LaceDarius Dunn and the Bears host Texas A&M Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the Ferrell Center.
BAYLOR (20-8, 8-6) vs. TEXAS A&M (21-8, 7-7)
March 5, 2008 Ferrell Center (Waco, Texas) 8:00 p.m. CST
RADIO: Baylor-ISP Sports Radio Network (ESPN/KRZI 1660AM Waco / KVCE 1160AM Dallas / Sirius Satellite ch. 161)
INTERNET AUDIO: live broadcast at BaylorBears.com
INTERNET VIDEO: none
LIVE STATS: live GameTracker stats at BaylorBears.com
Baylor takes a three-game winning streak into what may be the most important game for the program in 20 years when it hosts rival Texas A&M Wednesday, March 5, at the Ferrell Center in its home finale. The game tips off at 8 p.m. CST and will be televised live nationally on ESPN2. The game is a much-anticipated rematch of the epic five-overtime game that then-No. 25 Baylor won 116-110 over then-No. 18/16 Texas A&M in College Station in January. Baylor is 20-8 overall, 8-6 in Big 12 play, tied for third in the league standings and fighting for a first-round bye in the Big 12 Championship (top four teams) as well as its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1988. The Bears defeated Missouri 100-89 last Saturday at home for their third-straight victory. Texas A&M is 21-8, 7-7 in the Big 12 and coming off a 64-37 loss at Oklahoma Saturday. Baylor is 12-3 at home this season; the Aggies are 3-5 in true road games. Texas A&M is Baylor's second-most-played rival and leads the all-time series 124-71. Baylor has dropped three straight games to A&M at home in Waco. Baylor's three seniors, Aaron Bruce, Richard Hurd and Mark Shepherd will be honored Wednesday in a pregame ceremony.
Of BU's 8 losses, none have been by more than 10 points & all but one have come to teams ranked among the top 40 in RPI (#73 OSU).
BU is aiming for its first postseason action since 2001 (NIT); last NCAA berth 1988.
BU's 20 wins are the most since winning 23 in 1987-88 (23-11, NCAA berth) & only 4th 20-win season in 102 seasons of basketball.
Texas A&M is Baylor's 2nd most-played rival - 197th meeting (A&M leads 124-72).
Kevin Rogers is this week's Big 12 Co-Player of the Week.
BU is 3-0 since its staff promised to shave a coach's head after each victory (Matthew Driscoll, Jerome Tang and Paul Mills have been shaved).
BU leads the Big 12 in scoring (82.0), free throw shooting (73.9%), 3-point shooting (39.0%) & 3-pointers made (8.8).
BU's 8 conference wins match the most in program history (8-8 in `97-98).
BU is receiving votes in AP & coaches polls (first season to receive votes since `01).
BU is averaging 82.0 points (1st in Big 12 & 9th nationally), the school's highest average since `93-94; 2,295 pts on pace to break single-season record of 2,393.
BU is 18-1 this season when totaling a higher FG% than its opponents and 2-7 when not. In the Drew Era, BU is 50-8 when outshooting its opponents and 6-69 when not.
Baylor is 5-2 in its last 7 nationally televised games.
BU's 5-guard rotation averages 58.3 points - 71% of teams scoring.
4 Baylor players average double-figures in scoring.
Kevin Rogers is averaging 16.8 points, 12.6 rebounds & had 5 double-doubles the last 5 games.
Mamadou Diene leads the Big 12 with a 1.9 blocks average in conference games.
LaceDarius Dunn's 41.7 3-point % (3rd in Big 12) is top all-time for a BU freshman.
Aaron Bruce ranks 7th on BU's all-time scoring list (1,319 career points).
Kevin Rogers has 12 double-doubles this season (3rd most among Big 12 players).
Mamadou Diene is the Big 12's active leader in career blocks in league games (74).
Curtis Jerrells ranks 12th on BU's all-time scoring list (1,123 career points).
Baylor is 14-2 this season when Aaron Bruce scores in double-digits.
