Getting to Know: Dragan Sekelja
By now, we're sure you are wondering what's taken us so long with the last installment of our Getting to Know... segments. Would you believe us if we said that our dog ate the video? No matter the reason, we've loaded and completed the final Getting to Know... video which features Croatian center Dragan Sekelja. We haven't learned Croatian - yet - but we hope to before the season is over.
Dos Tres is now 'Πέντε'
In Waco, former Baylor great and 1,000-point scorer Kevin Rogers was known to the BaylorNation faithful as Dos Tres since Mr. Rogers wore number 23 during his four-year career. Across the pond in Greece, we hope fans are referring to him as Πέντε, which is Greek for 'Five'. Why five? That's because K-Rog is wearing #5 for Πανιώνιος Γυμναστικός Σύλλογος Σμύρνης (Panionios Gymnastikos Syllogos Smyrnis, which is the Pan-Ionian Gymnastic Association of Smyrna). We refer to the Fighting Kevin Rogerses as Panionios B.C. Rogers and his fellow Panionios teammates made their 2009-10 season debut Sunday vs. DASH Peristeri Athens.
K-Rog scored eight points on 4-of-11 shooting, while grabbing a team-high seven rebounds in 31 minutes; DASH defeated Panionios 81-70. Panionios will face AEK Athens in its second regular season game on Halloween night.
Big 12 Media Day Hoopla and Such
Baylor head coach Scott Drew, senior point guard Tweety Carter and junior forward/center Ekpe Udoh represented the Bears men's basketball program Thursday at the 2009 Big 12 Men's Basketball Media Day in Kansas City at the site of the 2010 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship, the Sprint Center.
The four-hour media day began with Coach Drew's press conference on the Sprint Center floor. The Bears spent the rest of the four hours conducting interviews with several TV and radio outlets, including ESPN/ESPNU, FSN and Big12Sports.com. Tweety and Coach Drew did an interview for Sirius XM Satellite Radio, while Tweety later sat down with Nick Wright from 610 Sports Radio in Kansas City. Let's just say Nick is a huge Tweety fan after reading that he scored more than 7,000 points in high school.
Thursday's media session concluded with one-on-one interview sessions with regional and national writers, including Yahoo Sports' (and Baylor alum) Jason King, ESPN.com writer Dana O'Neil (Ekpe told Dana he reads all her stories.), Kansas City Star's Blair Kerkhoff, Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Mike Jones and The Dallas Morning News' Chuck Carlton. There were nearly 250 media members that attended a very successful Big 12 Media Day in Kansas City.
We'd also like to extend a special thanks to our team host/chauffeur, Kansas City Sports Commission volunteer and newest Baylor fan, John MacDonald. He was a tremendous host and we look forward to seeing him again in March.
Enjoy homecoming weekend...We are now 12 days (roughly 300-plus hours) away from Baylor's exhibition against Central Oklahoma Nov. 5 at the Ferrell Center.
K-Rog, Panionios Open Season Saturday
While the NBA preseason is winding down, the Greek A1 League is starting up across the pond. Former Baylor standout Kevin Rogers and his Panionios BC teammates tip off their 2009-10 basketball season Saturday against Dash Peristeri Athens. Rogers is one of four Americans on Panionios' 2009-10 roster - Barry Elder (Georgia Tech), Randall Hanke (Providence) and Tyrese Rice (Boston College).
Panionios and the rest of the Greek A1 League play 26 "rounds" (games); the top eight teams qualify for the playoffs (each round is a best-of-three series). Last season, Panathinaikos (22-4) upset top-seeded Olympiakos (25-1) 3-1. The A1 League is the highest level of professional basketball in Greece.
Inaugural Player Poll Results Unveiled
How well do you know the 2009-10 Baylor men's basketball team? All 14 members of the team answered an array of questions. And while we only received 10 ballots back, this feature will show the personalities and interests of this year's team. Maybe this will become a tradition and you just might see it next year. Fortunately, there were no hanging chads.
Rules: Self votes are not allowed and only players with multiple tallies are shown below.. Here are this year's results of the inaugural player poll:
Who's the best shooter?
Who's the best overall athlete?
Who's the smartest player on the team?
Who's the best video game player?
Who's the best dresser?
Who's the worst dresser?
Who has the best nickname*?
Who's the team comedian*?
Who's the loudest?
Who's the quietest?
Who's the mostly likely to become famous?
Who's the best singer?
Who's the best dancer?
Who's the most competitive?
Who would make the best college head coach?
Who's the fastest (from baseline to baseline)?
Who has impressed you the most in the weight room this year?
Who's the best dunker?
Who would make the best ESPN SportsCenter anchor?
Who's the most organized?
Bears Meet the Media During Monday's Preseason Media Day
Members of the local media got their first look at the 2009-10 Baylor men's basketball team during the team's Preseason Media Day Monday at the Ferrell Center. Head coach Scott Drew addressed the media before upperclassmen Tweety Carter, Josh Lomers, LaceDarius Dunn and Ekpe Udoh took the podium. Monday's media session gave Baylor's freshmen class a chance to hone its interviewing skills.
