After being a top 5 team for most of the year and national championship contenders last season, we find Baylor right back at the top to start the season.
2019-20 Record: 26-4
National Championship Odds: +800
Big 12 Championship Odds: +165
Jared Butler: 16.0 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 3.1 APG
MaCio Teague: 13.9 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.9 APG
Davion Mitchell: 9.9 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 3.8 APG
Adam Flager: Presbyterian Transfer
Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua: UNLV Transfer
Dain Dainja: 4 Star Center
LJ Cryer: 4 Star Guard
|11/25||#18 Arizona State (N)*||8:30 pm|
|11/26||#3 Villanova or Boston College (N)*||6:00 pm or 8:30 pm|
|11/29||at Seton Hall||3:30 pm|
|12/2||#8 Illinois (N)||9:00 pm|
|12/19||at Kansas State||TBA|
Baylor took a massive jump to the top of the college basketball world last season and returns the production that made them successful. Jared Butler and MaCio Teague passed up entering the NBA Draft with one goal on their mind, a National Championship, which is possible this season. The Bears have a tough test to start their season. Head coach Scott Drew has tested positive for COVID-19, which resulted from them pulling out of the Empire Classic and losing a potential matchup with #3 Villanova.
As far as the team goes, this Baylor team is very talented, but the problem is, will they continue making strides to improve? Last season, everything clicked, with Butler, Teague, and Gillespie all becoming stars. Returning 2 of these 3 as well as newcomer Adam Flager who averaged nearly 16 points a game at Presbyterian gives the Bears a very deep and talented backcourt. Thanks to the return in production, they rank first in KenPom’s preseason rankings. Butler will be the Bears’ key to success this year. With a very balanced team but with a very balanced team, he will not be required to score every time down the floor.
This Baylor team’s bottom line is to continue to take steps forward and not slow down throughout the year like they started to do last year. Mark Vital will play a significant role in replacing Freddie Gillespie’s rebounding numbers. If he and the somewhat inexperienced frontcourt can hold up, they will be just fine because there are no problems in the backcourt.