BAYLOR (11-2) vs. BROWN (8-5)
Jan. 8, 2008 Ferrell Center (Waco, Texas) 7:00 p.m. CST
RADIO: Baylor-ISP Sports Radio Network (ESPN/KRZI 1660AM Waco / Sirius Satellite ch. 161)
INTERNET AUDIO: live broadcast at BaylorBears.com
TELEVISION: FSN Southwest (in state of Texas)
INTERNET VIDEO: none
LIVE STATS: live GameTracker stats at BaylorBears.com
Baylor concludes the non-conference portion of its schedule Tuesday, Jan. 8, when it hosts Brown at the Ferrell Center. The game is scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m. and will be televised live within the state of Texas on FSN Southwest. The Bears are 11-2 and coming off an 85-78 loss to Arkansas last Saturday. The Brown is 8-5 and coming off a 68-55 home win over American last Friday. Tuesday's game is the first-ever meeting between Brown and Baylor.
Tuesday's contest marks Baylor's second ever game vs. an Ivy League opponent (lost to Princeton in 1991).
Baylor's 11-2 start is its best since the Bears began 12-1 in 2000-01.
Baylor is 23-7 in it last 30 games in Waco (dating to 2005-06).
BU has shot 25% or lower from 3-point line in 3 of last 4 games (shot 43.3% in season's first 9 games).
BU is 11-0 this season when totaling a higher FG% than its opponents and 0-2 when not. In the Drew Era, BU is 43-7 when outshooting its opponents and 4-64 when not.
Bears are 73-23 over last 8 seasons in regular-season, non-league play.
BU has posted a 108-81 assist-to-turnover mark over the last 7 games (6-1 record).
Baylor has used the same starting lineup in all 13 games this season.
10 current BU players average 10 minutes or more & none average more than 30.
Henry Dugat is averaging 18.3 ppg, 3.0 apg & shooting 54.1% the last 3 games.
Aaron Bruce ranks 11th on BU's all-time scoring list (1,197 career points).
Baylor won the 2007 Paradise Jam, its first non-hosted tourney title since 1971.
Baylor is 25-1 in the Drew Era when scoring 80-plus points.
BEST START SINCE...
Baylor's 11-2 record is its best start under head coach Scott Drew
and is the school's best start since the 2000-01 squad started the season 12-1.
HEAD COACH Scott Drew
Scott Drew, in his fifth season at Baylor in what many have called the most daunting rebuilding project in college basketball history, owns a four-year mark of 47-71 at the school and a career record of 67-82 (six seasons). Drew's 47 wins rank ninth on Baylor's all-time coaching victories list (in eighth place on the list is Frank Bridges with 51 career victories). Prior to Baylor, Drew spent 10 seasons at Valparaiso, the last as head coach after nine seasons as an assistant to his father Homer. During his decade at Valpo, the Crusaders earned six NCAA Tournament berths, including five straight from 1996-2000. An outstanding recruiter, Drew is responsible for five national Top-20 recruiting classes over the last eight years (No. 17 in 2006, No. 11 in 2005 and No. 10 in 2004 at Baylor; No. 6 in 2001 and No. 13 in 1999 at Valpo). He was named the 1998-99 National Recruiter of the Year by Court Vision.
THE BROWN BEARS
Head Coach: Craig Robinson (Princeton, 1983); 19-23, 2 seasons
Series vs. Baylor: never met
Last meeting: never met
Series in Waco: 0-0
Drew vs. Brown: 0-0
Baylor vs. Ivy League: 0-1
BROWN NOTES: Brown (8-5) is located in Providence, R.I., and is a member of the Ivy League... The Bears are 5-3 on the road this season, including wins at Eastern Michigan and Northwestern... Brown has won six of its last eight games... Baylor and Brown share one common opponent, Notre Dame; Baylor defeated the Irish 68-64 and Brown dropped an 87-54 decision... The Bears are led by senior G Damon Huffman, who averages 16.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and shoots 45.7 percent on 3-pointers... Senior G Mark McAndrew is the only other player in double-figures in scoring, averaging 15.5 points as well as 5.4 rebounds per game.
BEARS CONTINUE MASSIVE REBUILDING PROCESS
The 2007-08 season is head coach Scott Drew's fifth at Baylor as he continues the unprecedented overhaul he began in 2003. After taking over a program decimated by tragedy, player departures, depleted rosters and NCAA restrictions, Drew recruited a solid foundation of high school players that after earning valuable playing experience is showing progress. After posting 15 wins (the highest win total at Baylor in six seasons) last season (the first in the Drew Era without restrictions), this year's squad is 11-2.
