BAYLOR (6-3) vs. PRAIRIE VIEW A&M (1-9)
Dec. 22, 2006 - Ferrell Center (Waco, Texas) - 7:00 p.m. CST
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Baylor returns home and will attempt to snap a two-game losing streak Friday, Dec. 22, when it hosts Prairie View A&M. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. CST at the Ferrell Center. Baylor is 6-3 and has dropped consecutive games to South Carolina and at No. 23 Syracuse. 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. Prairie View A&M is 1-9 and has lost eight straight games following an 82-65 defeat at Rice Wednesday night. Friday's game is the first in a four-game homestand that concludes Baylor's non-conference schedule.
- Baylor is 24-0 all-time against current SWAC schools.
- Baylor's team 1.20 assist-to-turnover ratio is the highest in 29 years of records at BU.
- Aaron Bruce has hit 16 straight FTs over the last 7 gms (dating to win over CSU).
- Aaron Bruce leads the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.67.
- Baylor is 3rd in the Big 12 in scoring - 80.4 ppg (17.0 ppg more than last season), the school's highest scoring average since the `94-95 squad averaged 81.2 ppg.
- Mamadou Diene leads the Big 12 in blocks, averaging 2.9 per gm (17th nationally).
- Aaron Bruce ranks 3rd among the Big 12 assists leaders - 5.3 apg.
- BU is 58-21 in regular-season non-league games the last 7 seasons (6-3 in `06-07).
- Sophomore Kevin Rogers has doubled his scoring outputfrom last season - 12.4 ppg up from 6.1 ppg.
- BU's sophomore quartet (Diene, Dugat, Jerrells & Rogers; last season's "Freshman Four") accounts for 53% of Baylor's scoring and 66% of its rebounds.
- Underclassmen have led BU in scoring in 47 of its last 54 games (dating to 2004-05) [in 30 of last 54 a freshman has been top scorer].
- Sophomore Mamadou Diene has made at least 1 block in all 25 career games.
- Tweety Carter has hit at least 1 3-pointer in all 9 career games played.
- Aaron Bruce and Curtis Jerrells have shot a combined 15% (5-of-33) on 3-pointers in BU's 3 losses - conversely the pair has hit 42% (22-of-53) in the 6 wins.
- Injury Update: Patrick Fields (knee sprain) is cleared to play and will dress Friday; Mark Shepherd (shoulder separation) will not play Friday; Penny Thiam (torn ACL) is out for the season.
- 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 21-4 when scoring 70+ points (in Drew Era; 4 seasons).
- Baylor is 15-3 when totaling 40+ rebounds (last 5 seasons).
- BU is 1-34 when allowing opponents to shoot 50% or higher (in 4 years under Drew).
- Over the past six seasons Baylor is 60-6 when totaling an equal or higher shooting percentage than its opponent (5-1 in 2006-07).
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 27-56 at the school and a career record of 47-67 (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 PRAIRIE VIEW A&M PANTHERS
Head Coach: Byron Rimm II (Cal State, L.A., 1999); 1-9, 1 season
Series vs. Baylor: Baylor leads 7-0
Last meeting: BU 84-52, 12-28-04 in Waco
Streak: Baylor won 7 straight
Series in Waco: Baylor leads 7-0
Drew vs. PVAM: 1-0
Baylor vs. SWAC: 24-0
PVAM NOTES: Prairie View A&M (1-9) is located in Prairie View, Texas, and is a member of the Southwest Athletic Conference... The Panthers lost all five starters from last season's 5-24 squad, and first-year coach Byron Rimm brought in eight junior college transfers this season... Prairie View has dropped eight straight games... No Prairie View players average double-digits in scoring... The Panthers are led by senior G Chris Gaines, who averages 9.0 points a game... Freshman G Ivory McGilvery, one of three underclassmen on the team, averages 8.8 points.
