BAYLOR (14-15, 4-12) at 2007 BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP
Ford Center (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP SITE
pdf of Big 12 Championship bracket
Baylor Press Conference - Wed. 4:30 p.m. CST
vs.  MISSOURI (18-11, 7-9)
Thursday, March 8, 2007 8:20 p.m. CST
PDF of complete Baylor Tournament Notes & Stats
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 enters the 2007 Big 12 Championship as the No. 11 seed and will face sixth-seeded Missouri in Game 4 Thursday, March 8. Tipoff at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City is approximately 8:20 p.m. CST and the game will be televised live nationally on ESPN2. Baylor is 14-15 (4-12 Big 12) and coming off an 86-82 win over Oklahoma State in Waco in its home finale and Senior Day last Saturday. The young Bears, with eight freshmen and sophomores, are playing a full schedule and have a full allotment of scholarships for the first time in four seasons. Missouri is 18-11 (7-9) and coming off a 94-78 loss at Texas A&M Saturday. The Tigers beat Baylor 78-71 in the schools' previous meeting in Columbia Feb. 14. The Baylor-Missouri winner will face third-seed Texas Friday, March 9, at 8:20 p.m. in the quarterfinals.
BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP MISCELLANY: Baylor is 4-9 all time in Big 12 Championship play... BU has lost five straight Big 12 Championship games (four straight first round losses)... 11 seeds are 1-10 all-time in Big 12 Championship play... No Baylor player has more than two games experience in conference tournaments.
Baylor is 4-9 in Big 12 Championship play.
Scott Drew owns a 2-3 record in conference tournaments (Mid-Con & Big 12).
No Baylor player has more than 2 games of experience in Big 12 Championship play.
Baylor has lost 5 straight Big 12 Championship games, including 4 straight first round defeats.
In 3 of 9 Big 12 Championships, Baylor has reached the quarterfinals (1998, 2000, 2001). Baylor is 3-6 in first round games, 1-2 in the quarterfinals and 0-1 in the semifinals.
Postseason Honors: Aaron Bruce & Curtis Jerrells honorable mention All-Big 12 (coaches); Kevin Rogers Big 12 All-Improved Team (media).
11 seeds are 1-10 in Big 12 Championship history.
Baylor is 4-42 in its last 46 away games (dating to '02-03) and has lost 10 straight.
Baylor is shooting 53.9% from the field over the last 3 games.
Baylor is 12-1 this season when leading at the half and 1-13 when trailing (2 ties).
Curtis Jerrells has scored in double-digits in each of the last 12 games.
8 different Baylor players have missed at least 1 game due to injury this season (54 total games missed due to injury).
Kevin Rogers leads the Big 12 in offensive rebounds in conference games - 3.20 orpg.
Aaron Bruce became the 19th BU player to score 1,000 points this season (1,035).
Tweety Carter is 2nd among Big 12 freshmen in 3-pointers made (56) and 3rd in assists-per-game (2.6).
Kevin Rogers is averaging 13.1 points & 9.0 rebounds (2nd in Big 12) in Big 12 games and has posted 5 double-doubles.
Over the last 6 games, Henry Dugat is averaging 15.2 points, 4.3 rebounds & shooting 47.4% on 3-pointers.
Walk-on Mark Shepherd has averaged 7.0 pts, 6.3 reb. & shot 77% the last 3 games.
BU has outrebounded its opponents in 4 of last 6 games [+3.5 margin, 35.3 to 31.8].
Injury Update: Kevin Rogers' (ankle sprain) status is uncertain for Thursday's matchup vs. Missouri; Tim Bush (broken foot) is out 3-5 weeks; Penny Thiam (torn ACL) is out for the season.
Kevin Rogers' 5 double-doubles in Big 12 play is the most by a BU player since Lawrence Roberts had 10 in 2002-03 / 2nd most double-doubles by Big 12 player in conference play behind UT's Kevin Durant.
Sophomore Kevin Rogers has more than doubled his scoring output from last season - 13.0 ppg up from 6.1 ppg - the 5th biggest increase among Big 12 players.
BU's quartet of sophomore starters (Diene, Dugat, Jerrells & Rogers; last season's "Freshman Four") accounts for 56% of Baylor's scoring and 60% of its rebounds.
65% (168-260) of Tweety Carter's points come from 3-pointers (56).
Baylor's 14 wins is the most in a season in Scott Drew's four years at the helm.