CUTTING DOWN ON TURNOVERS
Baylor has cut down on its team turnovers recently, totaling more than 11 turnovers just once over the last five games (4-1 record). For the season the Bears are averaging 13.5 turnovers per game, down from a 14.5 turnover average last season.
BAYLOR'S BACKCOURT: "IN GUARDS WE TRUST"
Baylor's strength in 2007-08 once again lies in its talented backcourt. The Bears utilize a rotation of five guards that each average 20-plus minutes per game. The quintet is made up of four veterans; senior Aaron Bruce (10.5 ppg, 23.3 mpg), juniors Curtis Jerrells (14.5 ppg, 29.2 mpg) and Henry Dugat (10.7 ppg, 24.4 mpg) and sophomore Tweety Carter (9.5 ppg, 22.9 mpg); and heralded true freshman LaceDarius Dunn (11.8 ppg, 20.5 mpg). The fivesome combines for an average 56.2 points and 15.5 rebounds per game and shoots 39.1 percent on 3-pointers.
BEARS TURN COLD ON OUTSIDE SHOOTING
After shooting 43.3 percent as a team from 3-point distance through the season's first nine games, Baylor has shot better than 25.0 percent on 3-pointers just once over the last four games. In that four-game span Baylor has a team shooting percentage of 30.0 and has seen its season percentage drop to 38.9 percent (ranks fourth in the Big 12, 19th nationally, and is on pace to top the school record of 38.5 percent [90-234] recorded in 1986-87).
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE SHOOTING PERCENTAGE
One significant statistical indicator to Baylor's success in winning games is field goal percentage, offensively and defensively. This season, Baylor is a perfect 11-0 when totaling a higher shooting percentage than it opponents and conversely, is 0-2 when its opponents shoot a higher percentage. Further, in five seasons under Scott Drew Baylor has accumulated a 43-7 record when outshooting opponents and a 4-64 record when being outshot by opponents.
COMEBACK WINS OVER QUALITY OPPONENTS
Baylor is a perfect 3-0 this season when trailing at halftime. Included in those three come-from-behind victories is a 14-point rally against Notre Dame and a 20-point comeback win at South Carolina.
BAYLOR vs. NON-CONFERENCE FOES
Baylor boasts a 73-23 record over the last eight seasons in regular-season, non-league play (11-2 in non-conference this season).
ESTABLISHING A HOME-COURT ADVANTAGE
The Bears are quietly establishing a winning tradition at home in the Ferrell Center. Baylor is 23-6 in its last 28 games in Waco (dating to 2005-06). The Bears are 6-1 at the Ferrell Center this season.
JERRELLS POWERS BEARS
Curtis Jerrells is leading the Bears in scoring (14.5 ppg, 10th in Big 12), assists (3.6 apg, 7th in Big 12) and minutes (29.2 mpg) for the third straight season. The junior guard has started all 61 career games since arriving at Baylor, was named Big 12 Player of the Week Nov. 19 and took home tournament MVP honors after leading Baylor to the championship of the 2007 Paradise Jam in November. Jerrells is a preseason Cousy Award candidate and projected a preseason All-Big 12 selection by the league coaches, Athlon and Lindy's. His 36.4 percent career 3-point percentage ranks 10th in school history.
VETERAN LEADER BRUCE CONTINUES CLIMB UP RECORD CHARTS
Senior Aaron Bruce is averaging 10.5 points and continues his climb up the school's career scoring list. Bruce, Baylor's veteran-most player with 87 career games played, currently stands 11th all-time with 1,197 career points. He leads the team in free throw percentage (81.8%) and steals (1.5 spg, 13th in Big 12). The guard was selected a preseason All-Rolls Royce (All-American) fourth team selection by ESPN.com's Dick Vitale and was named the Big 12's "Best Leader" by the Sporting News preseason publication prior to his final season in Waco. Bruce's 39.8 career 3-point percentage ranks third in school history and his 81.7 career free throw percentage ranks fifth all-time.
MR. ROGERS BUILDING ON BREAKOUT SOPHOMORE SEASON
Junior forward Kevin Rogers is averaging 11.9 points and a team-high 6.6 rebounds (10th in Big 12) this season. He has recorded four double-doubles, has seven blocks and is shooting 55.4 percent from the field (fifth in Big 12). Rogers was named the Big 12 Player of the Week Dec. 24 after averaging 16.5 points and 11.0 rebounds while leading Baylor to road wins at South Carolina and Southern. He was named to the 2007 Big 12 All-Improved team following a sophomore season in which he doubled his scoring average (12.8 from 6.1 ppg) and nearly doubled his rebounding average from his freshman season (7.6 from 4.0 rpg).
