No. 5 Seed MBB Takes On No. 12 Seed Yale in First Round


     vs.  
[5] Baylor (22-11, 10-8) vs. [12] Yale (22-6, 13-1)
March 17, 2016 | 1:40 p.m. CT
Providence, R.I. | Dunkin' Donuts Center (12,400)

TV: CBS

Radio: ESPN Central Texas

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Baylor Notes | Tickets Yale Notes | Press Conference

MEDIA INFORMATION
Date Thursday, March 17 | 1:40 p.m. CT
Location Providence, R.I.; Dunkin' Donuts Center (12,400)
Tickets Purchase Tickets Online
TV CBS and March Madness Live
TV Talent Ian Eagle (pxp), Chris Webber (analyst)
BU Radio ESPN Central Texas
BU Talent John Morris (pxp), Pat Nunley (color)
Stats Gametracker
Game Notes Baylor | Yale
Social Media @BaylorMBB
[5] BAYLOR BEARS
Record 22-11, 10-8
Head Coach Scott Drew
Career: 270-182 (14th season)
BU Record: 250-171 (13th season)
[12] YALE BULLDOGS
Record 22-6, 13-1
Head Coach James Jones
Career: 253-238 (17th season)
Yale Record: 253-238 (17th season)

BAYLOR NCAA NOTES
• Baylor is 11-11 in nine previous NCAA Championships trips, including an 8-5 record in the Scott Drew era.
• Baylor is making three straight NCAA Tournament apperances for the first time in program history.
• 2016 is Baylor's seventh NCAA berth in the modern tournament era -- the Bears' first three NCAA Tournament appearances in 1946, 1948 and 1950 were in an eight-team bracket.
• Baylor is one of 14 teams nationally to play in three Sweet 16s since 2010.
• Baylor has the nation's fourth-best postseason winning percentage since 2009 (.773; 17-5) [min. 3 NCAA berths].
• Baylor is 29-13 in postseason tournaments (conference, national) over the last eight seasons.
• Baylor has played in two Final Fours (1948 and 1950) -- when it was an eight-team bracket -- and one national championship game (lost to Kentucky in 1948 title game).
• Ten Baylor opponents are in the Field of 68 and Baylor is 7-11 this season against the 2016 NCAA Tournament field -- Iowa State (2-0), Kansas (0-3), Oklahoma (0-2), Oregon (0-1), Stephen F. Austin (1-0), Texas (2-1), Texas A&M (0-1), Texas Tech (1-1), Vanderbilt (1-0) and West Virginia (0-2).
• Baylor and Yale will be meeting for the first time. Baylor is 34-10 against first-time opponents in the Drew era.
• Baylor's series records vs. possible Second Round opponents: BU is 0-1 vs. Duke and 1-1 vs. UNC Wilmington.
• All 11 of Baylor's losses this season came against 2016 NCAA Tournament teams.
• Rico Gathers and Taurean Prince are Baylor's only fourth-year players, and they gained postseason experience during the Bears' 2013 NIT championship, 2014 Sweet 16 appearance and 2015 NCAA Tournament appearance.
• Six additional BU players have previous NCAA Tournament experience -- seniors Lester Medford, John Heard and Austin Mills, junior Ishmail Wainright and redshirt sophomores Al Freeman and Johnathan Motley.
• The Big 12 had seven teams selected for the 2016 NCAA Championship, the most of any conference.
• The Big 12 sent 70% of its teams to the NCAA Championship for a third straight season. Prior to 2014, that had only been accomplished four times and not since 1993.

STORY LINES
• Thursday is the first-ever meeting between Baylor and Yale and the first time Baylor has been a No. 5 seed.
• Baylor is 34-10 against first-time opponents in the Scott Drew era.
• Baylor is appearing in three straight NCAA Tournaments for the first time in program history.
• Baylor is making its 10th NCAA Tournament appearance (11-11 record) and sixth under Scott Drew.
• Head coach Scott Drew is 8-5 in five previous NCAA Tournaments, including 7-1 against lower-seeded teams.
• Drew has led the Bears to two Elite Eights (2010, 2012) and three Sweet 16s (2010, 2012, 2014).
• Baylor returned 7 of 9 players who saw action in last year's NCAA Tournament.
• Baylor has played 18 of 33 games this season (55%) against teams in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
• Baylor is 29-13 in postseason tournaments (conference, national) over the last eight seasons.
• Baylor is 45-22 against non-Big 12 teams in games away from the Ferrell Center in the Drew era, including a 22-9 record in away games against non-Big 12 teams since 2011-12.
• Baylor is 40-34 in March/April games under Drew, including 15-8 in its last 23 March games.
• Baylor has gone 95-47 during Rico Gathers' and Taurean Prince's four years, averaging 24 wins per season.
• Seven of Baylor's last eight games have been against ranked teams; BU went 4-4 with all losses to top-10 teams.
• Eight Baylor players have a combined 19 games of NCAA Tournament experience over the last two years.
• Baylor is 22-3 this season when it has taken the lead at any point in the 2nd half of a game this season.
• Baylor is 22-3 this season when shooting 40% or better from the field and 0-8 when shooting less than 40%.
• Baylor is 14-3 this season when winning the turnover battle and 14-2 when getting more points off turnovers.
• Baylor worst RPI loss is No. 36 -- every other team in the nation has a worse RPI loss. BU losses: at/vs. Kansas (1), at Oregon (2), at/vs. Oklahoma (6), at/vs. West Virginia (10), at Texas A&M (18), vs. Texas (27) and vs. Texas Tech (36).
• Baylor is 21-3 against teams outside the RPI Top 10. BU's average RPI loss is No. 11, which is the nation's best mark. Baylor (11), Villanova (15) and West Virginia (16) are the only other teams with average RPI losses of 20 or better.
• Baylor has 20+ wins for a 5th straight season and 8th time in the last 9 years; BU had 3 previous 20-win seasons.
• Baylor is No. 22 in the AP Top 25 and No. 20 in the coaches poll, and has been ranked for 30 consecutive polls.
• Baylor's 10 wins in Big 12 play were its 4th-most in the league's 20-year history (12 in 2012, 11 in 2010 and 2015). The previous three double-digit Big 12 win totals all earned No. 3 seeds in the NCAA Tournament.
• Baylor finished 6-3 in Big 12 road games this season, which tied for the league's best road record.