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 56-77 at the school and a career record of 76-88 (six seasons). Drew's 56 wins rank seventh on Baylor's all-time coaching victories list (in eighth place on the list is Dave Bliss with 61 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 A&M AGGIES
Head Coach: Mark Turgeon (Kansas, 1987); 174-126, 10 seasons
Series vs. Baylor: A&M leads 124-72
Last meeting: BU 116-110 5OT, Jan. 23, 2008 at College Station
Streak: BU won 1 straight
Series in Waco: A&M leads 49-42
Drew vs. A&M: 3-6
A&M NOTES: Texas A&M is 21-8, 7-7 in the Big 12 and receiving votes in the Associated Press Poll... The Aggies are led by first-year head coach Mark Turgeon... A&M has lost four of its last five games... The Ags are 3-5 in true road games this season... Texas A&M has beaten Baylor in Waco in each of the last three seasons... A&M is led by junior G/F Josh Carter who averages 12.6 points and 4.2 rebounds... Senior F/C Joseph Jones is the only other double-digit scorer, averaging 10.7 points as well as 5.2 rebounds.
BAYLOR STAFF LOSING HAIR WITH WINS
The Bears are 3-0 since the Baylor coaching staff pledged to shave a staff member's head following each win in the final weeks of the season. After a fourth-consecutive loss at Oklahoma Feb. 19, the pact was struck with five regular-season games remaining. Since then, three staffers have received haircuts: assistant coach Matthew Driscoll (Feb. 23 after 92-86 win over No. 24 Kansas State), assistant coach Jerome Tang (Feb. 27 after 68-57 win at Colorado) and coordinator of operations Paul Mills (March 1 after 100-89 win over Missouri).
BEARS MAKING PUSH FOR POSTSEASON
The Cinderella Bears are making a push for the school's first postseason appearance since 2001 when Baylor played in the postseason NIT (lost at New Mexico in opening round, finished season 19-12). Baylor's last NCAA Tournament appearance was 1988, when Gene Iba's Bears finished second in the Southwest Conference before losing to Memphis in the first round of the NCAAs (23-11 final record).
BEARS' TURNAROUND SEASON
Baylor burst onto the national basketball scene this winter when, despite being picked to finish ninth in the Big 12 by the league's coaches, the Bears raced off to a 12-2 non-conference record (including a Paradise Jam championship) and opened conference play 4-0. The 16-2 start was Baylor's best since 1946 and resulted in the school's first national ranking since 1969. The Bears, who are in the latter stages of one of the most incredible rebuilding projects in college basketball history, are currently 20-8 and in contention for a postseason berth.
ALSO RECEIVING VOTES...
Baylor is receiving votes in both the Associated Press (7 votes; 33rd) and ESPN/USA TODAY Coaches' (5 votes; 32nd) polls this week. The Bears spent two weeks [Jan. 21 & 28] in the Top 25 (school's first national ranking since 1969) and have received votes in the polls in 12 of 18 weeks this season.
CURRENT BEARS AMONG BEST 3-POINT SHOOTERS EVER
Statistically speaking, several of the best long-range shooters in Baylor basketball history play for the 2007-08 Bears squad. Three of the top five shooters (by career percentage) and four of the top eight shooters are current Baylor players.
CAREER 3-POINT FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE (min. 50 made)
Player (years), 3FGM-3FGA, pct.
1. Melvin Hunt (1987-91), 81-162, .500
2. Mark Buchanan (1983-87), 55-113, .487
3. LaceDarius Dunn (2008), 63-151, .417
4. Henry Dugat (2005-08), 120-304, .395
5. Aaron Bruce (2004-08), 216-548, .394
6. R.T. Guinn (2001-04), 103-263, .392
7. Kenny Taylor (2001-03), 105-269, .390
8. Tweety Carter (2006-08), 105-278, .378
9. David Wesley (1989-92), 123-326, .377
10. Willie Sublett (1990-94), 144-393, .366
SENIOR SEND-OFF FOR BRUCE, HURD & SHEPHERD
Seniors Aaron Bruce, Richard Hurd and Mark Shepherd will be honored prior to Wednesday's home finale vs. Texas A&M, Bayor's "Senior Night." The trio have all lettered four seasons at Baylor and been at the forefront of the program's turnaround from the depths of tragedy to this season's run to the upper half of the Big 12 standings and a potential postseason berth.
MOST WINS SINCE...
