BAYLOR (4-1) vs. GRAMBLING STATE (1-2)
Nov. 29, 2006 - Ferrell Center (Waco, Texas) - 7:00 p.m. CST
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Baylor plays its second game in three days Wednesday, Nov. 29, when the Bears host Grambling State. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. CST at the Ferrell Center. Baylor is 4-1 and coming off back-to-back wins over Alcorn State (90-59 at home Monday) and Texas Southern (74-50 at home Nov. 20). 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. Grambling State is 1-2 and most recently lost 64-46 at TCU last Friday. Baylor is 23-0 all-time vs. opponents currently in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Wednesday's game is the third in a five-game homestand for Baylor.
- Baylor is 23-0 all-time against current SWAC schools.
- Mamadou Diene leads the Big 12 in blocks per game, averaging 3.0 per game.
- BU is 56-19 in regular-season non-league games the last 7 seasons (4-1 in `06-07).
- Henry Dugat ranks 9th among the Big 12 scoring leaders - 16.0 ppg.
- Aaron Bruce ranks 4th among the Big 12 assists leaders - 5.8 apg.
- Baylor has hit on an impressive 88.2% (15-of-17) of "clutch" free throws (the final 3 minutes of the game and overtimes).
- Baylor has won 5 straight home games and 7 of its last 8 in the Ferrell Center (dating back to last season).
- Curtis Jerrells is shooting 21% (4-of-19) on 3-pointers through 5 games this season [shot 37% last season].
- Carl Sims, a scholarship wide receiver on the Bears FB team, will suit up vs. GSU.
- The sophomore quartet (Diene, Dugat, Jerrells & Rogers; last season's "Freshman Four") account for 54% of Baylor's scoring and 59% of its rebounds.
- Underclassmen have led BU in scoring in 44 of its last 50 games (dating to 2004-05) [in 28 of last 50 a freshman has been top scorer].
- Sophomore Mamadou Diene has made at least one block in all 21 career games.
- Injury Update: Patrick Fields (knee sprain) should return in December; Penny Thiam (torn ACL) is out for the season.
- Baylor is 19-3 when scoring 70+ points (in Drew Era; 4 seasons).
- Baylor is 14-3 when totaling 40+ rebounds (last 5 seasons).
- BU is 1-34 when allowing opponents to shoot 50% or higher (in 4 years under Drew).
BAYLOR vs. NON-CONFERENCE FOES
The Bears are 56-19 in regular-season, non-league play over the past seven seasons (4-1 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 25-54 at the school and a career record of 45-65 (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 GRAMBLING STATE TIGERS
Head Coach: Larry Wright (Grambling State, 1982); 70-129, 7 seasons
Series vs. Baylor: BU leads 1-0
Last meeting: Baylor 92-81; Dec. 19, 2000 in Waco
Streak: BU won 1 straight
Series in Waco: BU leads 1-0
Drew vs. GSU: 0-0
Baylor vs. SWAC: 23-0
GSU NOTES: Grambling State (1-2) is located in Grambling, La., and is a member of the Southwest Athletic Conference... The Tigers return three starters from last season's 14-13 squad, but lost 2005-06 SWAC Player of the Year Brion Rush... GSU is led by junior G Andrew Ratliff, who averages 16.7 points and shoots 48 percent from the 3-point line... Ratliff is a preseason All-SWAC selection.
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 and is playing 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 five straight home contests, and has won seven of its last eight games in Waco (dating back to last season).
DUGAT LEADING BEARS
Henry Dugat has started his sophomore season with a bang. Through five games (his first five career starts), the guard is leading the team with 16.0 points per game [9th in Big 12] and shooting 40 percent (10-for-25) on 3-pointers [8th in Big 12] and 88 percent (14-for-16) from the free throw line [3rd in Big 12]. 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 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 54% (223/410) 59% (97/165) 44% (36/81)
BRUINS BOAST TALENTED BACKCOURT
Baylor's strength in 2006-07 lies in it's talented pool of guards, including its trio of starters who each average 30-plus minutes per game: Curtis Jerrells (32.4 mpg), Henry Dugat (31.6 mpg) and Aaron Bruce (30.8 mpg). Reserve Demond "Tweety" Carter averages 21.2 minutes off the bench. The four guards combine to average 45.8 points a game. 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.
BRUCE ALMIGHTY BACK AS SEASONED JUNIOR
Third-year guard Aaron Bruce is averaging 10.2 points and 5.8 assists [4th in Big 12] through five 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 BUILDING ON STELLAR FRESHMAN SEASON
Curtis Jerrells, who is averaging 12.4 points and 3.8 rebounds through five 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 CONTINUES AS BIG 12's TOP SHOT-BLOCKER
Mamadou Diene, a seven-foot sophomore from Senegal, is averaging 5.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.0 blocks [1st in Big 12]. Diene led the Big 12 in blocks as a freshman, averaging 2.2 in 2005-06 and his 2.45 career figure is second all-time at Baylor behind only current Milwaukee Buck Brian Skinner's 3.36 average (1994-98). Diene has blocked at least one shot in all 21 career games (15 multi-block games). 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.