INDIVIDUAL QUICK HITS
Scott Drew is coaching his 422nd game at Baylor (250-171). His .594 winning percentage is best in BU history among coaches with 60+ games, and his teams have a .679 winning percentage (216-102) since 2007-08.
• Four BU players earned All-Big 12 honors. Taurean Prince was on the coaches' first team, Rico Gathers was on the AP second team, Johnathan Motley earned coaches' third team and Lester Medford was honorable mention.
• Prince is the only player in the Big 12's top-15 in scoring (4th), rebounding (9th), blocks (14th) and steals (15th).
• Prince has scored in double-digits in 15 of the last 16 games and is averaging 16.4 points per game in that span.
• Gathers ranks 20th on Baylor's all-time scoring list (1,202) and has a school record 1,130 career rebounds.
• Gathers (1,130 boards) ranks 3rd in Big 12 history behind KU's Nick Collison (1,143) and UT's Damion James (1,318).
• Medford has 39 career starts at point guard and has 251 assists and 86 turnovers in those games (2.9 A-T ratio).
• Medford ranks in the top-100 nationally in total assists (9th), assist-to-turnover ratio (39th) and steals (66th).
• Medford led the Big 12 Conference with 6.8 assists per game in league play -- 122 total assists in 18 games.
Al Freeman has 20 double-figure scoring games this season. BU is 22-5 in Freeman's 27 career games with 10+ points.
• Freeman ranks 3rd in the Big 12 with an .860 free-throw percentage, 16% better than his .702 from last year.
Ishmail Wainright has 194 points this season after scoring 103 points over his first two seasons combined.
• Wainright is shooting 48% on 3-pointers in the last 11 games (14-of-29). He entered this season 5-of-20 on treys.
King McClure is shooting 41% from 3-point range (18-of-44) in the last 18 games.
• McClure averages one steal every 15.0 minutes played, which ranks 4th among all Big 12 players.
Jake Lindsey has 66 assists and 25 turnovers, and his 2.6 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks 5th among all Big 12 Conference players behing Monte Morris (4.1), Medford (2.8), Toddrick Gotcher (3.0) and Isaiah Taylor (2.7).
Johnathan Motley has started 8 of the last 10 games -- he's averaging 14.0 ppg as a starter.
• Motley leads the Big 12 with a .619 field-goal percentage, a 20% improvement from his .417 FG% from last year.
Terry Maston has 201 points and 83 boards this season -- he had 19 points and 10 boards all of last season.
• Maston shot .573 from the field in Big 12 play, which ranked 3rd among all players with at least 2.0 FGM/game.

BAYLOR VS. 2016 NCAA FIELD OF 68
• Baylor is 7-11 this season against the 10 teams it has faced that are in the 2016 NCAA Championship field.
• Baylor went 2-9 against teams that earned higher seeds than its No. 5 and 5-2 against lower-seeded teams.
• BU has faced Midwest No. 4 Iowa State (2-0), South No. 1 Kansas (0-3), West No. 2 Oklahoma (0-2), West No. 1 Oregon (0-1), East No. 14 Stephen F. Austin (1-0), West No. 6 Texas (2-1), West No. 3 Texas A&M (0-1), Midwest No. 8 Texas Tech (1-1), South No. 11 Vanderbilt (1-0) and East No. 3 West Virginia (0-2).
• The Bears have played seven games against fellow West Region teams: No. 1 seed Oregon, No. 2 seed Oklahoma (twice), No. 3 seed Texas A&M, No. 6 seed Texas (three times).