OVERALL: The Bears' 20 wins in 2007-08 is the highest victory total at Baylor since Gene Iba's 1987-88 squad finished 23-11 (the last Baylor team to participate in the NCAA Tournament). This is only the fourth 20-win Baylor squad in school history; the previous three have all participated in the NCAA Tournament (including `47-48 national runners up).
BIG 12: Baylor's eight conference wins (8-6) matches the school's highest total in Big 12 play (1997-98 squad finished 8-8). In 11 previous seasons of Big 12 play no Baylor squad has reached nine league wins.
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 posted a 20-8 record this season, including an 8-6 mark in the Big 12.
ROGERS BIG 12 CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Baylor junior Kevin Rogers was named Phillips 66 Big 12 Co-Conference Player of the Week based on his performances in wins at Colorado and vs. Missouri last week, the league announced Monday. The selection is the second for Rogers this season. Rogers averaged 18.0 points and 11.5 rebounds in two wins last week. He had a team-high 24 points and 11 rebounds in a 68-57 victory at Colorado. Rogers followed that performance with 12 points and 12 boards in a 100-89 tally over Missouri. In the two wins, Rogers shot 54.2 percent (13-of-24) from the field and made 10-of-12 (.833) from the free throw line. Also honored along with Rogers this week was co-player Brandon Rush of Kansas, as well as rookie of the week Michael Beasley of Kansas State. The players are selected by a media panel which covers Big 12 men's basketball.
BAYLOR'S BACKCOURT: "IN GUARDS WE TRUST"
Baylor's strength in 2007-08 once again lies in its talented backcourt full of combo guards. 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 (9.3 ppg, 22.3 mpg), juniors Curtis Jerrells (15.3 ppg, 31.0 mpg) and Henry Dugat (12.2 ppg, 26.6 mpg) and sophomore Tweety Carter (9.3 ppg, 24.8 mpg); and true freshman standout LaceDarius Dunn (12.7 ppg, 21.2 mpg). The fivesome accounts for 71 percent of the team's scoring (average 58.3 points) and shoots 39.2 percent on 3-pointers.
REMATCH OF BAYLOR'S EPIC 5OT WIN OVER TEXAS A&M
Wednesday marks the rematch of then-No. 25 Baylor's epic five-overtime marathon 116-110 win over then-No. 18/16 Texas A&M played Jan. 23 in College Station. The thrilling three-and-a-half hour game (the longest in Big 12 Conference and both school's histories) set seven Big 12 Conference records, six Baylor school records and has been referred to by some as this season's game of the year in college basketball. The dramatic game instantly garnered media attention nationwide and helped shine the national spotlight on Baylor's turnaround season. A listing of Big 12 and Baylor records set during the "Instant Classic" follows:
BAYLOR 116 - TEXAS A&M 110 5OT - Jan. 23, 2008 - Reed Arena - College Station, Texas
BAYLOR SCHOOL RECORDS - SINGLE GAME
Longest game, 5 overtime periods
Most rebounds, 70 (tied vs. SMU 2-20-71)
Most personal fouls, 28
Most disqualifications, 5
Most free throws made, 20 (of 24) by Curtis Jerrells (tied David Wesley 20-25 vs. TAMU 3-2-92)
Most minutes played, 53 by Curtis Jerrells
BIG 12 RECORDS - SINGLE GAME
Longest game, 5 overtime periods
Most points, 116 by Baylor [conference game]
Most combined points, 226 [conference game]
Most rebounds, 70 by Baylor
Most field goal attempts, 97 by Baylor
Most free throws made, 39 by Baylor (tied KSU 2-13-1999) [conference game]
Most free throws made, 20 by Curtis Jerrells
NO LEAD SAFE AGAINST COMEBACK BEARS
In addition to an impressive 8-5 record when trailing at the half, Baylor has notched seven wins this season after trailing by 9 or more points. In two additional games (both vs. Oklahoma), the Bears erased double-digit deficits before being edged at the whistle. Chart detailing comebacks below:
Opponent Trailed by Result Notre Dame 14, 32-18 at 4:39 in 1st W, 68-64 Winthrop 9, 21-12 at 6:11 in 1st W, 62-54 at South Carolina 20, 44-24 at 4:26 in 1st W, 92-84 Iowa State 9, 38-29 at 0:05 in 1st W, 74-67 at Texas A&M 14, 22-8 at 10:36 in 1st W, 116-110 5OT Oklahoma 16, 59-43 at 10:36 in 2nd L, 77-71 (took 71-70 lead with 1:57 left) Texas Tech 9, 17-8 at 14:13 in 1st W, 80-74 at Oklahoma 12, 41-29 at 0:04 in 1st L, 92-91 in OT (Led in OT by 7? Points) Missouri 13, 69-56 at 13:30 in 2nd W, 100-89
HIGH-SCORING BEARS 9th NATIONALLY IN POINTS
Baylor is averaging 82.0 points per game, second-highest among Big 12 schools and the ninth most nationally. That figure, bolstered by six overtime periods, is the highest total at BU since the `93-94 team finished with an 85.5 scoring average. The 2,295 points total is on pace to break the school's single-season scoring mark of 2,393 points.