BRUINS BOAST TALENTED BACKCOURT
Baylor's strength in 2006-07 lies in its talented pool of guards, including its trio of starters who each average 30-plus minutes per game: Curtis Jerrells (32.1 mpg), Henry Dugat (30.0 mpg) and Aaron Bruce (30.0 mpg). Reserve Demond "Tweety" Carter averages 22.7 minutes off the bench. The four guards combine to average 47.1 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.
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. 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 nine of its last 11 games in Waco (dating back to last season).
TWEETY NAMED BIG 12 ROOKIE OF WEEK
Baylor freshman guard Tweety Carter was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Conference Rookie of the Week after scoring 31 points in Baylor's only game last week, a 94-71 loss at No. 23 Syracuse, the league office announced Monday. The rookie of the week honor is the 10th such award for a Baylor player, and the first since Curtis Jerrells was honored as a freshman in February of last season. Carter, a true freshman from Reserve, La., scored a career-high 31 points on a career-high seven 3-pointers off the bench in Saturday's loss in the Carrier Dome. He added two rebounds and one assist. The 31-point output was the most by a Baylor player since 2004-05, when then-freshman Aaron Bruce scored 33 vs. Oklahoma State (Feb. 5, 2005). The seven 3-pointers is the fourth-most single-game total in school history. The 5-10 guard, Baylor's first-ever McDonalds All-America signee, is averaging 10.2 points and 2.4 assists on the season. Carter leads the team in 3-pointers made and is shooting 40 percent (18-45) on 3-pointers and 80 percent (8-10) from the free throw line.
BAYLOR vs. NON-CONFERENCE FOES
The Bears are 58-21 in regular-season, non-league play over the past seven seasons (6-3 this season).
OFFENSIVE PRODUCTION UP
Baylor is second in the Big 12 in scoring, averaging 80.4 points per game - up 17.0 points from last season and the highest team scoring average since 1994-95 (when the Bears scored an average 81.2 points).
BRUCE & JERRELLS OUTSIDE SHOOTING SETS THE TONE
The results of the perimeter shooting of starting guards Aaron Bruce and Curtis Jerrells seems to have a direct impact on the outcome of Baylor's games. The duo has combined to shoot 15 percent (5-of-33) on 3-pointers in Baylor's three losses and conversely the pair has hit 42 percent (22-of-53) in the team's six wins.
MORE TEAM BALANCE (SCORING/MINUTES PLAYED)
A byproduct of Baylor's increased depth and talent is a more balanced team, evidenced by balanced scoring and fewer minutes played. Five Bears average double-digits in scoring (the last BU squad to boast five double-digit scorers was 1994-95). Baylor's leader in minutes played (Curtis Jerrells) is averaging 32.1 minutes per game, the only Baylor player to average more than 30.0 minutes.
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 53% (385/724) 66% (195/296) 46% (69/149)
IMPRESSIVE ASSIST/TURNOVER NUMBERS
Baylor boasts a team 1.20 assist-to-turnover ratio (149-124), the fifth-best ratio in the Big 12 this season. That ratio is currently the highest figure in the 29 years of records at the school (only seven BU teams in the last 28 seasons have finished the season with positive assist-to-turnover ratios). Credit for the high ratio goes to guards Aaron Bruce (2.67 ratio, tops among Big 12 individuals), Tweety Carter (2.20), and Curtis Jerrells (1.62, 12th in Big 12).
BRUCE ALMIGHTY AMONG BIG 12 LEADERS IN ASSISTS
Third-year guard Aaron Bruce is averaging 11.7 points and 5.3 assists [third in Big 12] through nine games. His 2.67 assist-to-turnover ratio (48-18) leads the Big 12. Heading into the Prairie View A&M game Bruce has made 16 straight free throws. 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 assists through nine 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 5.8 points, 6.8 rebounds [12th in Big 12] and 2.9 blocks [leads Big 12, 17th nationally]. Diene led the Big 12 in blocks as a freshman, averaging 2.2 in 2005-06 and his 2.44 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 25 career games (16 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.