LINEUP NOTES
• Baylor has used only two starting lineups all season. Taurean Prince, Lester Medford, Ishmail Wainright and Al Freeman have started all 32 games. Rico Gathers has started 25 games and Johnathan Motley has 8 starts.
• Baylor's projected starting lineup has 426 games of combined experience, including 224 starts.
Lester Medford has started all 67 games at Baylor since joining the team prior to the 2014-15 season.
Rico Gathers played a school-record 132 straight games before missing the Feb. 10 game at K-State due to illness. Gathers will tie A.J. Walton's school record of 141 games played when he checks in vs. Yale.
Johnathan Motley, who has come off the bench most of this season, is now in the projected starting lineup after starting 8 of the last 10 games. Motley has 42 career starts over his first two seasons.

TEAM QUICK HITS
• Thursday's game will be televised on CBS, Baylor's 171st straight televised game.
• Baylor ranks top-15 nationally in offensive rebound percentage (3rd, 40.3), assists per game (5th, 17.8), rebound margin (15th,+7.9) and steal percentage (15th, 11.4).
• Baylor is 17-4 in overtime games under Drew, including wins in 12 of its last 14 OT games.
• Baylor has won 125 games since 2011-12, which ranks 2nd in the Big 12 behind Kansas (145).
• Baylor is 83-71 in Big 12 play since 2007-08 after going 45-131 in the league's first 11 years.
• Baylor is 18-2 this season when leading at the half and 100-13 when leading at the half since 2011-12.
• Baylor has won 37% of its games (25-42) when tied or trailing at half since 2011-12, including 4-9 this season.
• Baylor has a .694 winning percentage over the last five seasons (125-55).
• Baylor is 41-24 in games decided by 5 or fewer points since 2008-09.
• Baylor is 346-80 in football and men's and women's basketball since 2011-12, the nation's best record in that span.
• Baylor is 1 of 3 schools nationally ranked by the AP in football, men's basketball and women's basketball (Mich. St., OU).
• Baylor is 216-102 (24 wins per season) over the last 9 seasons and has made 7 postseason appearances (NCAA Tournament -- 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015; NIT -- 2009, 2013).
• Baylor's 17-5 postseason record since 2009 is the nation's 4th-best among teams with 3+ NCAA appearances.
• Baylor is one of only 14 schools nationally to play in the Sweet 16 in 3 of the last 6 seasons.
• Baylor is one of 13 teams to be nationally ranked in each of the last nine seasons.
• Baylor has won 18+ games in 9 straight seasons, more than the program's previous 101 seasons combined (8).
• Baylor's 5 NBA Draft picks in the last 4 years ranks 8th nationally.
• Baylor has the Big 12's 2nd-longest active streak (15th-longest nationally) with at least one 3-point FG made in 799 consecutive games. The last time BU didn't make a 3-pointer was Feb. 21, 1990, a win vs. Texas Tech.

FOURTH-BEST SEED IN PROGRAM HISTORY
• Baylor's No. 5 seed is the fourth-best NCAAA Tournament seed in program history. 
• Baylor was a No. 3 seed in 2010, 2012 and 2015.
• The Bears have also been a No. 6 seed (2014), a No. 9 seed (1988) and a No. 11 seed (2008).
• Baylor's three other NCAA Tournament appearances came before seeding began in 1979.

WEALTH OF POSTSEASON EXPERIENCE
• Eight Baylor players have previous NCAA Tournament experience.
Rico Gathers will be playing in his 10th career postseason game, and Taurean Prince will be playing in his ninth postseason game. Both played all four of Baylor's games in the 2014 and 2015 NCAA Tournaments. Gathers played all five games in Baylor's 2013 NIT championship run, while Prince played four of five games.
• Seven of the nine players who saw action for Baylor in last year's NCAA Tournament are back: Gathers, Prince, Al Freeman, Lester Medford, Austin Mills, Johnathan Motley and Ishmail Wainright.
• John Heard played all three games in Baylor's 2014 NCAA Tournament run.

DREW IN NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
• Head coach Scott Drew has an 8-5 record over five NCAA Championship appearances.
• Drew has guided Baylor to six NCAA Tournament appearances in the last nine seasons, more than doubling Baylor's all-time NCAA Tournament berths, as the Bears went to four NCAAs prior to his arrival.
• Drew was a major factor in Valparaiso's six NCAA appearances (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002) while an assistant on his father Homer's staff.
• In 2008, Drew guided Baylor to its first NCAA Championship appearance in 20 seasons.

BAYLOR IN NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
• Baylor has nine previous NCAA Championship appearances, and the Bears have lost to the eventual national champion four times (1946, 1948, 2010 and 2012).
• Baylor's 1946 team lost to Oklahoma A&M in the regional semifinals in Kansas City, Mo.
• Baylor's 1948 squad lost to Kentucky in the national title game at New York's Madison Square Garden,
• Baylor's 2010 team lost to Duke in the Elite Eight at Houston's Reliant Stadium.
• Baylor's 2012 team lost to Kentucky in the Elite Eight at Atlanta's Georgia Dome.
• Prior to 2015, Baylor's NCAA bids all came in even-numbered years --1946, 1948, 1950, 1988, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014. The Bears are appearing in three straight NCAA Tournaments for the first time in program history.
• Baylor played in three tournaments in a five-year span between 1946-1950 under head coach Bill Henderson, including Final Four appearances in 1948 and 1950.