Head coach Scott Drew, Tweety and Ekpe will represent the Baylor Bears at the Big 12 Men's Basketball Media Day Thursday at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. - site of the 2010 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship.
Player Poll Results Coming Soon to a Blog Near You
Have you ever wanted to know more about the 2009-10 Baylor Bears basketball team? We thought we'd ask the guys in our inaugural Player Poll. We used a hard-hitting 42-question scientific survey (42 questions - yes, scientific - no) that included such questions as: "Who's the best dressed?", "Who's the best singer?" and "Who's the best dunker?". With the official start of hoops underway, we'll reveal the results for you next week.
A New Season is Upon Us: Basketball is Officially Underway
Somewhere, Justin Cange is smiling. Almost 200 days (197 to be exact) since Baylor walked off the Madison Square Garden floor in New York City, the Baylor Bears returned to the hardwood Friday night with the first official practice of the 2009-10 season. The significance of Friday night is two-fold: (1) Rejoice, BaylorNation - a new basketball season is upon us and (2) we're baaaaaaaack FULL TIME. We've dabbled in all sorts of things here at FCP since the end of last season, but now with the start of the 2009-10 season, we're back - better than ever (we hope).
In honor of the start of practice, we'd like to take this opportunity for our time-honored tradition (just Google 'Allen+Iverson+practice').
With Friday serving as Fall Break for Baylor students, the Whetsel Practice Facility was relatively quiet as the guys promptly walked onto the floor at 7 o'clock on the dot. The three tallest people on Baylor's campus were all in the same gym Friday night - 7-foot-1 (Baylor graduate and current graduate student) Mamadou Diene, 7-foot-0 senior Josh Lomers and 7-foot-0 freshman Dragan Sekelja. We promise you - we will learn Croatian before the season is over.
As the women wrapped up practice on the Ferrell Center main floor, the Bears warmed up with strength coach Charlie Melton before 20 minutes of position drills. Upon the conclusion of the women's practice at 7:30 p.m., the men moved to the Ferrell Center floor where they finished out the remainder of practice.
Unfortunately, we couldn't fulfill our promise of debuting the Getting to Know... PRACTICE EDITION featuring Dragan Friday. Look for it early next week. We are a mere 20 days from Baylor's Nov. 5 exhibition with the Central Oklahoma Bronchos. It's great to be back.
AND BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE.
Getting to Know: Oscar Griffin
We're now roughly 31 hours away from the official start of basketball practice. And, we're also winding down our Getting to Know... segments. Thursday's episode features freshman guard Oscar Griffin, who hails from Philadelphia, "The City of Brotherly Love". Philly's known for the Liberty Bell, Rocky, Independence Hall and...cheese steaks. Yes, we asked Oscar about cheese steaks...
Another fun Philly fact: Baylor all-time leading shot-blocker and current L.A. Clipper Brian Skinner played 24 games with the Philadelphia 76ers to start the 2004-05 season.
Jerrells Making Preseason Strides with Spurs
Curtis Jerrells, the third-leading scorer in Baylor history with 1,820 career points, has played in each of the San Antonio Spurs' three preseason games this month. Jerrells, who signed a training camp contract with the Spurs in September, is averaging 5.3 points and 1.3 assists in three games. CJ scored a preseason-high nine points in San Antonio's 95-93 win Sunday at Miami.
Four games remain on San Antonio's preseason schedule beginning with Wednesday's home game against the L.A. Clippers. CJ will get a chance to play in front of his hometown crowd Oct. 20 when the Spurs face the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.
Getting to Know: Givon Crump
...Let your countdown clock begin. Basketball season begins this Friday with the official start of - as Allen Iverson so eloquently put it - PRACTICE. To celebrate, we'll start introducing you to the second half of Baylor's eight newcomers beginning today with freshman forward Givon Crump. The Washington, D.C., native spent the last two seasons playing for Brewster Academy in Brewster, N.H. Interestingly enough, Crump is one of two players on Baylor's roster that prepped in The Granite State last year. The other? Freshman guard Mark McLaughlin, who we'll introduce later this week.
Another interesting tidbit about Crump is that he wore No. 22 during his two seasons at Brewster. Fellow freshman A.J. Walton is wearing No. 22, so Crump opted to wear No. 20 in honor of former New York Knick Allan Houston.
Lace Debuts at No. 24 on Goodman's Top Shooters List
The Kool part: Dunn debuted on Goodman's list at No. 24 in honor of his uniform number. Last season, the Monroe, La., native set the school single-season marks for 3-pointers made (109) and attempts (281). And in case you've forgotten, Lace tied a school record-tying nine trifectas in Baylor's win at Kansas State. He has made seven or more triples on three different occasions in 70 career games.