INJURIES: FIELDS BACK, SHEPHERD HURT, THIAM OUT
Three Baylor players have recently dealt with injuries. Senior G/F Pat Fields has yet to play this season while recovering from a sprained MCL in his knee suffered during a Nov. 4 exhibition contest but has been cleared to play for Friday's game vs. Prairie View A&M. Junior F Mark Shepherd recently suffered a separated shoulder and will not dress for Friday's game. 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 47 of its last 54 games (over the last three seasons); in 30 of those 54 a freshman has been top scorer.]
THE LAST MEETING: BAYLOR 84 - PRAIRIE VIEW A&M 52 [Dec. 28, 2004]
Tim Bush scored a career-high 20 points to lead Baylor to an 84-52 win over Prairie View A&M at the Ferrell Center.
Baylor started the game 13-0 and never looked back. The Bears did not permit a Prairie View A&M basket until 14:30 remained in the first half and led 40-22 at the half.
Baylor dominated the Panthers in the lane, outscoring Prairie View A&M 46-to-8. The Panthers also committed 25 turnovers, leading to 42 points for the Bears.
Baylor opened the second half with 10 straight points and led 50-22 with 17:30 left to play. Ryan Pryor's jumper gave the Bears their biggest lead at 37 points and put Baylor in front 82-45 with just under four minutes remaining.
The win game Baylor its first three-game winning streak under head coach Scott Drew.
LAST TIME OUT: No 23 SYRACUSE 94 - BAYLOR 71
A career-high 31 points from true freshman Tweety Carter was not enough for Baylor to keep pace with 23rd-ranked Syracuse in Baylor's 94-71 loss at the Carrier Dome.
It was the first meeting between Syracuse and Baylor, which lost for the 23rd straight time to a ranked team.
Demetris Nichols had a solid first half against the Bears with 11 points, two assists and two blocks as Syracuse took a 41-29 lead.
Syracuse took a 51-31 lead with 17:29 left, and the Bears never came close the rest of the game.
Darryl Watkins had a career-high 15 points and pulled down eight rebounds for Syracuse, which outrebounded Baylor 40-25.
Carter finished 7-of-12 from 3-point range and added two rebounds and one assist.
Curtis Jerrells had 12 points for Baylor, while Aaron Bruce and Kevin Rogers had 10. Henry Dugat, Baylor's leading scorer at 13.9 points per game, was plagued by foul trouble - he picked up his fourth early in the second half - and finished with only four points.
Syracuse methodically built a 41-29 lead with one of its best opening halves of the season. The Orange committed only six turnovers, had 11 assists on 14 baskets, outrebounded Baylor 18-14, and went 11-for-12 from the free throw line. The Orange's only failure was to connect from long range, going just 2-for-14, but the Bears made only 1-of-9 from beyond the arc.
MILESTONES & RECORDS WATCH
- Aaron Bruce ranks 2nd on Baylor's career free throw percentage list (.829).
- Aaron Bruce ranks 5th on Baylor's career 3-point percentage list (.390).
- Pat Fields ranks 6th on Baylor's career 3-point percentage list (.378).
- Mamadou Diene ranks 2nd on Baylor's career blocks-per-game list (2.44).
- Aaron Bruce is 10 made 3-pointers shy of 5th place (128, Tevis Stukes No. 5 with 138) on Baylor's career 3-point field goal list.
- Mamadou Diene is 4 blocks shy of moving into 8th place on Baylor's career blocks list (61 blocks, Tommy Swanson & Jamie Kendrick No. 8 with 65).
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.).
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).
FERRELL CENTER'S 19th YEAR
The Bears are in their 19th season in the beautiful Ferrell Center this year. Baylor is 5-1 at home in 2006-07 and owns a 159-114 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.
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).
Baylor continues its four-game homestand following Christmas when it hosts North Carolina A&T State Thursday, Dec. 28. The game is scheduled to tip at 8 p.m. CST at the Ferrell Center.