ONE OF 14 TEAMS WITH THREE SWEET 16 APPEARANCES SINCE 2010
• Baylor is one of 14 teams nationally to make three Sweet 16 appearances in the last six years.
• The Bears are joined by Arizona, Duke, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Marquette, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Syracuse, Wisconsin and Xavier.
Scott Drew is the youngest of 11 coaches nationally to lead his current program to three Sweet 16s since 2010.
• Drew (45) is joined by Xavier's Chris Mack (46), Arizona's Sean Miller (47), Ohio State's Thad Matta (48), Kansas' Bill Self (53), Kentucky's John Calipari (57), Michigan State's Tom Izzo (61), Louisville's Rick Pitino (63), North Carolina's Roy Williams (65), Duke's Mike Krzyzewski (69) and Syracuse's Jim Boeheim (71).

NATION's FOURTH-BEST POSTSEASON RECORD
• Baylor's 17-5 postseason record over the past seven seasons is the nation's fourth-best among teams with three or more NCAA Tournament berths since 2009.
• The Bears' 17 postseason wins trail only Kentucky (24), North Carolina (20), Michigan State (20), Duke (19) and Louisville (18) during that span.
• Baylor went 4-1 and advanced to the 2009 NIT Championship game, 3-1 on their way to NCAA Tournament Elite Eight berths in 2010 and 2012, 5-0 to claim the 2013 NIT title and 2-1 on its way to the 2014 Sweet 16.

ANOTHER DREW FIRST
• Head coach Scott Drew is the first coach in program history to lead Baylor to eight postseason appearances, the first to lead BU to six NCAA Championships, and the first to lead BU to three straight NCAA Tournaments.
• With his sixth NCAA Championship berth, Drew has led Baylor to more NCAA Tournament appearances in the last nine years than the program had prior to his arrival (four).
• Drew has led Baylor to NCAA bids in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016, posting an 8-5 record in NCAA Tournament games. He also took BU to the NIT in 2009 and 2013, and he has a 9-1 record at Baylor in the NIT.

FINAL FOURS, "MR. BILL" AND THE GOLDEN YEARS OF BAYLOR BASKETBALL
• The golden years of Baylor basketball came under the direction of the late Bill Henderson. "Mr. Bill" led Baylor to its first three NCAA tournament appearances, two Final Fours and a national runner-up finish in 1948.
• Henderson coached for a collective 19 seasons and amassed 201 wins. He served as president of the NABC and athletic director at Baylor. Henderson is a member of the Baylor Athletic Hall of Fame, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and was the honorary coach of Baylor's All-Centennial Team.
• Henderson's 201 wins were a school record until Scott Drew surpassed him on March 14, 2014.

BAYLOR 20-WIN SEASONS
• In the program's first 101 seasons, Baylor posted 20+ wins just three times -- 1945-46, 1947-48 and 1987-88.
• In the last nine seasons, Baylor has eight 20-win campaigns.

A WIN WOULD...
• Advance Baylor to the Round of 32 for the fourth time in its last five NCAA Tournament appearances.
• Improve Baylor's record to 12-11 all-time the NCAA Tournament, including a 9-5 record under Scott Drew.
• Make Baylor 35-10 against first-time opponents during the Drew era.
• Be Baylor's 23rd win this season, tying the 8th-most in program history. It would be a 5th straight season of 23+ wins.
• Make Baylor 41-34 in March/April games under Scott Drew, including 17-6 in its last 23 such games.
• Give Baylor a 126-55 record since the start of the 2011-12 season and 217-102 since 2007-08.

KEYS TO VICTORY
• Baylor is 18-2 this season when leading at the half and 100-13 when leading at the break since 2011-12.
• BU is 14-3 when committing fewer turnovers than its opponent and 14-2 when getting more points off turnovers.
• Baylor is 22-3 this season when shooting 40% or better from the field and 0-8 when shooting less than 40%.
• Baylor is 18-2 this season when posting 16+ assists and 3-9 when recording 15 or fewer assists.
• Baylor is 14-3 when holding opponents below 70 points and 20-6 when holding teams below 80 points.
• Baylor is 22-5 when Al Freeman scores 10+ points, including a 15-5 mark this season.
• Baylor is 19-4 when Johnathan Motley scores 10+ points, including a 12-3 mark this season.
• Baylor is 28-7 when Lester Medford records 5+ assists, including an 18-6 mark this season.

