BAYLOR (10-5, 0-2) vs. TEXAS TECH (13-4, 2-0)
Jan. 13, 2007 Ferrell Center (Waco, Texas) 3:00 p.m. CST
RADIO: Baylor-ISP Sports Radio Network (ESPN/KRZI 1660AM Waco / Sirius Satellite ch. 161)
INTERNET AUDIO: live broadcast at BaylorBears.com
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Baylor attempts to snap a two-game conference losing streak Jan. 13 when it hosts Texas Tech at the Ferrell Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. CST and the game will be televised live via ESPN Plus syndicated stations (The CW in Waco/Temple/Bryan). Baylor is 10-5 (0-2 Big 12) and most recently dropped a 61-51 decision to No. 8 Texas A&M Tuesday. The young Bears, with nine freshmen and sophomores, are playing a full season and have a full allotment of scholarships for the first time in four years. Texas Tech is 13-4 (2-0) and riding a three-game winning streak including a 62-52 victory at Kansas State Monday. Baylor's win in the last matchup between the schools, a 77-66 win in Waco, snapped a six-game Texas Tech winning streak in the all-time series (that Tech leads 72-40).
BU has won 4 of its last 6 Big 12 home games dating to last season.
Baylor's 10 wins is the most in a season in Scott Drew's four seasons at the helm.
Baylor is 13-3 in last 16 home games (dating to last season), 9-2 in 2006-07.
Baylor is 7-1 this season when Curtis Jerrells scores in double-digits.
Tweety Carter leads Big 12 freshmen in 3-pointers made (33) & 3-point percentage (39.8%) and is 3rd in assists-per-game (2.6).
Mamadou Diene leads the Big 12 in blocks, averaging 2.2 per gm (34th nationally).
Baylor is scoring 78.7 ppg, 15.5 ppg more than last season (3rd in 12 rankings), the school's highest scoring average since the `94-95 squad averaged 81.2 ppg.
Kevin Rogers' 57.3% field goal shooting ranks 5th in Big 12 & 46th nationally.
Baylor is undefeated (15-0) in the Drew Era when scoring 80-plus points.
Baylor is 10-0 this season when leading or tied at the half.
Sophomore Kevin Rogers has more than doubled his scoring output from last season - 13.6 ppg up from 6.1 ppg - the 4th biggest increase among Big 12 players.
BU's quartet of sophomore starters (Diene, Dugat, Jerrells & Rogers; last season's "Freshman Four") accounts for 53% of Baylor's scoring and 59% of its rebounds.
Underclassmen have led BU in scoring in 52 of its last 60 games (dating to 2004-05) [in 31 of last 60 a freshman has been top scorer].
Aaron Bruce is averaging 4.0 points the last 3 games (12.0 points in first 12 gms).
BU's 1.09 assist-to-turnover ratio is the 2nd-highest in 29 years of records at school.
Injury Update: Mamadou Diene (knee tendonitis) is questionable for Saturday's game; Penny Thiam (torn ACL) is out for the season.
HEAD COACH Scott Drew
Scott Drew, in his fourth season at Baylor in what many have called the most daunting rebuilding project in college basketball history, owns a four-year mark of 31-58 at the school and a career record of 51-69 (five seasons). 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 TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS
Head Coach: Bob Knight (Ohio State, 1962); 882-354, 41 seasons
Series vs. Baylor: Tech leads 72-40
Last meeting: Baylor 77-66, March 1, 2006 in Waco
Streak: Baylor won 1 straight
Series in Waco: Baylor leads 26-25
Drew vs. Tech: 1-5
TECH NOTES: Texas Tech has won three straight games and is 2-0 in Big 12 Conference play... Head coach Bob Knight is the all-time winningest coach in NCAA Division I history (882 wins)... The Red Raiders returned four starters from last season's 15-17 squad... Tech is 5-3 away from Lubbock this season, but 4-0 in true road games... The Red Raiders are led by senior G Jarrius Jackson, who averages 21.1 points (third in Big 12) and 3.9 rebounds per game... Jackson shoots 50.6 percent on 3-pointers (third in Big 12) and plays a league-high 36.0 minutes per game... Tech boasts a conference-best 44.1 team 3-point percentage and a conference-low -2.8 rebounding margin... Baylor's win the last game snapped a six-game Tech winning streak in the series.