Curtis Jerrells is the only Baylor player to start all 29 games this season.
Baylor has used 6 different starting lineups the season, which matches the most in Scott Drew's 4 seasons (6 used in 2004-05) - BU used same lineup in all 17 games last season.
Due to ankle & knee injuries Mamadou Diene has just 16 blocks over the last 20 games (23 blocks in first 8 games). Diene ranks 3rd in Big 12 with 1.6 avg blocks.
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 35-68 at the school and a career record of 55-79 (five seasons). Drew's 35 wins rank 10th all-time on Baylor's all-time coaching victories list (in ninth place on the list is Carroll Dawson with 42 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. [Drew underwent an appendectomy Jan. 23 - less than 30 hours later he was on the bench in a limited coaching role for BU's home game vs. Kansas]
BEARS CONTINUE MASSIVE REBUILDING PROCESS
Despite taking over a program decimated by tragedy, player departures, depleted rosters and NCAA restrictions, Scott Drew has recruited a solid foundation of young players that have earned valuable playing experience and showed steady progress. This season's young Bears posted a 10-3 non-conference record and earned a 4-12 record in Big 12 games. Despite that record, Baylor has increased its competitiveness in conference games, evidenced by the fact that eight of its 12 league losses were by 10 points or less (last season BU lost nine Big 12 games by 15 points or more). Baylor's 14 wins are the most in Drew's four-year rebuilding project. He has led the Bears to records of 8-21 (2003-04), 9-19 (2004-05) and 4-13 (2005-06).
INJURY-FILLED SEASON FOR BEARS
Baylor's second-leading scorer and leading rebounder Kevin Rogers sat out the regular-season ending win over Oklahoma State Saturday with a sprained ankle and became the eighth Baylor player this season to miss a game due to medical reasons. Through 29 games eight players have missed a total of 54 games. Rogers' status for the Big 12 Championship is uncertain. Senior Tim Bush (missed last four games due to broken foot) and freshman Penny Thiam (torn ACL in right knee in season's fourth game in November) are currently out. Previous injuries included Aaron Bruce (missed two games due to ankle injury), Mamadou Diene (missed five games due to various ankle and knee injuries), Patrick Fields (missed nine games due to knee injury), Mark Shepherd (missed five games due to shoulder injury and illness) and Jari Vanttaja (out three games with ankle injury).
BRUCE, JERRELLS, ROGERS RECEIVE EARLY BIG 12 HONORS
Junior G Aaron Bruce and sophomore G Curtis Jerrells received honorable mention All-Big 12 status this week, Bruce was chosen to the league's coaches All-Big 12 team and Jerrells was named by both the coaches and the Associated Press. Sophomore F Kevin Rogers was named to the 2007 Big 12's All-Improved team, as voted on by a panel of the league's media. Bruce was named a third-team All-Big 12 selection as a freshman and an honorable mention pick as a sophomore. The All-Big 12 honor is the first for Jerrells, who was named a Big 12 All-Freshman last season. Rogers is the fifth Baylor player named to the All-Improved team, and the first since Kenny Taylor was so honored in 2003.
THE MISSOURI TIGERS
Head Coach: Mike Anderson (Tulsa, 1982); 107-52, 5 seasons
Overall Series Record: MU leads 10-7
MU Record in Big 12 Championship: 12-10 (.545)
Series Record in Big 12 Championship: never met
2006-07 Meeting: MU 78-71 (2-14-07 in Columbia)
Streak: MU won 1 straight
Drew vs. MU: 1-3
MU NOTES: Missouri is 18-11, 7-9 under first-year head coach Mike Anderson... The Tigers are 3-7 away from home this season... The Tigers are led by junior G Stefhon Hannah, who averages 15.6 points and 4.7 assists per game... Mizzou leads the Big 12 in steals (10.2 spg) and turnover margin (+4.1).
BEARS IN THE BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP
In the short 10-year history of the Big 12 Championship, the Bears have compiled a 4-9 record (Baylor did not participate in 2004 tourney). Baylor has lost five straight tournament games, including its last four first round games (BU did not participate in the 2004 tournament). In three of nine tournaments participated in, Baylor has reached the quarterfinals (1998, 2000, 2001). Baylor is 3-6 in first round games, 1-2 in the quarterfinals and 0-1 in the semis. Baylor's highest seeding in the tournament was a No. 5 seed in 1998. The Bears are the No. 11 seed in this year's tourney.