FIRST TIME SUCCESS
• Baylor is 34-10 against first-time opponents in the Scott Drew era.
• Since 2007-08, Baylor is 28-6 against first-time opponents, including seven postseason games (W vs. Georgetown in 2009 NIT; W vs. Saint Mary's in 2010 NCAA; L vs. Duke in 2010 NCAA; W vs. South Dakota State in 2012 NCAA; W vs. Creighton in 2014 NCAA; L vs. Wisconsin in 2014 NCAA; L vs. Georgia State in 2015 NCAA).

WINNING AWAY FROM HOME VS. NON-BIG 12 TEAMS
• Baylor is 45-22 against non-conference teams in games away from the Ferrell Center in the Scott Drew era, including a 22-9 record in away games against non-Big 12 teams since 2011-12.
• Baylor is 43-18 in non-conference games away from home since the 2007-08 season (1-2 in 2015-16; 3-2 in 2014-15; 6-2 in 2013-14; 5-2 in 2012-13; 8-1 in 2011-12; 1-3 in 2010-11; 8-2 in 2009-10; 6-2 in 2008-09; 5-2 in 2007-08).

TWELVE WINS OVER RANKED TEAMS IN LAST TWO SEASONS
• Baylor has gone 12-14 against ranked teams since the start of the 2014-15 season.
• The Bears set a school record with seven wins against ranked teams last season, and Baylor's five wins over ranked teams this season ties the second-most in program history (5 in 2013-14).
• This season, Baylor has ranked wins over No. 16 Vanderbilt, at No. 13 Iowa State, vs. No. 13 Iowa State, at No. 24 Texas and vs. No. 23 Texas.
• BU is 31-54 against ranked teams since 2007-08 after going 0-27 in Drew's first four rebuilding seasons.
• Baylor has won multiple games vs. AP Top 25 teams in each of the last nine seasons.
• Prior to winning multiple games vs. ranked teams in each of the last nine seasons, Baylor had only four seasons with multiple AP Top 25 victories in its first 101 years of basketball (1959, 1982, 1997, 2001).

FOUR BEARS PICK UP ALL-BIG 12 RECOGNITION
• Four Baylor players picked up 2016 All-Big 12 recognition. Taurean Prince was named All-Big 12 First Team, Rico Gathers and Johnathan Motley were Third Team, and Lester Medford earned Honorable Mention.
• The Bears' four selections tied 2012 for the most in program history.
• Prince became the 5th player in program history to earn All-Big 12 First Team recognition from the coaches, joining Terry Blake (2001), Curtis Jerrells (2008), LaceDarius Dunn (2011) and Gathers (2015).
• Gathers and Prince both repeated as All-Big 12 honorees, while Motley and Medford were first-time selections.
• Baylor has had a junior college transfer point guard earn All-Big 12 recognition in five straight seasons. Medford (2016) joined Kenny Chery (2014, 2015) and Pierre Jackson (2012, 2013).

SECOND-MOST WINS AMONG BIG 12 TEAMS SINCE 2011-12
• Baylor is 125-55 since 2011-12, which trails only Kansas (145-36) among Big 12 teams.
• Iowa State (121-51) is 3rd, Oklahoma (108-56) is 4th, Kansas State (101-65) is 5th, Texas (100-69) is 6th, West Virginia (100-67) is 7th, Oklahoma State (90-74) is 8th, TCU (68-94) is 9th and Texas Tech (65-92) is 10th.

FIFTH STRAIGHT 20-WIN SEASON
• Baylor has won 20+ games in each of the last five seasons and in eight of the last nine years. The Bears had just three 20-win seasons in the program's first 101 years (1907-2007).
• Baylor has topped 22 wins in each of the past 5 seasons and is averaging 25.0 wins per season in that span.
• Baylor has won 18+ games in 9 consecutive seasons, surpassing the total number of 18-win seasons in the program's prior 101 seasons combined (8; 1946, 1948, 1969, 1971, 1987, 1988, 1997, 2001).
• Baylor's 9-season streak of 18+ wins trails only Kansas among Big 12 teams. The next closest is Iowa State (5).
Scott Drew is responsible for 8 of Baylor's 11 seasons of 20+ wins and half of BU's 14 postseason appearances.

ONE OF THREE RANKED IN FB, MBB AND WBB
• Baylor joins Michigan State and Oklahoma as the only schools ranked in the AP Top 25 in football, men's basketball and women's basketball.
• Baylor men's basketball is ranked No. 22, football is No. 13 and women's basketball is No. 4.
• Michigan State is ranked No. 6 in football, No. 2 in men's basketball and No. 16 in women's basketball. Oklahoma is No. 5 in football, No. 6 in men's basketball and No. 24 in women's basketball.
• Baylor, Louisville and Michigan State were the only teams to finish the 2014-15 academic year ranked in the final AP Polls for all three sports.

ALL-TIME WINS LEADER
Scott Drew holds Baylor's school record with 250 career wins as head coach.
• Drew's .595 winning percentage is the best ever by a Baylor coach with 60+ games at the helm.

