Monday, January 9, 2017
Baylor Basketball is No. 1
For the first time in Baylor history, the men's basketball team is ranked No. 1 nationally in the AP poll. I don't think anyone could have expected such a turnaround when head coach Scott Drew was hired in 2003. In his first season, Drew led the Bears to an 8-21 record before racking up eight 20-win seasons, two Elite Eights, a Sweet Sixteen, eight postseason appearances and an NCAA Tournament bid in the last three seasons. Although he hasn't collected the biggest name recruits, Drew has developed six NBA Draft picks since 2012. Finding passionate players who believe in the betterment of the team rather than themselves has taken Drew's team to the next level. It could be said that Drew's 2016-17 team is the most cohesive, unselfish team in his coaching history led by senior G Ishmail Wainright. The team's insane chemistry and willingness to give up points for their brothers proves that Drew's recruitment and development is starting to pay off. After zero AP votes in the preseason, the No. 1 ranked Bears are one of two undefeated teams in the nation (including Gonzaga) with a 15-0 record. They've already collected top 25 non-conference wins against Oregon, Michigan State, Louisville and Xavier before going 3-0 in conference play against Oklahoma, Iowa State and Oklahoma State. From unranked to No. 1, the Bears received 22 of 32 first place votes this week. Even if their No. 1 ranking only lasts for a week or so, their accomplishment is to be praised! The Bears will have another test as they face No. 10 West Virginia in Morgantown tomorrow and against Kansas State in Manhattan on Saturday.