15.3 punti e 3.8 assists di media. Il suo compare di scorribande in campo, tale Henry Dugat è talento a nostro parere sottovalutato sia dall'arco dei tre punti che e forse specialmente in difesa. Dietro di loro LaceDarius Dunn è un altro dei giocatori purtroppo più sottovalutati. Tira in carriera con il 42% da tre. Sotto le plance è prioettato ad una stagione grandiosa Kevin Rogers in virtù di un anno di esperienza positiva vissuto nella stagione scorsa. Nel caso di Baylor consigliamo di seguire un giocatore attentamente: Anthony Jones.
So, FCP doesn't know Italian, but, thanks to Google's Automatic Translation, you can now read what Basketnet.it had to say about the Bears in English. My favorite line of the preview obviously influenced today's blog headline: Grandiosa Kevin Rogers (FCP switched it to K-Rog's pseudonym, Dos Tres). The Bears were picked to finish 4th in the Big 12, behind Texas, Oklahom and Kansas.
CBSSports.com's Big 12 Preview In what has become an increasingly popular trend in the preseason, Baylor is predicted to finish 3rd in the Big 12 by CBSSports.com's Gary Parrish. Curtis Jerrells is a first-team All-Big 12 pick by Parrish (he is listed at forward, but FCP is sure that is just a small typo). Here's Parrish's complete Big 12 preview.
Big 12 Players to Watch: The Bleacher Report On Tuesday, the Bleacher Report listed its 10 Big 12 Players to Watch in 2008-09. CJ was the only BU player to make the cut: Talented guards are aplenty in the Big 12, and Jerrells is arguably the best...He is most dangerous behind the arc, but if he could improve his percentage by even two percentage points, he would easily average over 20 points per game. Jerrells is quick, handles the ball very well, and is an improved passer...
The Hoops Report's Big 12 Preview The Hoops Report unveiled its Big 12 Conference preview Wednesday. No surprise - the Bears are picked to finish 3rd, behind (no surprise again) Texas and Oklahoma. CJ is a projected first-team All-Big 12 pick, while fellow backcourt mate LaceDarius Dunn is a projected second-team selection. No Dos Tres, but things will be different in March.
Erratum FCP constantly strives for perfection and wants to provide the most accurate information for the Baylor Bears basketball faithful. Yesterday, I noted that Baylor was one of three Big 12 schools ranked in BIAH's Top 25. Well, Kansas was indeed listed among the top 50 (KU was not listed in alphabetical order). Thanks to Rob from BIAH for the heads up.
Ballin' is a Habit (or so I hear) 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, November 5, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
Happy Post-Election Humpday. Yesterday, I promised to divulge another website that has listed the Baylor Bears in its Top 25. That same website has also singled-out a pair of Baylor guards among the nation's elite. Ballin is a Habit - which it is - has placed the Bears No. 17 overall in its preseason Top 25.
Baylor is one of three Big 12 schools ranked in BIAH's Top 25 - not surprisingly, Texas came in at No. 10, followed by Oklahoma at No. 13. Somewhat of a surprise - defending national champion was not among the top 25 teams (nor were they listed among the top 50).
CJ and Cool on BIAH's Radar FCP is starting to think Ballin is certainly a habit because Curtis Jerrells and LaceDarius Dunn were listed among the best point and shooting guards, respectively. Jerrells was listed No. 9 in BIAH's Top 10 Point Guards list. BIAH had this to say about CJ: "The lefty Jerrells is an excellent scorer for Baylor, and is the guy that will push the ball up the floor for Scott Drew. He cut down his turnovers a lot last season, and if he improves his shot selection he could move up this list." CJ was the ONLY Big 12 point guard on the list.
Lace came in at No. 10 in BIAH's Top 10 Two-Guards list - "Dunn was one of the most efficient scorers in the country last year (surprising for a guy that's predominantly a jump shooter - 60% of his field goal attempts were 3's). He averaged 13.6 ppg in just 22 mpg, while shooting 45% from floor, 42% from deep, and 84% from the line. At 6'4", Dunn is not a great athlete, but has a variety of floaters, leaners, and scoop shots that he can use to finish in the paint." Texas' A.J. Abrams was five spots ahead of Cool at No. 5.
Baylor picked 3rd in Big 12 by FanIQ One final Big 12 Conference preview today...FanIQ predicted the Bears to finish 3rd in the Big 12 this season, while also offering a team-by-team analysis.
Happy Election Day 8:58 a.m. Tuesday, November 4, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
FCP just returned from his local polling place after casting his ballot on this Election Tuesday. And, why should we limit our voting process to just politics? We here at FCP firmly believe in the fan's voice, so while the Baylor Bears were among others receiving votes in both polls last week, you can voice YOUR opinion. Courtesy of the Worldwide Leader in Sports, you can submit your rankings for the best in men's college basketball.
Speaking of polls... Baylor was among four Big 12 schools ranked in the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Officers' Top 25 poll. The Bears came in at No. 18, receiving 28 votes - 2 behind No. 17 Wisconsin and 1 ahead of No. 19 Marquette.
It doesn't stop there... Baylor was listed No. 12 overall in the Basketball Times Fabulous 15 after an "amazing turnaround." Here's the rest of the Fab 15: (1) North Carolina, (2) Louisville, (3) Texas, (4) UConn, (5) Michigan State, (6) UCLA, (7) Duke, (8) Notre Dame, (9) Pitt, (10) Gonzaga, (11) Saint Mary's, (12) BAYLOR, (13) Miami, (14) Florida and (15) Georgetown. Interestingly enough - the Bears could face the Saint Mary's College Gaels at the 76 Classic in Anaheim later this month.
Plus, the Bears were predicted to finish 2nd in the Big 12 by Basketball Times: "Just five years after a summer of scandal, the Bears will be a chic pick to win the school's first Big 12 basketball title since 1950. There's plenty of talent there - first-team All-Big 12 guard Curtis Jerrells, sixth man guard LaceDarius Dunn, forward Kevin Rogers and guard Henry Dugat - plus the arrival of freshman power forward Anthony Jones.
Where Baylor Happens 8:45 a.m. Monday, November 3, 2008 Chris Yandle (Email)
Good Monday morning fellow hoops fans. In case you missed it on Friday, The Associated Press Top 25 Poll was released around 7 p.m. CT on Halloween night. The Bears were voted No. 28 - one spot better than the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll on Wednesday. Baylor received 128 votes, behind Xavier (154) and UNLV (143), while finishing ahead of such teams as Saint Mary's (112), Syracuse (83), Kentucky (75), Texas A&M (30) and Washington State (11).
While we here at FCP are gearing up for Saturday's exhibition game vs. Tarleton State at the Ferrell Center (tip-off at 7 p.m. and can be heard on KRZI-AM ESPN 1660), we are still scouring the WWW for the latest analysis and insight into Baylor's 2008-09 season. That leads us to our find on Saturday - for the last few weeks, Rush the Court (the Ubiquitous College Basketblog) has been featuring players to watch for this season and moments to remember from last season, courtesy of YouTube. Baylor was Reason #11 Why RTC Loves College Basketball - Where Baylor Happens.