TOP-15 NATIONALLY IN REBOUNDING, ASSISTS AND STEALS
• Baylor ranks top-15 nationally in assists per game (4th, 18.4), offensive rebound percentage (3rd, 40.9), rebound margin (14th, +8.2) and steal percentage (13th, 11.6).
• Rico Gathers leads the nation in offensive rebound percentage (19.1) and ranks 45th in defensive rebound percentage (25.1), while Lester Medford ranks 26th in assist rate (35.2).

DOUBLE-DIGIT WINS IN BIG 12 PLAY
• Baylor's 10 Big 12 wins marked the 4th time (all in last 7 years) that Baylor has posted double-digit Big 12 victories.
• Baylor's only other seasons with double-digit Big 12 wins were 2010, 2012 and 2015. The Bears were No. 3 seeds in the NCAA Tournament in all three of those seasons.
• Baylor went 6-3 in Big 12 road games, tying the program's most Big 12 road wins in a season (6-3 in 2012).
• The Bears' 6-3 record in Big 12 road games tied the league's best, equaling Kansas (6-3) and West Virginia (6-3) as the only other teams with .500 or better records in Big 12 road games.

MEDFORD RUNNING EFFICIENT OFFENSE
Lester Medford ranks top 100 nationally in total assists (9th), assist-to-turnover ratio (39th) and steals (66th).
• Medford's 216 assists this year rank 4th on BU's single-season list. His current 6.55 assists per game ranks 5th in Baylor single-season history, and his 4.81 career assists per game ranks 5th on Baylor's all-time list.
• Medford's 322 career assists rank 7th in program history and he ranks 5th with 4.81 career assists per game.
• Medford has two game-winning shots this season. He hit a 3-pointer in the final minute to give Baylor a 69-67 win against No. 13 Vanderbilt on Dec. 6, then made a buzzer-beater 3-pointer to win 63-60 at Texas Tech on Jan. 16.
• Medford has six double-digit assists games this season, including a pair of games with 11+ assists and 0 turnovers.
• In 39 career starts as point guard, Medford has 251 assists and 86 turnovers, posting a 2.9 assist-to-turnover ratio.

PRINCE DOING IT ALL
• Taurean Prince is the only player ranked in the Big 12's top 15 in points, rebounds, blocks and steals. Prince ranks 4th in scoring (15.5), 9th in rebounding (6.1), 14th in blocks (0.8) and 15th in steals (1.3).
• Prince is the 5th player in program history named All-Big 12 First Team by the league's coaches.
• Prince ranks 11th in the Big 12 in free throw percentage (.774) and 8th in offensive rebounds per game (2.4).
• Prince has scored in double figures in 15 of the last 16 games and 43 of 49 games dating back to Jan. 17, 2015.
• Prince has 11 games with 20+ points in that stretch, including a pair of 30-point efforts.
• Prince earned his first career Big 12 Player of the Week award after a career-high 30 points in the Dec. 6 win over No. 13 Vanderbilt. Prince scored 16 of 18 Baylor points in a 6-minute span during the first half.

GATHERS SETS ANOTHER REBOUNDING RECORD
Rico Gathers broke Brian Skinner's school record with his 916th career board in the Dec. 6 win vs. No. 13 Vandy.
• Gathers already held Baylor's single-season (394) and single-game (28) rebounding records, both set last season.
• Gathers has 1,130 career rebounds, which ranks 3rd on the Big 12's career list. He trails Kansas' Nick Collison (1,143) and Texas' Damion James (1,318).
• Gathers has 31 career double-doubles, 2nd-most in Baylor history and 3 back of Skinner's school record of 34.

MOTLEY TAKING ON STARTING ROLE
• Redshirt sophomore Johnathan Motley has started 8 of the last 10 games after coming off the bench in the season's first 23 contests. He started all 34 games as a redshirt freshman last year.
• Motley leads the Big 12 with a .619 field goal percentage, which is a 20% improvement from the .417 shooting percentage he posted last year. His .619 is the 7th-best single-season field goal percentage in program history.
• Motley is averaging 14.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 26.4 minutes per game as a starter.
• In 23 games as a reserve, Motley averaged 10.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 18.9 minutes per game.

MASTON PROVIDING FRONTCOURT DEPTH
• Sophomore forward Terry Maston averaged 6.7 points in 13.1 minutes per game in Big 12 play, up from 5.8 points and 11.7 minutes in non-conference action. He scored in double-digits 5 times in Big 12 play.
• Maston has 201 points and 83 rebounds this season, a massive improvement from the 19 points and 10 rebounds he posted in just 11 games played as a freshman last season.
• Maston is shooting .568 from the field, which ranks 4th among Big 12 players with at least 2.0 FGM per game.

GATHERS AND PRINCE JOIN 1,000-POINT CLUB
• Rico Gathers became Baylor's 29th 1,000-point scorer (11th of Drew era) on Dec. 23 vs. New Mexico State.
Taurean Prince became Baylor's 30th 1,000-point scorer (12th of Drew era) on Jan. 9 at Iowa State.
• Prince (1,293 points) ranks 13th and Gathers (1,202 points) ranks 20th on BU's all-time scoring list.