LITTLE CHAMPIONSHIP EXPERIENCE
Due to a young roster and consecutive first-round losses, no Baylor player has more than two games worth of experience in conference tournaments entering the 2007 Big 12 Championship. Four Bears played in both the 2005 loss to Iowa State and 2006 loss to Colorado (Aaron Bruce, Tim Bush, Patrick Fields and Richard Hurd). Baylor did not participate in the 2004 tournament due to self-imposed sanctions.
DREW IN CONFERENCE TOURNAMENTS
Scott Drew has compiled a 2-3 career record in three previous conference tournaments: the 2005 and 2006 Big 12 Conference Championships and the 2003 Mid-Continent Conference Tournament (only season as head coach at Valparaiso, Crusaders lost by two points in championship game). Baylor did not participate in the Big 12 Tournament in Drew's first season due to self-imposed sanctions.
Scott Drew IN CONFERENCE TOURNAMENTS
Tournament School Record Years
Big 12 Baylor 0-2 2 (2005-06)
Mid-Con Valparaiso 2-1 1 (2003)
TOTAL 2-3 3
A recent positive trend is that Baylor has been red-hot from the field over the last three games, shooting a combined 53.9 percent (90-167) in closing out the season with road losses at Texas A&M and Texas Tech and a home win over Oklahoma State. The Bears shot 39.4 percent through their first 13 Big 12 contests before the hot finish. A negative trend is that over the same span (last three games) Baylor's opponents have shot 54.8 percent (85-155).
Baylor outrebounded its opponents in four of its last six games. Over that six-game span, the Bears averaged a +3.5 (35.3 to 31.8) rebounding advantage but a 2-4 record. On the season Baylor boasts a +2.5 rebounding margin, 36.2 to 33.7.
MR. ROGERS CRAFTING A BREAKOUT SEASON
The Bears' second-leading scorer and leading rebounder Kevin Rogers, who sat out Baylor's regular-season finale due to an ankle sprain, ranks among the Big 12 leaders in several statistical categories. In Big 12 conference games, the sophomore forward is averaging 13.1 points and 9.0 rebounds and has recorded five double-doubles [the most by a Baylor player in Big 12 games since current Memphis Grizzlies forward Lawrence Roberts notched 10 in 2002-03]. His 9.0 rebounds in Big 12 games ranks third in the league (7.8 average in all games ranks sixth). On the season, the southpaw averages 13.0 points (18th in Big 12), 7.8 rebounds (sixth in Big 12), shoots 52.7 percent (fourth in Big 12) and averages 0.9 blocks. As a frosh in 2005-06, Rogers averaged 6.1 points and 5.1 rebounds off the bench.
BAYLOR'S BACKCOURT: "IN GUARDS WE TRUST"
Baylor's strength in 2006-07 lies in its talented guard foursome; three starters and a reserve who each average 25-plus minutes and combine to score an average of 45.8 points per game (61 percent of team's scoring). The guard rotation consists of Curtis Jerrells (14.3 ppg, 32.8 mpg), Aaron Bruce (11.2 ppg, 29.6 mpg), Henry Dugat (11.3 ppg, 27.5 mpg) and Tweety Carter (9.0 ppg, 25.2 mpg). 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.
JERRELLS CONTINUES TO LEAD FROM THE POINT
Sophomore point guard Curtis Jerrells leads the Bears in scoring (14.3 points per game, 15th in Big 12), assists (3.9 apg, seventh in Big 12) and minutes (32.8 mpg), and he averages 1.1 steals. He averages 16.3 points in Big 12 games (10th in Big 12) and has scored in double-digits in 12 straight. Jerrells 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 was 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.
NEAR-HEALTHY BRUCE ALMIGHTY POWERING THE BEARS
Third-year guard Aaron Bruce has played the last four games while recovering from a high ankle injury that kept him out of the previous two games. Bruce, Baylor's veteran-most player with 72 career games played, is averaging 11.2 points and 3.5 assists [10th in Big 12]. His 1.42 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks ninth in the Big 12. Bruce's 39.4 career 3-point percentage ranks third in school history and his 82.1 career free throw percentage ranks fifth all-time. This season Bruce joined Baylor's 1,000-point club and he currently ranks 19th on the school's career scoring list with 1,035 points. 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.
