BAYLOR (16-4, 4-2) vs. TEXAS TECH (12-8, 3-3)
Feb. 6, 2008 Ferrell Center (Waco, Texas) 8:00 p.m. CST
PDF of complete Game Notes & Stats
RADIO: Baylor-ISP Sports Radio Network (ESPN/KRZI 1660AM Waco / Sirius Satellite ch. 161)
INTERNET AUDIO: live broadcast at BaylorBears.com
TELEVISION: ESPNU (ESPN in ACC region)
INTERNET VIDEO: none
LIVE STATS: live GameTracker stats at BaylorBears.com
Baylor hosts Texas Tech Wednesday, Feb. 6, at the Ferrell Center. The game, scheduled to tip off at 8 p.m. CST, will be televised live nationally on ESPNU (on ESPN in ACC region). Baylor is 16-4 (4-2 in the Big 12) and has lost two straight, most recently an 80-72 defeat to No. 10 Saturday at Austin. Texas Tech is 12-8, 3-3 and coming off a 67-60 win over Oklahoma State at home Saturday. Tech will be playing its first game under new head coach Pat Knight. Baylor is 9-2 at home this season; the Red Raiders are 1-6 in true road games. The Bears have won two straight vs. Tech in Waco.
Baylor has won its last two games vs. Texas Tech in Waco.
Baylor is 4-1 in its last 5 nationally televised games.
Baylor's 16-4 record is its best 20-game start since the `47-48 Bears began 16-4 en route to a 24-8 record, SWC championship & the national title game (runners up).
Aaron Bruce has averaged 17.5 points, 3.3 assists and shot 48.9% on 3s in 6 career games vs. Texas Tech.
4-2 is Baylor's best start in Big 12 play since opening 5-1 in 1997-98.
BU's 16 wins surpasses last season's win total & marks the most wins in Drew Era; also most wins since winning 19 in 2000-01 (last postseason berth; NIT).
In conference play, BU leads the Big 12 in scoring (80.7 ppg), free throw shooting (77.3%), 3-pointers (8.5/gm), rebounds (42.2 rpg) & blocks (6.2 bpg).
5 Baylor players average double-figures in scoring.
Baylor leads the Big 12 (20th nationally) with 9.0 3-pointers per game.
Baylor's 73.4 free throw % leads the Big 12 (44th nationally).
BU's 38.9 3FG% ranks fourth in Big 12, 44th nationally & is on pace to break the school record (38.5% '86-87).
BU is 14-0 this season when totaling a higher FG% than its opponents and 2-4 when not. In the Drew Era, BU is 46-7 when outshooting its opponents and 6-66 when not.
Baylor is 6-1 this season when trailing at the half.
Baylor is 5-0 in its last 5 overtime games (since 2003).
Baylor has used the same starting lineup in all 20 games this season.
10 current BU players average between 10.0 minutes & 30.7 minutes.
Baylor's 12 pre-conference wins mark the most in school history.
Henry Dugat ranks 11th in scoring (14.5 ppg), 3rd in steals (2.0 spg) & 3rd in 3-point shooting percentage (48.0%) in Big 12 games.
LaceDarius Dunn's 42.7 3-point % (2nd in Big 12) is top all-time for a BU freshman.
Mamadou Diene leads the Big 12 with a 2.5 blocks average in conference games.
Aaron Bruce ranks 7th on BU's all-time scoring list (1,279 career points).
Mamadou Diene is the Big 12's active leader in career blocks in league games (62).
Baylor won the 2007 Paradise Jam, its first non-hosted tourney title since 1971.
MILESTONES & RECORDS WATCH
is 4 coaching wins shy of moving into 7th place (52, Harry Miller No. 7 with 56) on Baylor's career coaching victories list.
is 4 blocks shy of moving into 2nd place (102, Willie Sublett No. 2 with 106) on Baylor's career blocks list.
is 19 points shy of becoming the 20th Baylor player to reach the 1,000-point club (981)
is 8 assists shy of moving into 6th place (300, Vinnie Johnson No. 6 with 308) on Baylor's career assists list.
SURPASSED LAST SEASON'S WIN TOTAL
The Bears' 16 wins in 2007-08 are the most in the Drew Era (surpassing last season's 15) and mark the most at Baylor since the 2000-01 squad finished 19-12 (last BU team to participate in postseason; first round of NIT).