FREEMAN SHOWING IMPROVEMENT
• Sophomore Al Freeman has moved into the starting shooting guard role after coming off the bench last year.
• Freeman has improved his assist-to-turnover ratio from 0.87 last year to 1.33 this season.
• Freeman has improved his free throw shooting by 16% from last season (86% from 70%) and has improved his 3-point shooting by 7% from last season (39% from 32%).
• Freeman has doubled his points total (379 from 163) and his steals total (26 from 10) from last season.
• Freeman's current .860 free-throw percentage is the 5th-best in a season in program history
• Freeman already has 20 double-digit scoring games, nearly tripling his total (7) from all 34 games last season.
• Freeman ranks 3rd in the Big 12 Conference in free-throw percentage (.860) and 20th in scoring (11.5).

WAINRIGHT FILLING STAT SHEET
• Junior forward Ishmail Wainright stepped into the starting small forward role with the graduation of Royce O'Neale.
• Wainright, who lost 30 pounds in the offseason to improve his quickness, has scored in double-figures 6 times this season after not doing so in any of his 63 games played in his first two seasons.
• Wainright averages 5.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 0.6 blocks in 24.7 minutes per game. He ranks second on the team in assists, third in steals, fourth in rebounding and blocks and fifth in 3-pointers made.
• Wainright has scored 91 more points this season (194) than his first two seasons combined (103).
• Wainright shot .472 from 3-point range in conference play (17-of-36), which was the 2nd-best mark among all Big 12 players with at least 15 attempts, trailing only Texas Tech's Justin Gray at .500 (18-of-36).
• Wainright has made 27-of-68 from 3-point range (40%) this season, after shooting 5-of-20 from long range (25%) over his first two years combined.

LINDSEY STEADY AS BACKUP POINT GUARD
• Freshman Jake Lindsey serves as the backup point guard to Lester Medford, averaging 12.5 minutes per game.
• Lindsey has 66 assists and just 25 turnovers on the season, averaging 16.6 minutes per turnover.
• Lindsey's 2.6 A-T ratio ranks 5th among all Big 12 players, trailing ISU's Monte Morris (4.1), Texas Tech's Toddrick Gotcher (3.0), Baylor's Lester Medford (2.8) and Texas' Isaiah Taylor (2.7).
• Lindsey, the son of Utah Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey, also sees significant time as a reserve small forward.

MCCLURE COMING ON STRONG
• Freshman guard King McClure missed the majority of preseason workouts after being diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) in June. He had an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrilator (ICD) surgically implanted as a precaution for his HCM in August, and he was cleared to resume basketball activities on Oct. 1.
• McClure had a career-high 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting in Baylor's 2-point loss at No. 6 Oklahoma.
• McClure is averaging 6.1 ppg and shooting 43% from 3-point range (17-of-40) in the last 16 games.
• McClure has made 17-of-40 from 3-point range in his last 16 games, scoring 95 points in 242 minutes.

HALFTIME ADJUSTMENTS
• Baylor has won 88% of its games when leading at the half since 2011-12. The Bears are 100-13 when leading at the break in that stretch (18-2 in 2015-16, 21-7 in 2014-15, 18-2 in 2013-14, 17-1 in 2012-13 and 26-1 in 2011-12).
• BU has won 37% of games in which its been tied or trailing at the half since 2011-12, going 25-42 in those.
• BU has led at halftime in 113 of 180 games over the last five seasons. With wins in 100 of those 113 games, and victories in 25 of 67 games it has trailed or been tied at the half, Baylor is 125-55 since 2011-12.

ELITE OFFENSIVE EFFICIENCY
• Baylor's offense has ranked among the nation's top 20 in KenPom's adjusted offensive efficiency metric in 8 of the last 9 seasons, joining Duke as the only teams to make that claim.
• Baylor is No. 13 currently nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency this season.
• Baylor was No. 18 in 2014-15, No. 9 in 2013-14, No. 14 in 2012-13, No. 8 in 2011-12, No. 3 in 2009-10, No. 11 in 2008-09 and No. 11 in 2007-08.
• Most times ranked in nation's top-20 since 2007-08: Duke-9, Baylor-8, Arizona-7, Florida-6, Kansas-5, Kentucky-5, North Carolina-5, Pittsburgh-5 and Wisconsin-5.

NATION'S BEST IN 3 MAJOR SPORTS OVER LAST 5 SEASONS
• Since 2011-12, Baylor has the nation's most combined wins across football and men's and women's basketball.
• The Bears are 346-80 in that span, giving Baylor 83 more wins than any other Big 12 team, and 10 more than the next closest team nationally (Notre Dame at 336-85).