Baylor owns a 4-42 record in its last 46 games away from home (dating back to the 2002-03 season), and has lost 10 straight since an 87-82 double-overtime win over Colorado State Nov. 14, 2006, in the NIT Season Tip-Off in Spokane, Wash.
BEARS ON NATIONAL TV
Thursday's game vs. Missouri on ESPN2 is Baylor's seventh national telecast over the last seven seasons. Baylor has tallied a 3-3 record in national TV games since the 2000-01 season (0-2 this season after losses vs. Gonzaga and at Texas).
BRUCE JOINS BEARS' 1,000-POINT CLUB
In two and a half seasons of play, junior G Aaron Bruce has become just the 19th player in Baylor history to score 1,000 career points. Bruce, in 72 career games, has scored 1,035 points [Bruce played 28 games as freshman, only 17 due to a shortened season as sophomore and 27 this season). He has averaged 14.4 points per game in three seasons.
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 56% (1,213/2,167) 60% (575/960) 50% (205/407)
CARTER AMONG BIG 12 FRESHMEN LEADERS
True freshman G Tweety Carter is averaging 25.2 minutes per game and broke into Baylor's starting lineup 11 games ago after coming off the bench in his first 18 career games. Carter ranks second among all Big 12 freshmen in 3-pointers (56) and third in assists (2.6). Carter, Baylor's first-ever McDonalds All-America signee, is averaging 9.0 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). Carter scored a U.S. high school record 7,457 points at Reserve (La.) Christian School.
SHOT-BLOCKING MAYOR DIENE SLOWED BY INJURIES
Mamadou Diene, a seven-foot sophomore from Senegal, is averaging 4.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks [3rd Big 12] despite playing through ankle and knee injuries throughout the season. Diene has totaled 16 blocks in his last 16 games played (averaged 2.9 through first eight games before injuries). Diene led the Big 12 in blocks as a freshman, averaging 2.21 in 2005-06 and his 1.88 career figure is second all-time at Baylor behind only current Milwaukee Buck Brian Skinner's 3.36 average (1994-98). Diene has started all 41 career games played and has recorded 22 multi-block games. The 19-year-old Diene, referred to as "The Mayor" 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.
DUGAT PROVIDES PUNCH IN SIXTH-MAN ROLE
Henry Dugat's statistics are up in a sophomore season in which he began as a starter and is now the team's sixth man (started the season's first 18 games and two additional games when Aaron Bruce was injured). The guard is third on the team in scoring with 11.3 points per game and he is shooting a team-high 39.5 percent on 3-pointers. Over the last six games Dugat has averaged 15.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and has shot 47.4 percent from the 3-point line. As a freshman in 2005-06, Dugat averaged 7.2 points and 24.3 minutes per game off the bench.
BEARS STILL YOUNG
Despite a preseason roster that included 11 returnees, the 2006-07 Bears remain a relatively young squad. Baylor's current seven-man rotation consists of two true freshmen, four sophomores and one junior. The roster includes just two seniors and three juniors compared to eight freshmen and sophomores. Junior Aaron Bruce is the team's leader in career games played with 72. [Note: Underclassmen have led Baylor in scoring in 64 of its last 74 games (over the last three seasons); in 32 of those 74 a freshman has been top scorer.]
HOME vs. ROAD SUCCESS
The Bears have played significantly better basketball at home in the Ferrell Center this season than they have on the road. In addition to a better record at home (13-5 vs. 1-10 away), the following chart details other significant statistical differences based on location:
Win-Loss Record: 13-5 1-10
Scoring Margin: +10.4 -11.5
Field Goal %: .489 .410
Opp. Field Goal %: .422 .483
Rebounding Margin: +5.8 -3.0
LAST TIME OUT: BAYLOR 86 - OKLAHOMA STATE 82
Baylor's four guards combined to score 66 points and that was enough to overcome JamesOn Curry's 40-point performance in the Bears' 86-82 win over Oklahoma State at the Ferrell Center.
Baylor held off a late Cowboy rally and got some clutch shooting to secure the victory.
The Bears led 75-62 on a layup from Josh Lomers with just over seven minutes remaining. But the Cowboys scored 10 straight, cutting the margin to 75-72 at the 4:09 mark.
Curtis Jerrells' 3-pointer put Baylor ahead 80-72 with a little over two minutes left to play. But then Curry nailed three straight free throws to pull Oklahoma State to within three points at 80-77 with 1:17 to go.
