The Official Team Photo (Complete with Handy Photo Guide)
Now it's official. With Photo Day officially history, we've unveiled Baylor's 2009-10 official team photo. You like? It looks much better than FCP's 'Behind-the-Scenes' view we offered up yesterday. Since there are so many new faces on this year's squad, we thought we'd provide you with an easy-to-use photo guide to help you prepare for the upcoming season:
The Freshmen: Nolan Dennis (12), Cory Jefferson (34), Oscar Griffin (21), Dragan Sekelja (14), A.J. Walton (22), Givon Crump (20), Mark McLaughlin (32)
The Sophomores: Quincy "The Cookie Monster" Acy (4), Anthony Jones (41), Fred Ellis (3)
The Juniors: Ekpe "The Nightmare" Udoh (13), LaceDarius Dunn (24)
The Seniors: Tweety Carter (45), Josh Lomers (50)
It's almost October. You know what that means, don't you? Tick, Tick, Tick...
Photo Day '09 is in the Books
The Baylor men's basketball team took part in its annual Photo Day at the Ferrell Center Monday afternoon. The Bears took their TV headshots which will be used for all televised games on the ESPN family of networks as well as FSN and FS Southwest. Baylor then took its team photo for use on the 2009-10 schedule poster.
To end Photo Day, the players took individual class photos, including Baylor's eight newcomers which will be featured on the cover on an upcoming Baylor Bear Foundation Insider Report.
Click the photo gallery link above for a collection of "Behind the Scenes" photos from Monday's Photo Day.
Men's Basketball Student-Athletes, Coaching Staff Take Part in Media Training Sunday
With the advent of the world's newest craze that appears to be spreading like wildfire - social media - and the increasing presence of the media in college athletics coverage, proper media training is becoming more and more important for student-athletes, coaches and staff. Sue Castorino and Randy Minkoff, partners for Chicago-based The Speaking Specialists, helped provide training to the entire Baylor men's basketball team and coaching staff in the Ferrell Center Stone Room Sunday night.
Sue and Randy focused on interview body language, posture, camera etiquette, sportsmanship, safe social networking and proper media interview protocol (i.e. the importance of Media Relations personnel such as FCP). Baylor's freshmen and sophomores earned invaluable practice time in front of the camera during mock-interview sessions.
The Speaking Specialists have conducted programs for the NFL, Major League Baseball and USA Basketball among others.
Speaking of social media...Don't forget to follow your favorite Baylor basketblogger (ahem) @BaylorFCP and your Baylor head basketball coach Scott Drew (@BUDREW) on Twitter. For the latest news and updates for your favorite Baylor athletic team(s), follow @BaylorAthletics and @BaylorAth_RSS.
Now that You're Joining the Bears, Mickey and Minnie at Disney World...How about Lunch with Coach Drew?
Baylor head coach Scott Drew will hold a pair of 2009 Men's Basketball Tip-Off Luncheons Wed., Oct. 14 and Thurs., Oct. 15 in a city near you...The 3-Point Club and Fast Break Club - in conjunction with Baylor Sports Network's Doug Fertsch and Shaun Rochon -will hold the first Tip-Off Luncheon Wed., Oct. 14 at 11:30 a.m. at the Houston Marriott West Loop by The Galleria in Houston. In addition to Coach Drew, former Baylor star and the nation's best color commentator, Pat Nunley, will also be in attendance.
If you miss the Houston Tip-Off Luncheon, you can catch the one in Dallas the following day (Thurs., Oct. 15) at the Marriott Quorum Hotel. The Voice of the Baylor Bears, John Morris, will be in attendance for the DFW Luncheon.
Join the Bears at Walt Disney World for Thanksgiving
In case you've forgotten (and how could you), the Baylor Bears will travel to Walt Disney World® in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 26-29, for the Old Spice Classic, named the Tournament of the Season by Sports Illustrated. In addition to the Bears, Alabama, Creighton, Florida State, Iona, Marquette, Michigan and Xavier will compete in this prominent early season tournament.
Official Old Spice Classic travel packages are now available and include four-night accommodations, a WALT DISNEY WORLD® Theme Park Ticket, admission to all Old Spice Classic games, game day transportation, Old Spice Classic souvenir, on-site travel assistance and more. Travel packages provided by Anthony Travel, the Official Travel Partner of Baylor Athletics and the Old Spice Classic.
Make plans to be there! To make your travel reservations or for more information, please visit OldSpiceClassic.com.
Spurs Add Curtis Jerrells to Roster
The San Antonio Spurs officially announced that they have signed former Baylor standout Curtis Jerrells (along with forward/center Dwayne Jones). Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Jerrells, 6-1, 200 pounds, spent the past four seasons playing at Baylor University. As a senior he averaged a team-high 16.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.9 assists while starting in all in 39 games for the Bears. He was selected to the All-Big 12 Third Team and was named to the 2009 NIT All-Tournament Team after leading the Bears to the NIT championship game. As a junior Jerrells was named to the All-Big 12 First Team, averaging 15.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists. He scored a career-high 36 points, including a school and Big 12 record 20-of-24 free throws, in a five-OT 116-110 win at Texas A&M on Jan. 23, 2008.
For his career, Jerrells averaged 15.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.34 steals. He started in all 119 games he played in and holds the Bears record for most games played, started and minutes played (3,934). His 1,820 career points rank him third on Baylor's all-time scoring list and his 487 assists and 159 steals are second all-time. Jerrells is the only player in school history to finish his career with more than 1,000 points, 400 assists and 100 steals.