Baylor head coach Scott Drew on Lace: "Lace was born a great shooter. In fact, he made his first 3-pointer from the crib. What has made him such a great shooter is great mechanics and countless hours in the gym. He has beyond NBA range and consistently shoots with great accuracy."
Dunn is one of five Big 12 shooters on Goodman's list - No. 12 James Anderson (Oklahoma State), No. 25 Willie Warren (Oklahoma), No. 30 Keiton Page (Oklahoma State) and No. 49 Lucca Staiger (Iowa State).
Drew Named to List of Valparaiso's Most Influential
We broke this news last night on Twitter - if you call sending a tweet nearly 12 hours after it was officially announced breaking news...And, if you aren't following us on Twitter, you should. Baylor head coach Scott Drew was one of 15 sports figures named to the Top 150 Most Influential People in Valparaiso University history Friday. Drew was joined by his father Homer, brother Bryce and the 1998 Sweet 16 Team on the list.
The complete list of Valpo's 150 most influential people was released in conjunction with this weekend's Homecoming and Reunion celebration. The list of Valpo's 15 sports figures among the most influential can be viewed here.
Getting to Know: A.J. Walton
Good news! It's Friday and we're now ONE WEEK away from the official start of practice, which is Friday, Oct. 16. Being that it's Friday, it also means we are now halfway through our Getting to Know...with FCP segment. Friday's video features Little Rock, Ark., freshman point guard A.J. Walton. His real name is Anthony, but since we already have an Anthony (see: Anthony Jones), we'll stick with his nickname, A.J.
Ever seen an All-Arkansas Mr. Basketball? BaylorNation will get a chance to see one for the next four years with the addition of Walton to the Bears' guard-heavy arsenal. Walton provides the Bears with solid depth at point behind senior Tweety Carter. And, how could we forget...A.J. was FCP's favorite interview because, well, just watch the video - we're at eye-level.
We'll run down the rest of Baylor's incoming freshman class next week, beginning with Washington, D.C., native Givon Crump, who styles his game after former New York Knick Allan Houston. Crump's number this season? No. 20, the same number Houston wore during his college and NBA career.
Getting to Know: Cory Jefferson
For those scoring at home, we're beginning to develop a pattern...Big Guy Tuesday (Ekpe "The Nightmare" Udoh)...Guard Wednesday (Nolan Dennis)...Now, it's time for another big guy. Thursday's installment of Getting to Know...With FCP features Killeen, Texas, product Cory Jefferson. The all-time leading shot blocker from Kangaroo-land (Killeen High's mascot is the Kangaroo - the Fighting Roos) will wear No. 34 this season, following in the footsteps of another famous Baylor shot-blocker, Brian Skinner. Skinner, a native of Temple, Texas, will enter his 12th season in the NBA in 2009-10.
On Friday's episode of Getting to Know...with FCP, finally FCP gets to interview someone at eye-level - freshman point guard A.J. Walton.
Curtis Jerrells Makes Preseason Debut with Spurs
Baylor great Curtis Jerrells, who finished his stellar career third all-time in school history with 1,820 points, scored four points in 18 minutes in San Antonio's 99-85 loss Tuesday to Houston in the preseason opener for both clubs. Jerrells was 2-of-7 from the floor and 0-of-1 from 3-point range. CJ added one rebound, two assists and two blocks, while committing three fouls.
CJ and the Spurs host Greek club Olympiakos in preseason action Friday at the AT&T Center. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.
Getting to Know: Nolan Dennis
Fort Worth-area freshman Nolan Dennis was the second-highest rated recruit in Baylor's 2009 signing class that ranked 17th nationally according to Rivals.com. He was the No. 1-rated player in the state by TexasRoundball.com and No. 4 by Mike Kunstadt's TexasHoops.com. The highly-decorated guard was a first-team Boys all-Area selection in 2009 by The Dallas Morning News, while averaging 21.4 points and 10.1 rebounds as a senior.
In Wednesday's sophomore edition of Getting to Know...With FCP, Nolan, who didn't make FCP look so short, discusses the adjustment from high school to college and what he learned from his older brother, Collin, who played one season at South Florida and two seasons at North Texas.
Getting to Know: Ekpe Udoh
With the official start of practice less than 10 days away (For those not in "The Know", practice starts Friday, Oct. 16.), we will introduce the eight new members to Baylor's 2009-10 basketball team. Tuesday's debut of Getting To Know...With FCP features junior forward/center Ekpe Udoh, who played his first two years of college basketball at the University of Michigan. Udoh, who is ginormous compared to FCP (as you will see in the video below), broke Chris Webber's (yes, THAT Chris Webber) sophomore blocked shots record at Michigan and finished his career ranked fourth all-time in blocks.
We sat down - ahem, or should we say, stood next to him - with Ekpe to talk about, among other things, why he came to Baylor and his insistence on switching from No. 51 to No. 13 this year. Our next installment of G2K with FCP will feature Fort Worth-area freshman guard Nolan Dennis.