BAYLOR (2-1) vs. TEXAS SOUTHERN (0-2)
Nov. 20, 2006 - Ferrell Center (Waco, Texas) - 7:00 p.m. CST
RADIO: Baylor-ISP Sports Radio Network (ESPN/KRZI 1660AM Waco)
INTERNET AUDIO: live broadcast at BaylorBears.com
INTERNET VIDEO: live video stream at BaylorBears.com
LIVE STATS: live GameTracker stats at BaylorBears.com
Baylor begins a five-game homestand by hosting Texas Southern Monday, Nov. 20. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. CST at the Ferrell Center. Baylor is 2-1 and coming off a 78-69 loss to Gonzaga in the West Region championship game of the NIT Season Tipoff in Spokane, Wash., last Wednesday. The young Bears, with nine freshmen and sophomores, are playing a full season and have a full allotment of scholarships for the first time in four years. Texas Southern is 0-2 and most recently lost 86-65 at Oklahoma State Friday night.
- Baylor is 21-0 all-time against current SWAC schools.
- BU is 54-19 in regular-season non-league games the last 7 seasons (2-1 in `06-07).
- Henry Dugat ranks 6th among the Big 12 scoring leaders - 18.7 ppg.
- Aaron Bruce ranks 2nd among the Big 12 assists leaders - 7.0 apg.
- Baylor has hit on an impressive 93.8% (15-of-16) of "clutch" free throws (the final 3 minutes of the game and overtimes).
- Baylor has won 3 straight home games and 5 of its last 6 in the Ferrell Center (dating back to last season).
- Aaron Bruce & Curtis Jerrells are both shooting 9% (1-of-11) on 3-pointers through 3 games this season [Bruce shot 41% and Jerrells 37% last season].
- The sophomore quartet (Diene, Dugat, Jerrells & Rogers; last season's Freshman Four) account for 60% of Baylor's scoring and 63% of its rebounds.
- Underclassmen have led BU in scoring in 43 of its last 48 games (dating to 2004-05) [in 28 of last 48 a freshman has been top scorer].
- Sophomore Mamadou Diene has made at least one block in all 19 career games.
- Baylor's last three recruiting classes have all been rated Top-20 nationally: 2006 No. 17 (Rivals.com); 2005 No. 11 (Rivals.com); and 2004 No. 10 (Hoopscoop.com).
- True freshman Tweety Carter is Baylor's first-ever McDonald's All-America signee.
- Baylor is 17-3 when scoring 70+ points (in Drew Era; 4 seasons).
- BU is 1-34 when allowing opponents to shoot 50% or higher (in 4 years under Drew).
- Over the past six seasons Baylor is 56-5 when totaling an equal or higher shooting percentage than its opponent (2-0 in 2006-07).
BAYLOR vs. NON-CONFERENCE FOES
The Bears are 54-19 in regular-season non-league play over the past seven seasons (2-1 this season).
HEAD COACH Scott Drew
Scott Drew, in his fourth season at Baylor in what many have called the most daunting rebuilding project in college basketball history, owns a four-year mark of 23-54 at the school and a career record of 43-65 (five seasons). Prior to Baylor, Drew spent 10 seasons at Valparaiso, the last as head coach after nine seasons as an assistant to his father Homer. During his decade at Valpo, the Crusaders earned six NCAA Tournament berths, including five straight from 1996-2000. An outstanding recruiter, Drew is responsible for five national Top-20 recruiting classes over the last eight years (No. 17 in 2006, No. 11 in 2005 and No. 10 in 2004 at Baylor; No. 6 in 2001 and No. 13 in 1999 at Valpo). He was named the 1998-99 National Recruiter of the Year by Court Vision.
THE TEXAS SOUTHERN TIGERS
Head Coach: Ronnie Courtney (McMurray, 1981); 62-84, 6 seasons
Series vs. Baylor: BU leads 4-0
Last meeting: Baylor 72-59; Nov. 22, 2003 in Waco
Streak: BU won 4 straight
Series in Waco: BU leads 4-0
Drew vs. TSU: 1-0
Baylor vs. SWAC: 21-0
TSU NOTES: Texas Southern (0-2) is located in Houston, and is a member of the Southwest Athletic Conference... The Tigers return three starters from last season's 8-22 squad... CSU is led by junior F Jacques Jones, who is averaging 16.5 points and 6.5 rebounds.
FULL ROSTER, FULL SCHEDULE
For the first time in four seasons since taking over at Baylor, head coach Scott Drew has both a full allotment of scholarships available and a complete schedule to play. For three seasons the Bears have played through handicaps: in each of the first three years the program was playing with scholarship limits; last season, the Bears were stripped of playing a non-conference schedule (all results of sanctions brought on by the previous coaching staff). In 2006-07 Baylor has 13 scholarships available to use and will play a full schedule.