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 52-73 at the school and a career record of 72-84 (six seasons). Drew's 52 wins rank eighth on Baylor's all-time coaching victories list (in seventh place on the list is Harry Miller with 56 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 TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS
Head Coach: Pat Knight (Indiana, 1995); 0-0, first season
Series vs. Baylor: Tech leads 73-41
Last meeting: Tech 85-74, Feb. 28, 2007 at Lubbock
Streak: Tech won 1 straight
Series in Waco: Baylor leads 27-25
Drew vs. Tech: 2-6
TECH NOTES: Texas Tech will play its first game with new head coach Pat Knight at the helm, after Monday's resignation of Pat's father Bob Knight... Pat Knight spent one season as head coach of the IBA's Wisconsin Blast and has served as an assistant at Akron, Indiana and Texas Tech... The Red Raiders are led by senior G/F Martin Zeno, who averages 16.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game... The Raiders have lost their last two games in Waco, and trail 27-25 to Baylor on the Bears' home court... Tech is 1-6 in true road games this season.
BEST STARTS SINCE...
OVERALL: Baylor's 16-4 record is its best 20-game start since the 1947-48 squad opened 16-4 en route to a 24-8 record, SWC championship and a place in the national championship game (runners up) [`47-48 Bears won 21st game].
BIG 12: Baylor's 4-2 record in Big 12 play is its best six-game start in league play since the 1997-98 Bears began 5-1 in the conference's second season ('97-98 squad lost seventh game before finishing 8-8, BU's best record in 11 previous Big 12 seasons).
BEARS CONTINUE MASSIVE REBUILDING PROCESS
The 2007-08 season is head coach Scott Drew's fifth in the unprecedented overhaul that began at Baylor in 2003. After taking over a program decimated by tragedy, player departures, depleted rosters and NCAA restrictions, Drew has slowly and methodically turned the program around by recruiting a solid foundation of talented high school players that, after earning valuable playing experience, are posting impressive results. After fighting their way to a 15-16 record last season (the first in the Drew Era without restrictions), the Bears have run off a 16-4 record this season, including a 4-2 mark in the Big 12.
BRUCE ALMIGHTY JOINS ELITE BAYLOR TRIO IN CAREER POINTS & ASSISTS
Aaron Bruce recently recorded his 300th career assist and became just the fourth Baylor player in school history to top 1,000 points (1,279) and 300 assists (300), joining Bear greats Vinnie Johnson (1,231/308), David Wesley (1,224/316) and Micheal Williams (1,854/464).
BAYLOR'S BACKCOURT: "IN GUARDS WE TRUST"
Baylor's strength in 2007-08 once again lies in its talented backcourt which until recently didn't get a lot of media attention outside of the region. 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 (11.0 ppg, 24.1 mpg), juniors Curtis Jerrells (14.3 ppg, 30.7 mpg) and Henry Dugat (11.8 ppg, 26.3 mpg) and sophomore Tweety Carter (8.7 ppg, 23.7 mpg); and true freshman standout LaceDarius Dunn (11.7 ppg, 20.6 mpg). The fivesome accounts for 70 percent of the team's scoring (average 56.9 points) and shoots 39.1 percent on 3-pointers.
SEASON OF FIRSTS & BROKEN STREAKS
Baylor's remarkable turnaround season has included various program `firsts' and several streaks being snapped. Complete list below:
First Top-25 ranking since 1969 (BU ranked in Jan. 21 & Jan. 28 AP polls)
First back-to-back weekly rankings in school history (Jan. 21 & 28)
First win over ranked opp. since 2003 [broke 29-gm losing streak] (116-110 over #16 TAMU)
First true road win since 2004 [broke 25-gm losing streak] (92-84 win at USC Dec. 19)
First road win in Big 12 since 2004 [broke 25-gm losing streak] (72-70 win at NU Jan. 19)
First 16-2 start since 1946
First 4-0 start in Big 12 since 1998
Most wins since 2000-01 (16)
Most pre-conference wins in school history (12)
First 8-team tournament title since 1968 (BU won 2007 Paradise Jam)
First 5-overtime game in Baylor & Big 12 history (116-110 win over Texas A&M Jan. 23)
Most Big 12 weekly honorees ever (4: Jerrells 2 POW, Rogers POW, Dunn ROW)
BEARS ON NATIONAL TV
Wednesday's game vs. Texas Tech on ESPNU is Baylor's fifth national telecast of the season (3-1) and its second-ever appearance on the cable network. Baylor is 8-4 in its last 12 nationally televised games (dating to 1998).