The Bears responded with six consecutive free throws, four by Aaron Bruce and two by Jerrells, in the final 41 seconds to clinch the win.
The Bears, who led 41-32 at halftime, opened the second half with a 10-4 run, extending their margin to 51-36 with just over 17 minutes remaining.
Baylor led by as many as 18 points at 64-46 midway through the second half.
Both teams were playing without star players. Baylor's Kevin Rogers was sidelined with a sprained ankle and OSU's Mario Boggan was serving a one-game suspension.
Baylor's guards picked up the slack in Rogers' absence with an impressive shooting performance. Jerrells (21 points), Henry Dugat (20), Bruce (13) and Tweety Carter (12) combined to make 12 of 18 3-pointers.
ROGERS AMONG BIG 12's MOST IMPROVED SCORERS
Sophomore Kevin Rogers has doubled his scoring output from his freshman season in 2005-06. Rogers' 13.0 scoring average is 6.9 points higher than last season's 6.1 and currently ranks fifth among the Big 12's most improved scorers from last season.
THE LAST MEETING: MISSOURI 78 - BAYLOR 71 [Feb. 14, 2007]
Baylor erased a 14-point second half deficit but the comeback fell short and the Bears fell 78-71 vs. Missouri in the Mizzou Arena.
Missouri took a 60-46 lead with 10:40 remaining before a 17-3 Baylor run over the following five minutes. A turnaround jumper by Kevin Rogers finished 10 straight Bears points at the end of the run and tied the game at 63 at the 5:46 mark.
Mizzou pushed the lead back to five on two free throws by Marshall Brown and a 3-pointer by Stefhon Hannah.
Tweety Carter hit Rogers for an alley-oop with 3:15 remaining and Rogers tipped in another basket with 2:42 to play to keep Baylor within 70-67.
Hannah hit a short jumper to push the lead back to 72-67. The Tigers hit six free throws down the stretch to hold off the Bears.
Missouri led 35-32 at the break.
Baylor missed its first five shots from the field to start the second half and didn't score a point until the 15:34 mark as Missouri stretched its lead to 11.
Rogers scored 18 of his career-high 27 points in the second half and had 12 rebounds. Henry Dugat and Curtis Jerrells each added 14 for the Bears.
MILESTONES & RECORDS WATCH
Aaron Bruce is 5 assists shy of moving into 8th place (255, Pat Nunley No. 8 with 260) on Baylor's career assists list.
Aaron Bruce is 5 points shy of moving into 18th place, 10 shy of 17th place and 11 shy of 16th place (1,035, Don Heathington No. 18 with 1,040, Kelvin Chalmers No. 17 with 1,045 & Winston Moore No. 17 with 1,046) on Baylor's career scoring list.
Mamadou Diene is 1 block shy of moving into 8th place & 2 blocks shy of 7th place (39, Daryl Baucham & Kish Lewis No. 8 with 40, Wendell Mays No. 7 with 41) on Baylor's single-season blocks list.
Tweety Carter is 3 made 3-pointers shy of moving into 2nd place (56, John Lucas III No. 2 with 59) on Baylor's freshman 3-pointers list.
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. In each of the first three seasons the Bears played through handicaps: all 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.
BUSH OUT WITH BROKEN FOOT
Senior Tim Bush sustained a broken foot in the Feb. 17 game vs. Texas and was expected to be out a total of three to five weeks, effectively ending the third-year forward's career. Bush had surgery Feb. 19, on the fractured fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot. Bush averaged 6.6 points and 4.1 rebounds this season in 25 games. He transferred from LSU in 2004 and played three seasons for Baylor, appearing in 66 games (41 starts) and totaling 527 career points and 280 career rebounds.
BEARS TO FACE WAZZU IN BIG 12/PAC-10 SERIES
Baylor will host Washington State on Friday, Nov. 30, 2007, as apart of a four-year deal announced by the Big 12 and Pacific-10 Conferences. The agreement between the conferences provides a series of 12 annual games, beginning in the 2007-08 season. The series will continue in 2008, with return games of the 2007 match-ups games slated for Dec. 4-7. The games in the series in 2009 will be played Dec. 3-6, 2009, while matchups in 2010 will be played Dec. 2-5, 2010.
BEARS RETURN PRODUCTION NUMBERS
In 2006-07 Baylor returns four-of-five starters, 11-of-13 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.).
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'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).