ESTABLISHING A HOME-COURT ADVANTAGE
The rebuilding Bears are quietly establishing a winning tradition at home in the Ferrell Center. Baylor has won three straight home contests, and has won five of its last six games in Waco (dating back to last season).
DUGAT LEADING BEARS
Henry Dugat has started his sophomore season with a bang. Through three games (his first three career starts), the guard is leading the team with 18.7 points per game and shooting 40 percent (6-for-15) on 3-pointers and 86 percent (12-for-14) from the free throw line. Dugat totaled career-highs of 29 points and seven rebounds in leading Baylor over Colorado State in the NIT Season Tip-Off.
NO SOPHOMORE SLUMP FOR LAST SEASON'S "FRESHMAN FOUR"
Baylor is powered by its nucleus of youth, namely a quartet of sophomores who as rookies in 2005-06 were 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% 51% 49% Sophomores in 2006-07 60% 63% 39%
Senior G/F Pat Fields is out with a sprained MCL in his knee suffered during the exhibition game Nov. 4 (expected to be sidelined a total of for four to six weeks).
BRUCE ALMIGHTY BACK AS SEASONED JUNIOR
The 2006-07 Bears are once again led by third-year guard Aaron Bruce, who is averaging 8.0 points and 7.0 assists through three games. The junior, rated the nation's 11th-best point guard by The Sporting News preseason publication, spent the offseason playing for the Australian national team at the 2006 FIBA World Championships in Japan. Bruce averaged 13.1 points during an injury-riddled sophomore campaign last season and averaged 18.2 points in 2004-05 when he led the nation's freshmen in scoring and was named a freshman All-American.
JERRELLS LOOKS TO BUILD ON STELLAR FRESHMAN SEASON
Curtis Jerrells, who is averaging 11.7 points and 4.7 rebounds through three games, is coming off a rookie season in which he led the team in scoring (13.5 ppg), assists (3.3 apg), steals (1.4 spg) and minutes (33.4 mpg) and was named a Freshman All-American. Jerrells is projected a preseason All-Big 12 selection by Lindy's, USA TODAY and ESPN.com. He has also been named the Big 12's "Most Underrated Player" by both Athlon and The Sporting News preseason publications.
MAYOR DIENE'S SECOND TERM AS SHOT BLOCKER
Mamadou Diene, a seven-foot sophomore from Senegal, is averaging 6.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in limited action due to an ankle injury. Diene established himself in his rookie season as the Big 12's top shot-blocker and is on pace to be the second-most prolific swatter in Baylor history. Diene averaged a league-leading 2.2 blocks per game in 2005-06 and his 2.26 career figure is second all-time at Baylor behind only current Milwaukee Buck Brian Skinner's 3.36 average (1994-98). The 19-year-old Diene, referred to as "The Mayor" by the Baylor coaching staff due to his huge popularity across campus, has gained more than 55 pounds since his arrival in the United States in Jan. 2005 weighing 197 pounds.
BEARS STILL YOUNG
Despite returning 11 of last season's 13 players, the Bears are still a relatively young squad in 2006-07. Baylor's roster includes just two seniors and three juniors compared to nine freshmen and sophomores. [Note: Underclassmen have led Baylor in scoring in 40 of its last 45 games (over the last three seasons); in 28 of those 45 a freshman has been top scorer.]
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.
LAST TIME OUT: GONZAGA 78 - BAYLOR 69
The cold-shooting Bears couldn't keep up with Gonzaga's balanced attack as Baylor lost a 78-69 decision to the Zags in the West Region championship game of the NIT Season Tip-Off in Spokane, Wash. Baylor made just 36 percent of its field goals and starting guard Aaron Bruce was 0-for-12, but the Bears managed to hang in for much of the game. Henry Dugat led the Bears with 16 points, while Curtis Jerrells had 13 and Kevin Rogers added 12. Gonzaga jumped to a 16-5 lead as Baylor, made up primarily of freshmen and sophomores, made just 2 of its first 14 shots. Gonzaga led 39-27 at halftime after making 14-of-26 field goals and all 10 of its free throws. Baylor made just 9-of-36 for 25 percent in the first half, including 1-of-11 from 3-point range. Two dunks by Josh Heytvelt keyed a 9-2 run to open the second half and lifted Gonzaga to a 48-29 lead. Dugat's 3-pointer capped an 11-2 Baylor run that closed Gonzaga's lead to 50-40 with 12 minutes left. The Zags rebuilt a 15-point lead, but the Bears finally found the range in the closing minutes, making three 3-pointers to pull within 68-59 with 3:11 left. But they could not get closer.