ALSO RECEIVING VOTES...
Baylor dropped out of the Associated Press Poll this week, after spending two weeks in the No. 25 position (school's first national ranking since 1969). The Bears are receiving votes in both the AP (47 votes; 32nd) and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll (15 votes; 33rd). The Bears have received votes in the polls in 10 of 14 weeks this season.
Baylor has shown a very balanced scoring attack this season, evidenced by five players averaging double-digits in scoring (Curtis Jerrells 14.3, Kevin Rogers 12.7, Henry Dugat 11.8, LaceDarius Dunn 11.7 and Aaron Bruce 11.0). The last time a Baylor team finished the season with five double-figure scorers was 1995-96.
Baylor is 6-1 this season when trailing at halftime. Included in those six come-from-behind victories is a 20-point comeback win at South Carolina and rallies of 14 points at No. 16/18 Texas A&M, 14 points vs. Notre Dame and seven points vs. Iowa State. [in its lone loss when trailing at half this season, BU erased a 16-point second-half deficit before falling by six points to Oklahoma]
JERRELLS POWERS BEARS
Curtis Jerrells is leading the Bears in scoring (14.3 ppg, 10th in Big 12), assists (3.7 apg, eighth in Big 12) and minutes (30.7 mpg) for the third straight season. He has twice earned Big 12 Player of the Week honors this season: Jan. 28 after exploding for 36 points in Baylor's epic five-overtime win at Texas A&M; and Nov. 19 after leading leading Baylor to the championship of the 2007 Paradise Jam (was named tournament MVP). The junior guard has started all 68 career games since arriving at Baylor, is a preseason Cousy Award candidate and a preseason All-Big 12 selection by the league coaches, Athlon and Lindy's. In conference games, Jerrells ranks eighth in scoring (15.5 ppg), fifth in assists (3.5 apg) and 11th in steals (1.5 spg). Jerrells ranks eighth in school history in assists per game (3.63). He recently became the first alum of Del Valle High School in Austin to have his No. 0 jersey retired.
MR. ROGERS PILING UP DOUBLE-DOUBLES
Junior forward Kevin Rogers is averaging 12.7 points and a team-high 8.0 rebounds (fifth in Big 12) this season, and he leads the league with an 11.2 rebounding average in conference games. He has recorded seven double-doubles on the season, including three in league games (second most in conference). Rogers is averaging a double-double in conference games: 14.2 points and 11.2 rebounds. He 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. Rogers 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).
VETERAN LEADER BRUCE CONTINUES CLIMB UP RECORD LISTS
Senior Aaron Bruce is averaging 11.0 points per game, shooting 43.7 percent on 3-pointers and continuing his climb up the school's all-time records lists - most notably the career scoring chart. Bruce, Baylor's veteran-most player with 94 career games played, currently stands seventh all-time with 1,279 career points (complete list of his ranking on seven different Baylor career charts below). He recently became the fourth player in Baylor history to top 1,000 points and 300 assists (along with Vinnie Johnson, David Wesley and Micheal Williams). 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 ON BAYLOR'S CAREER RECORD LISTS
3-point FGs: No. 3 - 212
3-point FG %: No. 3 - 40.5%
Games Started: No. 5 - 94
Minutes Played: No. 6 - 2,846
Points scored: No. 7 - 1,279
Assists: No. 7 - 300
Free Throw %: No. 8 - 81.3%
TRUE FRESHMAN DUNN PUTTING TOGETHER BREAKOUT SEASON OFF BENCH
True freshman LaceDarius Dunn has made an immediate impact on a Baylor squad stocked with talented guards. The highly recruited rookie from Monroe, La., is fourth on the team in scoring (11.7 ppg) and second in rebounds (4.2 rpg), despite playing just 20.6 minutes per game off the bench and playing through a knee injury. His 42.7 3-point percentage ranks second in the Big 12 and is on pace to be the top percentage ever recorded by a Baylor freshman (and the fourth-best overall single-season percentage in school history). Dunn has been named the Big 12 Rookie of the Week (Nov. 26 after leading BU to wins over Winthrop in the Paradise Jam championship and over Centenary) and has posted two 20-plus scoring outings (27 points in win over Brown and 24 points in upset win at South Carolina). Dunn is the highest-rated BU 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 rated the nation's No. 6 SG prospect by Scout.com and the No. 8 wing guard by Hoopmasters.com.