SUCCESS FROM THE LINE
Baylor has been incredibly successful from the foul line this season. The Bears are shooting 73.9 percent from the line (454-614), which is tops in the Big 12 Conference and currently ranks 34th nationally. That percentage is on pace to be the fourth-best figure in school history. Baylor is led individually from the line by junior F Kevin Rogers (82.6%, second in Big 12), freshman G LaceDarius Dunn (82.5%), and senior G Aaron Bruce (78.5%).
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 18-1 when totaling a higher shooting percentage than it opponents, and conversely is 2-7 when its opponents shoot a higher percentage. Further, in five seasons under Scott Drew Baylor has accumulated a 50-8 record when outshooting opponents and a 6-69 record when not.
SEASON OF FIRSTS, BROKEN STREAKS & NEW RECORDS
Baylor's turnaround season in 2007-08 has included various program `firsts', snapped streaks and new records. Complete list below:
Most wins (20) since 1987-88
Only fourth 20-win team in Baylor history
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 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)
Most Big 12 road wins (3) ever
Most wins over ranked teams since 2000-01 (2: beat #16 Texas A&M & #16 Kansas St.)
First win over ranked opp. since 2003 [broke 29-gm losing streak] (116-110 over #16 TAMU)
Best start (16-2) since 1946
First 4-0 start in Big 12 since 1998
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 (5: Jerrells 2 POW, Rogers 2 POW, Dunn ROW)
Largest crowd in school history (overflow 10,521 vs. UT Feb. 16)
Highest average attendance in Ferrell Center history (6,946 through 14 games)
on pace to break season attendance record of 109,494 - 4,025 shy with 1 game remaining
on pace to break season scoring mark of 2,393 points - just 98 points shy (2,295)
BEARS QB JERRELLS BURSTS INTO 1,000-POINT CLUB
Curtis Jerrells recently became the 20th player in Baylor history to reach the 1,000-point plateau and has quickly climbed to 12th on BU's career scoring list. He is leading the Bears in scoring (15.3 ppg, eighth in Big 12), assists (3.8 apg, sixth in Big 12) and minutes (31.0 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 76 career games since arriving at Baylor, was a preseason All-Big 12 selection by the league coaches, Athlon and Lindy's, and a Cousy Award nominee. In conference games, Jerrells ranks third in the Big 12 in scoring (16.8 ppg), third in assists (3.8 apg) and seventh in steals (1.5 spg). Jerrells ranks ninth in school history in assists (279) and 12th in scoring (1,123). 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 12.9 points and a team-high 8.6 rebounds (fifth in Big 12) this season. He has recorded 12 double-doubles on the season, including eight in league games - the third-highest total among Big 12 players. In conference games Rogers is averaging 13.6 points (16th in Big 12) and 10.7 rebounds (third in Big 12). He has twice been named the Big 12 Player of the Week; most recently March 3 after averaging 18.0 points and 11.5 rebounds in wins at Colorado and vs. Missouri as well as Dec. 24 after averaging 16.5 points and 11.0 rebounds in road wins at South Carolina and Southern. Rogers was named to the 2007 Big 12 All-Improved team after a sophomore season in which he doubled his scoring (12.8 from 6.1 ppg) and nearly doubled his rebounding from his freshman season (7.6 from 4.0 rpg).