MOST WINS IN DREW ERA
This season's 10 wins represent the most for a Baylor (10-5) squad in four seasons under head coach Scott Drew. After taking over a program decimated by tragedy, player departures, depleted rosters and NCAA restrictions, Drew led the Bears to records of 8-21 (2003-04), 9-19 (2004-05) and 4-13 (2005-06). The 2002-03 Baylor squad finished 14-14 prior to Drew's arrival.
ESTABLISHING A HOME-COURT ADVANTAGE
The rebuilding Bears are quietly establishing a winning tradition at home in the Ferrell Center. Baylor is 13-3 in its last 16 games in Waco (dating back to last season).
BRUINS BOAST TALENTED BACKCOURT
Baylor's strength in 2006-07 lies in its talented pool of guards, including its trio of starters, Curtis Jerrells, Aaron Bruce and Henry Dugat; and reserve Tweety Carter (23.2 minutes off the bench). The four guards combine to score an average of 44.3 points a game. Bruce (2005) and Jerrells (2006) are former Freshmen All-Americans and true freshman Carter is the school's first-ever McDonald's All-American. Baylor's backcourt was listed among the nation's top 14 backcourts in The Sporting News preseason publication.
FULL ROSTER, FULL SCHEDULE
For the first time in four seasons since head coach Scott Drew was hired, Baylor has both a full allotment of scholarships available and a complete schedule to play. For three seasons the Bears have played through handicaps: in each of the first three years the program was playing with scholarship limits; last season, the Bears were stripped of playing a non-conference schedule (all results of sanctions brought on by the previous coaching staff). In 2006-07 Baylor has 13 scholarships available and is playing a full schedule.
OFFENSIVE PRODUCTION UP
Baylor is third in the Big 12 in scoring (26th nationally), averaging 78.7 points per game - up 15.5 points from last season and the highest team scoring average since 1994-95 (when the Bears scored an average 81.2 points).
MORE TEAM BALANCE (SCORING/MINUTES PLAYED)
A byproduct of Baylor's increased depth and talent is a more balanced team, evidenced by balanced scoring and fewer minutes played. Five Bears average double-digits in scoring, the five average between 10.3 and 13.6 points. Only one Baylor player averages more than 30 minutes played per game: sophomore G Curtis Jerrells, 31.1 mpg.
NO SOPHOMORE SLUMP FOR LAST SEASON'S "FRESHMAN FOUR" Baylor is powered by its nucleus of youth, namely a quartet of sophomore starters which as rookies in 2005-06 was nicknamed the "Freshman Four": Mamadou Diene, Henry Dugat, Curtis Jerrells and Kevin Rogers. As freshmen the quartet combined to account for nearly half of the team's points, rebounds and assists. This season the sophomores have increased that production (percentages below).
DIENE, DUGAT, JERRELLS & ROGERS % of Team's: Pts Reb. Asst. Freshmen in 2005-06 46% (496/1,074) 51% (252/493) 49% (92/186) Sophomores in 2006-07 53% (628/1,181)59% (295/503) 49% (120/244)
MR. ROGERS BECOMING A FORCE
Bears' leading scorer and rebounder Kevin Rogers ranks among the Big 12 leaders in several statistical categories. The sophomore forward leads Baylor in scoring (13.6 ppg, 15th in Big 12) and rebounding (6.6 rpg, 11th in Big 12) and ranks fifth in the Big 12 in shooting (57.3% FGs), ninth in free throw shooting (78.4%) and 13th in blocks (1.13 bpg). As a frosh in 2005-06, Rogers averaged 6.1 points and 5.1 rebounds off the bench.