"FLASH" DUGAT USING ENERGY & QUICKNESS TO SPARK BEARS
Since re-entering the starting lineup in his junior season, guard Henry Dugat has used his high energy and athleticism to help Baylor to its remarkable turnaround season. Dugat has led the Bears through six conference games, averaging 14.5 points (11th in the Big 12), 5.3 rebounds, 2.0 steals (third in Big 12) and shooting 48.0 percent on 3-pointers (third in Big 12). He has started all 20 games after finishing his sophomore season in the sixth man role. Dugat earned the nickname "Flash" from former teammate Tim Bush due to his quickness and style of play similarities to Dwyane Wade.
"THE MAYOR" BACK IN STRIDE AFTER ANKLE REHAB
Mamadou Diene, a seven-foot junior from Senegal, has averaged 17.0 minutes off the bench in 13 games played since returning from an Oct. 25 procedure to repair a chronic stress fracture in his ankle (missed season's first seven games - had started all 43 games played in his freshman and sophomore seasons). Diene's 62 career blocks in Big 12 play is the most by an active player and he leads the Big 12 in blocks in conference games this season with a 2.5 average. Diene has recorded 102 career blocks and his 1.82 career blocks per game total is second all-time at Baylor behind only current Phoenix Suns Brian Skinner's 3.36 average (1994-98). Named the Big 12's "Best Shot Blocker" by the Sporting News preseason publication, he led the Big 12 in blocks as a freshman (2.3 bpg) and was third (1.6 bpg) in an injury-plagued sophomore season. Diene is referred to as "The Mayor" due to his huge popularity across campus.
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 14-0 when totaling a higher shooting percentage than it opponents, and conversely is 2-4 when its opponents shoot a higher percentage. Further, in five seasons under Scott Drew Baylor has accumulated a 46-7 record when outshooting opponents and a 6-66 record when being outshot by opponents.
BEARS IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
Baylor is ranked among the top 45 nationally in eight team categories, listed below:
Scoring: No. 19 - 80.7
3-Pt Field Goals: No. 20 - 9.0
Won-Loss %: No. 26 - 80.0%
Scoring Margin: No. 36 - +10.8
Blocks: No. 36 - 4.9
Turnovers: No. 37 - 12.9
3-Pt Field Goal %: No. 44 - 38.9%
Free Throw %: No. 44 - 73.4%
RECORD ATTENDANCE NUMBERS
Baylor's on-court success is attracting record numbers of fans to the Ferrell Center. Two of the top five attended Bears games all-time have come this season, and Baylor is within reach of breaking the single-season average attendance mark of 6,843 (set in 2001-02; BU averaging 6,378 this season with five home games remaining). Baylor saw top-five crowds this season vs. Oklahoma (10,393, No. 3 all-time) and vs. Washington State (10,193, No. 5).
LAST TIME OUT: No. 10 TEXAS 80 - No. 25 BAYLOR 72
Baylor's upset bid fell short as the 25th-ranked Bears lost 80-72 to No. 10 Texas at the Erwin Center, their 21st straight loss to the Longhorns.
Hot shooting gave the Bears a double-digit lead in the first, culminating with a 3-pointer by Curtis Jerrells that made it 31-17 eight minutes before the half. The Horns pulled to within 38-34 at the break. Baylor hit six 3s in the first half.
Texas took its first lead, 41-40, on Connor Atchley's 3-pointer three minutes into the second half. A Tweety Carter 3-pointer put Baylor back on top 43-41 one minute later. D.J. Augustin then hit his only field goal of the game, a 3 with 15:40 remaining that gave the Longhorns a 44-43 lead.
Then a technical foul was whistled on Scott Drew for questioning a non-call after contact on a missed shot. A.J. Abrams made both free throws and then hit a 3 from the right corner to push the lead to 49-43.
Baylor cut the lead to four three times in the last three minutes, encouraged by a large and boisterous contingent of Bears fans in attendance, but couldn't make the push to get the lead or at least get the game into overtime.