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 third on the team in scoring (12.7 ppg) and fifth in rebounds (3.9 rpg), despite playing just 21.2 minutes per game off the bench and playing through a knee injury. His 41.7 3-point percentage ranks third in the Big 12 and is on pace to be the top percentage ever recorded by a Baylor freshman (and the fifth-best overall single-season percentage in school history). Dunn is shooting 82.5 percent from the line and ranks fourth in conference games at 84.3 percent. Dunn was 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 he has notched four 20-plus scoring games. 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.
VETERAN BRUCE CLIMBING RECORD LISTS
Senior Aaron Bruce is averaging 9.3 points per game 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 102 career games played, currently stands seventh all-time with 1,319 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 - 216
Assists: No. 3 - 316
Games Started: No. 4 - 98
Minutes Played: No. 4 - 2,989
3-point FG %: No. 5 - 39.4%
Points scored: No. 7 - 1,319
Free Throw %: No. 8 - 80.9%
"FLASH" DUGAT USING ENERGY & QUICKNESS TO SPARK BEARS
Since re-entering the starting lineup this season, junior guard Henry Dugat has used his high energy and athleticism to boost Baylor during its turnaround season. In Big 12 Conference games, Dugat is averaging 13.9 points (14th in the Big 12), 4.6 rebounds, 1.4 steals (ninth in Big 12) and shooting 49.0 percent on 3-pointers. He has started all 28 games this season after finishing his sophomore year 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.
TWEETY FLOURISHING IN STARTING ROLE
Sophomore G Tweety Carter, who started the last 13 games of his freshman season, re-entered the starting lineup four games ago after coming off the bench the first 24 games this season. Carter is shooting a team-high 42.9 percent on 3-pointers (the third highest percentage in Baylor history) and is second on the squad in assists with 83. He is averaging 9.3 points on the season, but in four games as a starter has averaged 13.0 points and hit 12-of-17 3-pointers. Carter is Baylor's first-ever McDonald's All-American and the highest scoring high school player in U.S. history (7,457 points in six varsity seasons). He received his nickname Tweety (given name is Demond) due to the sound of his crying as a baby.
"THE MAYOR" BACK TO SHOT-BLOCKING WAYS
Mamadou Diene, a seven-foot junior from Senegal, has averaged 3.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 17.0 minutes off the bench in 21 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). He leads the Big 12 in blocks in conference games this season with a 1.9 average. Diene's 74 career blocks in Big 12 play is the most among the league's active players. His 114 career blocks and 1.78 career average are both second all-time at Baylor behind only current Phoenix Suns Brian Skinner's 346 total and 3.36 average (1994-98). Named the Big 12's "Best Shot Blocker" by the Sporting News preseason publication, Diene led the Big 12 in blocks as a freshman (2.3 bpg) and was third (1.6 bpg) in an injury-plagued sophomore season. He is referred to as "The Mayor" due to his huge popularity across campus.
BRUCE JOINS ELITE BAYLOR TRIO IN CAREER POINTS & ASSISTS
Aaron Bruce recently recorded his 300th career assist and became the fourth player in Baylor history to top 1,000 points (1,319) and 300 assists (316), joining greats Vinnie Johnson (1,231/308), David Wesley (1,224/316) and Micheal Williams (1,854/464).
ESTABLISHING A HOME-COURT ADVANTAGE
The Bears are quietly establishing a winning tradition at home in the Ferrell Center. Baylor is 12-3 at the Ferrell Center this season and is 29-9 in its last 38 games in Waco (dating to 2005-06).