#21 in the "Valley of the Sun"
We mentioned that Baylor's Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series matchup with Arizona State would inevitably be added to the TV schedule. And today it's reality. The Sun Devils announced the Dec. 3 game in Tempe will tip at 9:30 p.m. CT (yawn!) on FSN.
The Arizona State game is the 21st to be televised during the 2009-10 regular season and there is still the likelihood of more games to be added in the near future.
If You Carry the Three...South Carolina Makes it 20
Maybe we spoke TOO SOON Friday, revealing three more Baylor games added to the TV schedule for the 2009-10 season. Tuesday, Baylor inched one game closer towards last season's school-record TV total (34) as the Bears' Jan. 2 rematch with South Carolina will be televised on FSN. And, for those scoring at home...Baylor now has 10 games scheduled for national television (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and FSN).
With the updated numbers in, Baylor now has 20 games slated to be televised on TV in 2009-10 with the possibility of five more regular season contests...
FCPedia Trivia: In 2007-08 and 2008-09, Baylor played a combined 56 games - out of 71 - on television. And, if you factor in the 20 TV games so far for the 2009-10 season, Baylor will have played 76 games on TV. A comparison for comparison's sake: Baylor played 62 TV games in Scott Drew's first four seasons.
Keep Livin' the Dream...
Three More TV Dates Added to Schedule
Within the last few days, three more Baylor games have been picked up by regional and national TV outlets:
So, as it stands today, Baylor has 19 games scheduled to be on TV with the possibility of five more regular season games...That's a grand total of 24 contests. Last season, Baylor had 25 regular season games on the regional and national TV levels. And, who could forget - Baylor could play as many as four more TV games during the Big 12 Championship (SEE: LAST SEASON).
The start of September signifies the start of a new basketball season (or a new blog season, at least). It also symbolizes the full retirement of a beloved catch phrase, And, Boom Goes the Dynamite. How will we ever replace it? We still haven't figured that out yet. We are still grappling with other ideas - WHAMMY! or I'm Chris Yandle...and you're not. But, nothing seems to fit. We're open to any and (mostly) all suggestions. Until further notice - Keep Livin' the Dream.
Baylor's New Cover Boy: Lace Featured on Latest Athlon Cover
Last season, it was Curtis Jerrells. This season, it's LaceDarius Dunn. Lace is one of three players (Texas' Damion James and Texas A&M's Bryan Davis) featured on the cover of the latest Athlon Sports College Basketball 2009-10 Preview that hit newsstands late this week. After Baylor's 24-15 season and trip to the 2009 NIT championship game in New York, expectations are still high for the Bears, as many basketball experts, pundants and prognosticators all predict BU to return to the postseason in 2010.
Athlon predicts the Bears to finish 8th - "Baylor has the talent to make the NCAAs, but the Bears need to play with more structure." - in the Big 12, but they do expect Baylor to make the NIT for the second consecutive season. NCAA or NIT, it would still be a postseason of much signifcant - it would mark the first time in program history Baylor advanced to the postseason for three straight years.
Dunn was listed No. 9 among the nation's best scorers, while selected to finish as a second-team All-Big 12 pick.
"The Nightmare", Ekpe Udoh is one of Athlon's 20 impact transfers for 2009-10: "[This] defensive specialist led the Big Ten with 92 blocked shots as a sophomore, while adding 6.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. [Udoh] fills a need on a Baylor front line that lost both Kevin Rogers and Mamadou Diene."
Carter, Dennis, Dunn Spotlighted on ESPN's Big 12 Preview
The last few days have been rather quiet on the basketball-front here at FCP. But, college hoops is not all lost with the start of college football right around the corner...ESPN.com published its Big 12 Summer Shoot Around Wednesday. To summarize: The Big 12 is loaded with high expections as the league retained the majority of its star power (sans Oklahoma's Blake Griffin).
Here's what ESPN.com had to say about the Bears: Louisiana natives Tweety Carter and LaceDarius Dunn, the first McDonald's All-Americans to ever come to Baylor, will need to live up to their credentials for the Bears to continue to climb out of the ashes. Baylor loses the winningest class in school history, a class that included Curtis Jerrells. Help, however, is on the way in the form of a six-man recruiting class ranked in the top 25 nationally. It counts Nolan Dennis and A.J. Walton among its members.
Tweety Carter, who perhaps owns the best nickname is all of the land (save Baylor's own Quincy Acy, aka The Cookie Monster), is listed as one of ESPN.com writer Dana O'Neil's "10 Key Players" in 2009-10. And Nolan Dennis? Here's among the "10 Freshmen We Can't Wait to See."
To close, we'll leave you with Fran Fraschilla's Big 12 prediction: 7. BAYLOR:
The Bears are coming off back-to-back postseason appearances for only the second time in school history and represent one of college basketball's most miraculous rebuilding jobs. All coach Scott Drew has to do now is to replace the three 1,000-point scorers, Curtis Jerrells, Henry Dugat and Kevin Rogers, who laid the groundwork for the program. The good news is that Drew has some firepower returning in rising junior LaceDarius Dunn and solid 3-point shooter Tweety Carter. And Michigan transfer Ekpe Udoh will be a 6-10 force inside. The Bears caught a break late in the recruiting process when Dallas shooting guard Nolan Dennis (No. 44 overall in his class) was released from his letter of intent by Memphis after John Calipari left for Kentucky.