THE LAST MEETING: BAYLOR 72 - TEXAS SOUTHERN 59 [Nov. 22, 2003]
Terrance Thomas had 16 points and 11 rebounds and five Bears scored in double figures in a 72-59 win over Texas Southern at the Ferrell Center to open the 2003-2004 season at Baylor. The win was the first for head coach Scott Drew at Baylor. Tommy Swanson made Baylor's first shot for a 2-0 lead just 30 seconds in. The game was tied only once, and the Bears led for good after R.T. Guinn's layup made it 4-2. Baylor led by as many as 21 points before settling for a 41-23 halftime lead. With only seven scholarship players in uniform, Baylor's play got ragged in the second half as the minutes added up for the starters. Four of them played at least 34 minutes while Swanson was limited to eight minutes because of four fouls. Texas Southern used an 18-4 run to cut the gap to 54-46 on Damien Smith's free throw with 8:09 left. That came a possession after he hit a 3-pointer from just in front of his coach on the sideline. Ellis Kidd Jr. ended Baylor's 4:30 scoring drought with a 3-pointer at the seven-minute mark and Matt Sayman followed with a layup. Sayman had 15 points while Guinn had 13. Kidd and Corey Herring both had 10 points.
MILESTONES & RECORDS WATCH
- Aaron Bruce ranks 5th on Baylor's career 3-point percentage list (.390).
- Aaron Bruce is 9 made 3-pointers shy of moving into 7th place on Baylor's career 3-point field goal list (114 made, David Wesley No. 7 with 123).
- Pat Fields ranks 6th on Baylor's career 3-point percentage list (.378).
- Aaron Bruce ranks 5th on Baylor's career free throw percentage list (.820).
- Mamadou Diene ranks 2nd on Baylor's career blocks-per-game list (2.26).
FERRELL CENTER'S 19th YEAR
The Bears enter their 19th season in the beautiful Ferrell Center this year. Baylor is 1-0 at home in 2006-07 and owns a 155-113 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.
FRESHMAN CLASS RATED 17th NATIONALLY
Baylor's 2006 signee class was rated the nation's 17th-best class by Rivals.com and is made up of a trio of freshman, all top-100 national recruits. The signees include Demond "Tweety" Carter of Reserve Christian School (Reserve, La.), Josh Lomers of Boerne (Texas) High School and Djibril "Penny" Thiam of Stoneridge Prep (Tarzana, Calif.).
Baylor's 14-man, 2006-07 roster boasts 10 Americans and four players from overseas. The four international student-athletes include junior Aaron Bruce (native of Australia), sophomore Mamadou Diene (native of Senegal), redshirt freshman Jari Vanttaja (native of Finland) and true freshman Djibril "Penny" Thiam (native of Senegal).
EARLY 2007 SIGNEES
Baylor signed two players in the early signing period, LaceDarius Dunn of Monroe, La., and Fred Ellis of Sacramento, Calif. Dunn, a senior at Excelsior Christian School, is the highest-rated Baylor signee in recent memory. Dunn is rated the No. 18 recruit nationally by Scout.com's Dave Telep. Other national ratings include: No. 27 by Hoopmasters.com, No. 29 by HoopScoop.com and No. 33 by Rivals.com. A 6-4 shooting guard, Dunn was rated the No. 5 player at the 2006 Adidas Superstar Camp in Atlanta by USA TODAY. He is rated the nation's fifth-best shooting guard by Scout.com and the No. 7 shooting guard by Rivals.com. Dunn is a two-time, first-team all-state honoree who guided ECS to a 35-4 record as a junior in 2005-06, averaging 27.7 points, 13 rebounds and 4.2 assists. Dunn led Excelsior Christian to the Class C state title and a 47-2 record as a sophomore in 2004-05. Ellis is a senior at Sacramento High School in Sacramento, Calif. He was called the "biggest sleeper" recruit of the summer by Telep at Scout.com. A 6-7 wing, Ellis led SHS to a 29-6 overall record and an 11-1 conference mark as a junior in 2005-06. Sacramento lost in the SJS-Div. III championship game. Ellis averaged 7.8 points and 5.1 rebounds. Ellis was invited to the Super 100 Basketball Camp in Berkeley last summer.
BAYLOR EARLY SIGNEES:
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown (Schools) LaceDarius Dunn G 6-4 190 Fr. Monroe, La. (Excelsior Christian School) Fred Ellis F 6-7 190 Fr. Sacramento, Calif. (Sacramento HS)
The Bears play their second of five straight home contests Monday, Nov. 27, when they host Alcorn State in a game scheduled to tip at 7 p.m. at the Ferrell Center.