RANKED IN NINE STRAIGHT SEASONS
• Baylor joins Kansas as the only two Big 12 Conference schools to be ranked in each of the last nine seasons.
• Baylor has been ranked for at least three weeks in each of the last nine seasons, including an active streak of 30 consecutive weeks ranked.
• Baylor is one of 13 schools to be nationally ranked in each of the last nine seasons.


By Jerry Hill
Baylor Bear Foundation

While Yale has had to live with its last NCAA Tournament loss for 54 years, Baylor has used last year's heartbreaker as motivation to get back to the Big Dance.

"Everything that we played for this season was fueled from that moment when we got bounced last year," 6-8 senior forward Rico Gathers said of the Bears' 57-56 opening-game loss to 14th-seeded Georgia State. "Just being back in that moment once again, it just motivates you to not let that happen again."

Back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1962, 12th-seeded Yale (22-6) faces the fifth-seeded Bears (22-11) at 1:40 p.m. CDT Thursday at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, R.I., in a first-round matchup in the West Regional.

"It's been a long time coming for the school and something I've been dreamed about since I was a pre-freshman coming into Yale," said 6-6 senior forward Brandon Sherrod, who is averaging 12.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. "Watching Selection Sunday, and seeing guys be a part of media day here, has always been a dream of mine. It's nice to see those dreams come true."

Particularly for returning players like Gathers and fellow seniors Lester Medford and Taurean Prince, Baylor coach Scott Drew says last year's nightmarish loss served as incentive to get back to the tournament "and have a different memory."

"It doesn't guarantee any success this year in the NCAA Tournament," said Drew, who is 8-5 in five previous NCAA Tournaments and 17-6 overall in postseason play (NCAA or NIT) at Baylor, "but I think it definitely played a part in their motivation this year. Our upperclassmen have done a great job this year with leadership, and that's why we're here."

Yale, which has won 17 of its last 18 games after a 5-5 start, played a challenging non-conference schedule that included road losses at SMU, Duke, Illinois and USC. The Bulldogs rebounded to win the Ivy League championship, clinching it with a 71-55 win at Columbia in the March 5 regular-season finale.

"We have certainly seen teams like this this year, and every year we try to play a very competitive schedule," Yale coach James Jones said. "(Senior forward) Justin Sears, in his four years, has played at least 20 games like this that we're going to play. Certainly it's going to be a challenge with them. . . . We're a great rebounding team and they're a great rebounding team, they're just a little bit better."

That's where this game could be decided, on the glass. The Bears have a slight edge in offensive rebounds per game (13.83-13.73), with the teams ranking 15th and 16th nationally, while Yale is No. 2 (11.1) and Baylor 14th (7.9) in rebounding margin.

"We take pride in rebounding, and obviously Yale does, too," said Gathers, who is averaging 11.4 points per game and ranks among the national leaders in rebounds (9.1) and offensive rebounds per game (4.0). "It's probably going to be one of those matchups thatr probably comes down to the last rebound, to be honest with you."

Yale's frontline of the 6-8, 205-pound Sears (15.8 ppg, 7.5 rebounds) and 6-6, 240-pound Sherrod might have a difficult time matching up with the 6-8, 275-pound Gathers, 6-9, 230-pound sophomore forward Johnathan Motley (11.1, 5.1) and 6-8, 220-pound senior Taurean Prince, a first-team All-Big 12 pick who is averaging 15.5 points and 6.1 rebounds.

"Rico Gathers is the size of a small town, and I'm going to have like seven guys to block him out, because I think we're going to need it," Jones said. "(I'm) going to change the NCAA rules where I can play seven and I can put a couple guys on him to get him out of the paint."

Prince said the Bears won't get caught looking ahead to a possible second-round matchup against fourth-seeded and defending national champion Duke (23-10). The No. 19/20 Blue Devils, coming off an overtime loss to Notre Dame in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals, will face 13th-seeded UNC-Wilmington (25-7) in the other first-round pairing at 11:15 a.m. CDT.

"We have to focus on the task at hand and take advantage of all opportunities that present themselves, which is Yale," Prince said. "We'd be doing our team a disfavor and our program a disfavor if we do otherwise." The senior forward said the Bears didn't look past Georgia State, either. Baylor had a 12-point lead with less than three minutes remaining, losing it on R.J. Hunter's 30-foot shot in the final seconds. "We know we made some mistakes that we shouldn't have made," he said. "It was nothing on our coaching staff, nothing on anybody else but the players who were on the floor at that time." Baylor assistant coach Grant McCasland is back with the team after being introduced as the new head coach at Arkansas State at Wednesday's press conference in Jonesboro. McCasland has spent the last five years at Baylor, helping the Bears to four NCAA Tournament appearances and the 2013 NIT championship, after compiling a head coaching record of 199-44 in stops at Midwestern State and Midland College. "The reason you're in coaching is you want to serve and you want to help your players reach their goals and dreams. And that also comes into play with your staff," Drew said. "To see Coach McCasland or any of your assistants have a chance to become a head coach in a quality program, you're ecstatic and excited for them with that opportunity. It's a special time."

 

 

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