HERALDED FRESHMAN DUNN MAKING IMMEDIATE IMPACT
True freshman G LaceDarius Dunn of Monroe, La., is second on the team in scoring (11.8 ppg) and is third in rebounds (4.3 rpg) through 12 games of his collegiate career. Dunn was named the Big 12 Rookie of the Week Nov. 26 after leading Baylor to wins over Winthrop (in the Paradise Jam championship) and Centenary. He scored a career-high 24 points in Baylor's upset win at South Carolina. Dunn is the highest-rated Baylor signee in recent memory (rated the nation's No. 24 recruit by Scout.com). He was named the "Best Perimeter Scorer" among incoming Big 12 newcomers by Rivals.com. He was a three-time all-state player and two-time class MVP in Louisiana who led Excelsior Christian School to a 118-9 record and one state championship over his final three prep seasons. Dunn was rated the nation's No. 6 shooting guard prospect by Scout.com and the nation's No. 8 wing guard by Hoopmasters.com.
`THE MAYOR' HITTING HIS STRIDE AFTER ANKLE REHAB
Mamadou Diene, a seven-foot junior from Senegal, has averaged 12.5 minutes in six games played since returning from an Oct. 25 procedure to repair a chronic stress fracture in his ankle (had started all 43 games played in his freshman and sophomore seasons). Diene has recorded 86 career blocks and his 1.76 career blocks per game total is second all-time at Baylor behind only current Phoenix Suns Brian Skinner's 3.36 average (1994-98). Diene is referred to as "The Mayor" due to his huge popularity across campus.
PARADISE JAM CHAMPS
Baylor earned the 2007 Paradise Jam championship with an impressive three-game run Nov. 16-19 in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Bears defeated Wichita State (64-55), Notre Dame (68-64) and Winthrop (62-54) to earn the title at the eighth annual tournament. Baylor overcame second-half deficits in both the semis (down 10 to N.D) and the final (down six to Winthrop) to earn the title. Curtis Jerrells was named the tournament MVP after leading the Bears with 17.7 points and 7.0 rebounds per game and Aaron Bruce also earned a spot on the all-tournament team. The title marked Baylor's first in-season tournament championship (excluding the Baylor-hosted Dr Pepper Invitational) since winning the 1971 Holiday Classic in Las Vegas, Nev. (last eight-team tournament title was the 1968 East Carolina Classic in Greenville, N.C.).
BAYLOR'S SUMMER TOUR TO CANCUN
Baylor spent Labor Day weekend 2007 on a basketball tour to Cancun, Mexico. The four-day trip included two exhibition games as well as sun and fun for the Bears. Baylor beat Belize Tuff E Nuff 115-47 Sept. 1, before defeating the hometown Mexican professional team Quintana Roo 91-57 Sept. 2. Both games were played in Cancun's sweltering Kuchil-Baxal Gymnasium. The Bears were led in scoring both games by junior Henry Dugat, who totaled 25 and 20 points over the weekend. Aside from the games, the players and travel party enjoyed swimming, jet skiing, fishing and shopping on the Yucatan Peninsula.
LAST TIME OUT: ARKANSAS 85 - BAYLOR 78
Cold shooting from the perimeter ruined Baylor's upset bid in an 85-78 loss to Arkansas at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Baylor hit just three of 20 3-pointers, including an 0-for-8 night from leading scorer Curtis Jerrells, while the Razorbacks shot 60 percent (9 for 15) in the win.
The game was tied at 70 with 6:08 left when Arkansas' Charles Thomas moved in front of a charging Tweety Carter, who passed the ball to Delbert Simpson for an ally-oop slam. But Carter was called for a foul and the basket wiped out.
Thomas then made two free throws, and stretched the Hogs' lead to 74-70 a minute later when he drove inside for a tough one-handed shot.
Baylor was still within a basket with a minute to go, but Jerrells missed two 3-pointers and Carter came up short on another.
Sonny Weems, who had consecutive 3-pointers to tie the game at 55 with about 8 minutes left after Arkansas had fallen behind by nine, made four free throws in the final 19 seconds to clinch the game.
Jerrells led Baylor with 18 points while Henry Dugat had 14. Kevin Rogers and Carter had 10 each. The Bears shot 61 percent (20-of-33) before halftime, but only 28 percent (11-of-39) after that.