LAST TIME OUT: BAYLOR 100 - MISSOURI 89
Baylor overcame a 13-point second-half deficit and had seven players in double figures in a 100-89 win over Missouri at the Ferrell Center. Kevin Rogers led Baylor with 12 points and 12 rebounds, his 12th double-double of the season. Baylor trailed 69-56 with 14:16 left in the second half before a 14-0 run - including back-to-back 3-pointers by LaceDarius Dunn - put the Bears up 70-69 with 9:13 remaining. Missouri eventually took a three-point lead before Baylor tied the game at 77 on a 3-pointer by Tweety Carter with 6:34 left. Mamadou Diene and Rogers scored consecutive baskets off offensive rebounds to put Baylor ahead for good. The Baylor reserves outscored the Missouri bench 39-17. Henry Dugat scored 18 and Carter had 17 for Baylor. Dunn scored 16, Curtis Jerrells had 14 and Diene scored 10. With the victory, Baylor achieved just its fourth 20-win season in the program's 102-year history. Missouri led 49-45 at halftime. The Tigers' first four baskets in the second half were the result of offensive rebounds and easy putbacks. A 3-point basket by Matt Lawrence put Missouri up 60-52 and the Tigers then went on a 7-2 run to go up by 13. The teams both hit two free throws before Baylor began its game-turning run. The 100 points was the most points the Bears have scored in regulation in the Big 12 since the league was formed.
BIG 12 HONORS
Baylor players have received five weekly Big 12 honors this season, the school's most-ever single-season weekly awards. Baylor has earned four 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, 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.
Kevin Rogers, Big 12 Player of the Week, March 1, 2008
Rogers earned his second award after averaging 18.0 points and 11.5 rebounds in two wins. He had a team-high 24 points and 11 rebounds in a 68-57 win at Colorado. He followed with a 12-point, 12-rebound double-double in a 100-89 win over Missouri. He shot 54.2 percent from the field and made 10-of-12 free throws in the two wins.
THE LAST MEETING: No. 25 BAYLOR 116 - No. 16/18 TEXAS A&M 110 50T [Jan. 23, 2008]
Curtis Jerrells scored a career-high 36 points as No. 25 Baylor outlasted No. 18/16 Texas A&M 116-110 in an epic five-overtime marathon at Reed Arena, snapping a 29-game losing streak to ranked teams. Jerrells scored 11 points in the final overtime and another 11 in the previous four to lead his team. He also had eight assists, four rebounds, two steals and a block. Baylor won its fifth in a row and first since entering the rankings for the first time since 1969 on Monday. It broke a 15-game home winning streak for Texas A&M. Three free throws by Jerrells gave Baylor a 106-103 lead in the fifth overtime. Dominique Kirk got A&M within a point with a layup on the next possession. Jerrells pushed the lead back to 3 with his steal and layup with about a minute left. Aaron Bruce added a pair of free throws before a layup by Bryan Davis made it 110-107 with less than 30 seconds remaining. Jerrells added four more free throws and LaceDarius Dunn chipped in a pair to ensure the win. The small but vocal group of Baylor fans chanted "B-U!" incessantly as time ticked down in the final overtime and players jumped around wildly and hugged after the clock ran out. Davis, who led A&M with a career-high 30 points, made a layup with 9 seconds left in the fourth overtime to knot it at 99 and send it to the fifth OT. Jerrells scored six points in the last 1:01 of triple overtime, including the tying layup with 10 seconds left to leave it at 90-all and force the fourth overtime.
RECORD ATTENDANCE NUMBERS
Baylor's on-court success is attracting record numbers of fans to the Ferrell Center and has resulted in several attendance records this season. Baylor's average home attendance of 7,031 is currently the top all-time (topping previous best of 6,843 set in 2001-02) and three of the top-six attended BU games ever have come this season, including the all-time record crowd of 10,521 vs. Texas (Feb. 16). The all-time single-season attendance mark of 109,494 (2001-02) will be surpassed as Baylor needs just 4,025 in the season finale vs. Texas A&M to top that mark. Top-six crowds also came this season vs. Oklahoma (10,393, No. 4 all-time) and vs. Washington State (10,193, No. 6).
FERRELL CENTER'S 20th YEAR
The Bears are in their 20th season in the beautiful Ferrell Center this year. Baylor is 12-3 at home in 2007-08 and owns a 179-121 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 ON NATIONAL TV
Wednesday's game vs. Texas A&M on ESPN2 is Baylor's seventh national telecast of the season (4-2 record). Baylor is 9-5 in its last 14 nationally televised games (dating to 1998).
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
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.
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 concludes its regular season schedule in Lubbock, Texas, Saturday, March 5, against Texas Tech. The game is scheduled to tip off at 12:45 p.m. CST at United Spirit Arena and will be televised live regionally via ESPN Plus syndicated stations.