CARTER AMONG BIG 12 FRESHMEN LEADERS
Despite playing just 23.3 minutes per game off the bench, true freshman G Tweety Carter leads all Big 12 freshmen in 3-pointers and is third in assists. Carter's 33 3-pointers and 39.8 3-point shooting percentage top all freshmen, and his 2.6 assists-per-game is third. Carter, Baylor's first-ever McDonalds All-America signee, is averaging 10.3 points per game. He was named the Big 12 Rookie of the Week Dec. 18 after scoring 31 points in a loss at No. 23 Syracuse (Carter hit seven 3-pointers off the bench). The 31-points was the most by a BU player since 2004-05, when then-freshman Aaron Bruce scored 33 vs. Oklahoma State (2-5-05). The seven 3-pointers is the fourth-most single-game total in school history.
DUGAT'S NUMBERS UP
Henry Dugat has improved his statistical output in his sophomore season. Through 15 games (his first 15 career starts), the guard is second on the team with 12.0 points per game and shooting 43 percent (28-for-65) on 3-pointers. As a freshman in 2005-06, Dugat averaged 7.2 points and 24.3 minutes per game off the bench.
MAYOR DIENE SLOWED BY INJURY, STILL BIG 12's TOP SHOT-BLOCKER
Mamadou Diene, a seven-foot sophomore from Senegal, is averaging 5.8 points, 5.5 rebounds [17th in Big 12] and 2.2 blocks [leads Big 12, 34th nationally] despite playing through ankle and knee injuries the last three games (52 minutes played over team's last six games). Diene led the Big 12 in blocks as a freshman, averaging 2.21 in 2005-06 and his 2.37 career figure is second all-time at Baylor behind only current Milwaukee Buck Brian Skinner's 3.36 average (1994-98). Diene has recorded 19 multi-block games. The 19-year-old Diene, referred to as "The Mayor" by the Baylor coaching staff due to his huge popularity across campus, has gained more than 55 pounds since his arrival in the United States in Jan. 2005 weighing 197 pounds.
VETERAN BRUCE LEADING THE BEARS
Third-year guard Aaron Bruce, Baylor's veteran-most player with only 60 career games played, is averaging 10.4 points and 4.2 assists [eighth in Big 12] through 15 games. His 1.85 assist-to-turnover ratio is ninth in the Big 12. Bruce's 83.4 career free throw percentage is the best in school history (ninth all-time in Big 12 history) and his 39.4 career 3-point percentage ranks fourth all-time. The junior, rated the nation's 11th-best point guard by The Sporting News preseason publication, spent the offseason playing for the Australian national team at the 2006 FIBA World Championships in Japan. Bruce averaged 13.1 points during an injury-riddled sophomore campaign last season and averaged 18.2 points in 2004-05 when he led the nation's freshmen in scoring and was named a freshman All-American.
JERRELLS BUILDING ON STELLAR FRESHMAN SEASON
Curtis Jerrells, who is averaging 11.6 points and 4.0 assists [ninth in Big 12] in a team-high 31.1 minutes, is coming off a rookie season in which he led the team in scoring (13.5 ppg), assists (3.3 apg), steals (1.4 spg) and minutes (33.4 mpg) and was named a Freshman All-American. Jerrells is projected a preseason All-Big 12 selection by Lindy's, USA TODAY and ESPN.com. He has also been named the Big 12's "Most Underrated Player" by both Athlon and The Sporting News preseason publications.
DUGAT & ROGERS AMONG BIG 12's MOST IMPROVED SCORERS
Sophomores Henry Dugat and Kevin Rogers have each nearly doubled their scoring output from their freshman season in 2005-06. Both players are also among the Big 12's most improved scorers from last season: Rogers averages 7.5 more points than last season (fourth in Big 12) and Dugat averages 4.8 more (12th in Big 12).