The Bears led 48-41 at halftime after a 17-4 run over the final 6 minutes of the first half.
LOTS OF BIG 12 HONORS
Baylor players have received three weekly Big 12 honors this season (in seven weeks of awards), the matching the school's highest single-season total (also three awards in 2001-02). Baylor has earned two player of the week awards and one rookie of the week award:
Curtis Jerrells, Big 12 Player of the Week, Nov. 19, 2007
Jerrells was honored after leading Baylor to wins over Wichita State and Notre Dame at the Paradise Jam tournament. He averaged 20.0 points and 7.5 rebounds in the two victories and shot 54 percent from the 3-point line and 92 percent from the free throw line.
LaceDarius Dunn, Big 12 Rookie of the Week, Nov. 26, 2007
Dunn was honored after leading the Bears to to wins over Winthrop (in the championship game of the Paradise Jam) and Centenary. Dunn set then-career-highs for points with 17 in each game, shooting a combined 13-of-20 (.650) from the floor off the bench. He also shot 5-of-10 on 3-pointers and averaged 5.5 rebounds.
Kevin Rogers, Big 12 Player of the Week, Dec. 24, 2007
Rogers was honored after leading the Bears to two road victories at South Carolina and Southern that snapped a 25-game losing streak in true road games. He averaged 16.5 points and 11.0 rebounds and registered two double-doubles. Rogers had a 12-point, 12-rebound double-double vs. USC and scored a game-high 21 points in a win at Southern.
THIAM LEAVES PROGRAM
Redshirt freshman Djibril Thiam left the Baylor basketball program in early December with the intent of transferring to another school. Thiam played in each of the season's first seven games, averaging 2.7 points and 4.1 rebounds in 17.3 minutes per game. The second-year wing from Dakar, Senegal, played in four games as a true freshman in 2006-07 before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Thiam left Baylor with career totals of 26 points (2.4 ppg) and 34 rebounds (3.1 rpg) in 11 games played.
MOST EXPERIENCED BEAR SQUAD IN YEARS
For the first time in years, Baylor took the court in 2007-08 with a predominantly upperclassman, experienced team. After several seasons of young, inexperienced teams, the Bears returned nine lettermen, including seven lettermen with multiple letters. The roster includes two seniors, five juniors, two sophomores and three freshmen. Veteran Aaron Bruce is the just the fourth four-year senior to play at BU in the last eight seasons. Baylor's '07-08 returnees entered the season with a combined 246 career starts under their collective belts, the highest such number at the school in over a decade.
BEARS RETURN HIGH PRODUCTION NUMBERS
Baylor in 2007-08 returned all five starters, nine of 12 roster players and nearly all of its statistical production. The Bears return 90.6 percent of last season's points, 86.9 percent of rebounds and 94.5 percent of assists.
FERRELL CENTER'S 20th YEAR
The Bears are in their 20th season in the beautiful Ferrell Center this year. Baylor is 6-1 at home in 2007-08 and owns a 173-119 all-time record in the arena, which opened in November 1988. The Ferrell Center is a golden-domed structure that seats 10,284 for basketball games.
EARLY 2009 SIGNEES
Baylor signed two players in the early signing period, Anthony Jones of Houston (Texas) Yates High School and Russian Artem Valov of Three Rivers Community College. Jones, a senior at Yates, is rated 46th nationally by Rivals.com and is a consensus top-70 recruit. He is rated No. 51 by Hoopmasters.com and No. 62 by Scout.com. Jones averaged 14 points and 12 rebounds last season as a junior for a Yates squad that finished 25-8 in 2006-07. A 6-10 forward, Jones is rated No. 8 among the nation's forwards by Rivals.com and ranked as the fourth-best recruit in the state by TexasHoops.com. Valov is a junior college sophomore who was recently named a preseason NJCAA first-team All-American. He is rated the No. 12 junior college recruit nationally by Rivals.com's JucoJunction.com. The 6-9 forward helped lead Three Rivers to a 26-11 record and into the second round of the NJCAA tournament. Valov was named to the 2007 NJCAA All-Tournament team. Valov finished his freshman season with averages of 14.0 points and 7.2 rebounds.
Baylor lost just three lettermen from its 2006-07 roster: three-year forwards Tim Bush (6.3 ppg) and Patrick Fields (3.0 ppg) and one-year forward Jari Vanttaja (0.9 ppg).
Baylor opens its Big 12 Conference schedule by hosting Iowa State Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Ferrell Center. The game is scheduled to tip off at 5 p.m. CST and will be televised live nationally on ESPN Classic.