THE LAST MEETING: TEXAS TECH 85 - BAYLOR 74 [Feb. 28, 2007]
In a game that featured hot shooting from both squads, Texas Tech shot better and triumphed 85-74 over visiting Baylor at the United Spirit Arena.
Tech shot 56 percent from the field and hit 23 free throws to hold off the Bears. Baylor hit on 54.4 percent of field goals on the night.
Tech got its biggest lead at 75-62 with 4:56 remaining on a bucket by Jarius Jackson. The Bears pulled within 82-74 on two free throws by Tweety Carter with just more than a minute remaining. They got no closer down the stretch.
The Red Raiders trailed only briefly early in the game and withstood a couple of runs by the Bears in the first half. Baylor pulled within 53-51 early in the second half and stayed close the rest of the way by feeding the ball inside to Mark Shepherd and Josh Lomers.
The Bears finished with 42 points in the paint.
But fouls hurt Baylor. Lomers fouled out with just more than six minutes remaining in the game and Mamadou Diene, Baylor's starting center, fouled out with about 13 minutes remaining in the game.
Curtis Jerrells scored 20 points and Carter added 13 to lead Baylor.
The Red Raiders were hot early in the opening half, at one point hitting 81 percent from the field. They used a 15-4 run to go up 21-9.
But Baylor hung tough and slowly crept back. Down by 10 with just more than five minutes remaining before the break, the Bears went on a 12-3 run to pull within 42-41. The Bears capped the run when Shepherd got a putback bucket off a rebound following Jerrells' miss on the second of two free throws.
Tech went to the free-throw line often and hit 11-15 in the first half. For the game, Tech was 23-of-31 from the line.
ESTABLISHING A HOME-COURT ADVANTAGE
The Bears are quietly establishing a winning tradition at home in the Ferrell Center. Baylor is 9-2 at the Ferrell Center this season and is 26-8 in its last 34 games in Waco (dating to 2005-06).
BIG 12 HONORS
Baylor players have received four weekly Big 12 honors this season, the school's most-ever single-season weekly awards. Baylor has earned three player of the week awards and one rookie of the week award:
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.
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 wins and shot 54 percent from the 3-point line and 92 percent from the free throw line.
Curtis Jerrells, Big 12 Player of the Week, Jan. 28, 2008
Jerrells earned his second honor after averaging 26.5 points as No. 25 Baylor split two games last week, an epic five-overtime win over No. 16 Texas A&M and a 77-71 loss to Oklahoma. He scored a career-high 36 points and made a Big 12 and school-record 20 free throws in the Bears' 116-110 marathon thriller at A&M, including 11 points in the last overtime period to clinch the win in the longest game in Big 12 history.
Kevin Rogers, Big 12 Player of the Week, Dec. 24, 2007
Rogers was honored after leading the Bears to two road wins 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 had two double-doubles. Rogers had a 12-point, 12-rebound double-double at USC and scored a game-high 21 points in a win at Southern.
BAYLOR'S EPIC WIN OVER TEXAS A&M IN 5OT MARATHON
No. 25 Baylor and No. 18/16 Texas A&M played an instant classic Jan. 23 in College Station, when the longtime rivals went toe-to-toe for three-and-a-half hours before Baylor prevailed 116-110 in a five-overtime marathon. The epic game (the longest in Big 12 Conference and both school's histories) set seven Big 12 Conference and six Baylor school records. The dramatic game instantly garnered media attention nationwide and helped shine the national spotlight on Baylor's colossal turnaround season.
MOST PRE-CONFERENCE WINS EVER
Baylor finished its non-conference schedule with a 12-2 record. The 12 wins mark the most during the regular-season non-conference schedule in school history. The previous high of 11 pre-conference schedule wins was recorded three times, in 1945-46 (11-1), 1996-97 (11-1) and 2000-01 (11-0).
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. Baylor was led in scoring both games by junior Henry Dugat, who totaled 25 and 20 points. Aside from the games, the players and travel party enjoyed swimming, jet skiing, fishing and shopping on the Yucatan Peninsula.
FERRELL CENTER'S 20th YEAR
The Bears are in their 20th season in the beautiful Ferrell Center this year. Baylor is 9-2 at home in 2007-08 and owns a 176-120 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 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.
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 BU in over a decade.
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 travels to Lawrence, Kan., to take on the fourth-ranked Jayhawks Saturday, Feb. 9. The game is scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m. CST at Allen Fieldhouse.