LAST TIME OUT: No. 8 TEXAS A&M 61 - BAYLOR 51
A five-point second-half lead didn't hold up as Baylor dropped a 61-51 decision to No. 8 Texas A&M at the Ferrell Center. The Bears led 39-34 when Curtis Jerrells hit a 3-pointer off an inbounds pass from Tweety Carter with 13 minutes left. Texas A&M then went on a 7-2 run to tie the score at 41 at the 11:28 mark. Two free throws by Baylor's Patrick Fields gave the Bears a 43-41 with 10:48 to go. The Aggies hit two free throws and a layup with 10:07 remaining to take a 45-43 lead they wouldn't relinquish. The Bears were within 50-47 with three minutes left until Acie Law drove for consecutive layups. Kevin Rogers, who finished with 19 points and nine rebounds, scored 13 points after halftime, including the first two Baylor baskets to tie the game at 28. Jerrells had 11 points and Carter had 10 for the Bears. Baylor led 14-12 after Rogers hit a long jumper from the top of the key midway through the first half. The Bears then had a chance to add to that lead when Jerrells had a steal and passed to Fields for a breakaway layup - but Donald Sloan got back and drew a charging foul. Sloan then hit a 3-pointer and Law added another 3 in an 8-1 run that pushed the Aggies ahead for the rest of the half. Jerrells cut Baylor's halftime deficit to 26-24 when he made a free throw with 3.9 seconds left, then grabbed the rebound of his miss on the second and made a 12-foot jumper.
THE LAST MEETING: BAYLOR 77 - TEXAS TECH 66 [March 1, 2006]
Down 29-26 at the half, Aaron Bruce took over in the second half for Baylor and pushed the team to a 77-66 win over Texas Tech on Senior Night at the Ferrell Center. The win avenged a 79-61 loss to the Red Raiders in Lubbock on Jan. 11, the Bears' first game of their abbreviated season. Bruce, who scored just three points on two field goal attempts in the first half, exploded for 25 points in the second half to lead Baylor to the win. Bruce finished with 28 points on 6-for-7 3-point shots with seven rebounds. Texas Tech scored five straight points to open the second half and take a 34-26 lead. But the Bears responded with a 14-7 run and took a 43-41 lead on Bruce's 3-pointer with 12 minutes remaining. Though the Red Raiders stayed close, the Bears never trailed again. With Bruce burying another 3-pointer and an outside jumper and senior Kevis Shipman hitting a layup, the Bears opened up a 57-47 lead with 7:56 remaining. Patrick Fields scored 14 points and Curtis Jerrells added 11 points and helped put the game away with six straight free throws down the stretch. Baylor made 10 of 10 free throw attempts in the final 1:30 to seal the win. Freshman center Mamadou Diene played just 16 minutes because of foul trouble, but his stretch of play in the second half before fouling out was crucial. He had six points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots. The contest marked the final home game for seniors Shipman and Tommy Swanson. Swanson finished with 11 points. Freshman guard Henry Dugat missed his second straight game with an undisclosed medical condition.
MILESTONES & RECORDS WATCH
Aaron Bruce ranks 1st on Baylor's career free throw percentage list (.834).
Henry Dugat ranks 3rd on Baylor's career 3-point percentage list (.398).
Tweety Carter ranks 8th on Baylor's single-season 3-point percentage list (.398).
Aaron Bruce ranks 4th on Baylor's career 3-point percentage list (.393).
Pat Fields ranks 7th on Baylor's career 3-point percentage list (.379).
Mamadou Diene ranks 2nd on Baylor's career blocks-per-game list (2.21).
Aaron Bruce ranks 7th on Baylor's career assists-per-game list (3.72).
Aaron Bruce is 5 made 3-pointers shy of 4th place and 6 shy of 3rd place (139, Willie Sublett No. 4 with 144, Wendell Greenleaf No. 3 with 145) on Baylor's career 3-point field goal list.
Mamadou Diene is 1 block shy of moving into 8th place and 4 shy of 7th place (64 blocks, Tommy Swanson & Jamie Kendrick No. 8 with 65, Lawrence Roberts No. 7 with 68) on Baylor's career blocks list.
Aaron Bruce is 11 assists shy of entering Baylor's career top 10 assists list (223, Roddrick Miller No. 10 with 234).