SIMS JOINS TEAM
After taking a short break following the conclusion of the football season, sophomore wide receiver Carl Sims has re-joined the basketball team as a walk-on guard and will suit up for Wednesday's game vs. Grambling State. Sims played 10 basketball games last season as a true freshman, totaling 18 points in 23 minutes played. Sims caught 15 passes for 108 yards in his second football season in 2006.
INJURIES: FIELDS STILL SIDELINED, THIAM OUT
Baylor's roster is currently short two players out with knee injuries. Senior G/F Pat Fields is out with a sprained MCL in his knee suffered during the exhibition game Nov. 4 (expected to return in December). Freshman F Djibril "Penny" Thiam sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the win over Texas Southern Nov. 20 and is out for the season.
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 44 of its last 50 games (over the last three seasons); in 28 of those 50 a freshman has been top scorer.]
LAST TIME OUT: BAYLOR 90 - ALCORN STATE 59
Aaron Bruce hit a career high-tying with six 3-pointers and scored 17 of his season-high 20 points in the second half as Baylor coasted to a 90-59 win over Alcorn State at the Ferrell Center.
Curtis Jerrells added 16 points and tied Bruce for the team lead with six assists for the Bears Tim Bush had 14 points and five rebounds, while Henry Dugat scored 11 points.
Baylor scored the first seven points of the second half, but Alcorn State answered back with seven of its own. A 12-0 run by the Bears put them up by 30, 64-34, with 11:27 left in the game. The Bears took their largest lead of the night, 85-50, on a pair of Mark Shepherd free throws with 3:13 to go.
Alcorn State led 7-6 until Jerrells' three-point play on a layup put Baylor up 9-7. The Bears never trailed again, then distanced themselves with a 12-2 run that put them up 33-18. Baylor's lead swelled to as many as 19 at 39-20 with 2:54 remaining in the opening frame and took an 18-point advantage into the break, 45-27.
Baylor shot 57.4 percent from the field for the game, including 44.8 percent (13-of-29) from 3-point range. The Braves shot just 33.9 percent from the field and were outrebounded 43-29 by Baylor.
THE LAST MEETING: BAYLOR 91 - GRAMBLING STATE 82 [Dec. 19, 2000]
Terry Black had 22 points and 12 rebounds to lead Baylor to its sixth-straight win, a 91-82 victory over Grambling State at the Ferrell Center. The Bears improved their perfect record to 6-0 with the win.
The two teams hung close early in the first half. Wendell Greenleaf gave the Bears their first lead at 14-12, but Grambling (0-6) battled back to tie the game at 19-19. Baylor's Matt Sayman immediately followed with a 3-pointer to give the Bears a 22-19 margin, a lead the Bears would not relinquish. At the half, Baylor held a 43-37 advantage.
Early in the second half, Grambling State cut the Bears' lead to four at 48-44, but Baylor responded with a 10-point run to go up by 14. The Bears' biggest lead of the night came near the 2:30 mark in the second half, when Baylor led 83-68. The Tigers made a final push near the end of the game, but it was not enough as the Bears held on, 91-82.
The 82 points was the most allowed by the Bears this season, easily besting the previous high of 57 scored by St. Edward's. Baylor entered the game with the nation's best scoring defense, allowing just 50.0 points a game.
Black led the Bears with his third double-double of the season, scoring 22 points and pulling down 12 rebounds. Greenleaf scored a career-high 22 points on 7-of-17 shooting, including 5-of-15 from beyond the arc. Big 12 Newcomer of the Week Chad Elsey added 15 points for the Bears.
MILESTONES & RECORDS WATCH
- Aaron Bruce ranks 3rd on Baylor's career 3-point percentage list (.397).
- Aaron Bruce is 2 made 3-pointers shy of moving into 7th place (121 made, David Wesley No. 7 with 123) and 4 shy of 6th place (Leon Morris No. 6 with 125) on Baylor's career 3-point field goal list .
- 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 (2.38).
- Mamadou Diene is 5 blocks shy of moving into 10th place on Baylor's career blocks list (50 blocks, Daryl Baucham & Ben Echols No. 10 with 55).
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.
FERRELL CENTER'S 19th YEAR
The Bears enter their 19th season in the beautiful Ferrell Center this year. Baylor is 3-0 at home in 2006-07 and owns a 157-113 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)
Baylor lost just two lettermen from it's 2005-06 roster: four-year forward Tommy Swanson (6.6 ppg) and two-year transfer guard Kevis Shipman (2.1 ppg).
The Bears play their fourth of five straight home contests Saturday, Dec. 2, when they host Texas State in a game scheduled to tip at 3 p.m. at the Ferrell Center.