INJURIES: DIENE QUESTIONABLE, THIAM OUT
Through 15 games five different Baylor players have missed a total of 30 games due to injuries. Currently nursing injury is sophomore C Mamadou Diene, who is battling a knee (tendonitis) injury and is questionable to play Tuesday. Freshman F Djibril "Penny" Thiam sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the win over Texas Southern Nov. 20 and is out for the season.
FERRELL CENTER'S 19th YEAR
The Bears are in their 19th season in the beautiful Ferrell Center this year. Baylor is 9-2 at home in 2006-07 and owns a 163-115 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.
BEARS STILL YOUNG
Despite returning 11 of last season's 13 players, the Bears are still a relatively young squad in 2006-07. Baylor's roster includes just two seniors and three juniors compared to nine freshmen and sophomores. Junior Aaron Bruce is the team's leader in career games played with 60. [Note: Underclassmen have led Baylor in scoring in 52 of its last 60 games (over the last three seasons); in 31 of those 60 a freshman has been top scorer.]
BEARS RETURN PRODUCTION NUMBERS
In 2006-07 Baylor returns four-of-five starters, 11-of-13s roster players and a great majority of its production, statistically speaking. The Bears return 87.6 percent of last season's points, 84.7 percent of rebounds and 93.5 percent of assists.
FRESHMAN CLASS RATED 17th NATIONALLY
Baylor's 2006 signee class was rated the nation's 17th-best class by Rivals.com and is made up of a trio of freshman, all top-100 national recruits. The signees include Demond "Tweety" Carter of Reserve Christian School (Reserve, La.), Josh Lomers of Boerne (Texas) High School and Djibril "Penny" Thiam of Stoneridge Prep (Tarzana, Calif.).
Baylor's 14-man, 2006-07 roster boasts 10 Americans and four players from overseas. The four international student-athletes include junior Aaron Bruce (native of Australia), sophomore Mamadou Diene (native of Senegal), redshirt freshman Jari Vanttaja (native of Finland) and true freshman Djibril "Penny" Thiam (native of Senegal).
EARLY 2007 SIGNEES
Baylor signed two players in the early signing period, LaceDarius Dunn of Monroe, La., and Fred Ellis of Sacramento, Calif. Dunn, a senior at Excelsior Christian School, is the highest-rated Baylor signee in recent memory. Dunn is rated the No. 18 recruit nationally by Scout.com's Dave Telep. Other national ratings include: No. 27 by Hoopmasters.com, No. 29 by HoopScoop.com and No. 33 by Rivals.com. A 6-4 shooting guard, Dunn was rated the No. 5 player at the 2006 Adidas Superstar Camp in Atlanta by USA TODAY. He is rated the nation's fifth-best shooting guard by Scout.com and the No. 7 shooting guard by Rivals.com. Dunn is a two-time, first-team all-state honoree who guided ECS to a 35-4 record as a junior in 2005-06, averaging 27.7 points, 13 rebounds and 4.2 assists. Dunn led Excelsior Christian to the Class C state title and a 47-2 record as a sophomore in 2004-05. Ellis is a senior at Sacramento High School in Sacramento, Calif. He was called the "biggest sleeper" recruit of the summer by Telep at Scout.com. A 6-7 wing, Ellis led SHS to a 29-6 overall record and an 11-1 conference mark as a junior in 2005-06. Sacramento lost in the SJS-Div. III championship game. Ellis averaged 7.8 points and 5.1 rebounds. Ellis was invited to the Super 100 Basketball Camp in Berkeley last summer.
BAYLOR EARLY SIGNEES: Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown (Schools) LaceDarius Dunn G 6-4 190 Fr. Monroe, La. (Excelsior Christian School) Fred Ellis F 6-7 190 Fr. Sacramento, Calif. (Sacramento HS)
Baylor begins a two-game road stretch Wednesday, Jan. 17, when it faces Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan. The game is scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m. CST at Bramlage Coliseum.