Coach: Scott Drew (9 seasons at Baylor 154-124) Overall 174-135, 10 years
2011-12: Record 30-8 overall, 12-6 in BIg 12 (Tie 3rd)
Starters Returning (2) Brady Heslip, Pierre Jackson
Preseason Tournament: Charleston Classic
Top Non-Conference Games: at Gonzaga, at Kentucky, vs. BYU, vs. Northwestern, vs. Lehigh
Early Departure: Perry Jones III, Quincy Miller
The Baylor Bears are coming off a school record 30 wins. Scott Drew has gotten the Bears to the Elite 8 2 of the last 3 seasons. Who would ever thought this would happen when Drew took over the Bears in turmoil. The Bears lose three of their top four scorers thanks to Perry Jones III heading to the NBA. That being said they return their top scorer and Drew brings in anther very talented freshman class.
Leading Baylor will be point guard Pierre Jackson (13.8 ppg). Jackson, the JUCO transfer led Baylor in points, assists and steals. Jackson is extremely quick and he is a very good three point shooter. Though small he gets to the free throw line a lot because he attacks the rim. Joining him in the backcourt is Brady Heslip (10.2 ppg). He is a deadly shooter, last season he made 100 of them while shooting 46 %. Starting at the 3 spot will likely be Deuce Bello (10.3 ppg). Bello is an effective defender and athlete but he should produce more on offense with more playing time. Baylor has very good depth here. Providing depth here will be Gary Franklin (2.1 ppg) , A.J. Walton (3.6ppg) and highly touted freshman L.J. Rose. Walton is a very good defender.
Leading the way for the Bears in the frontcourt will be top 5 freshman Isaiah Austin. Austin is a 7-footer that has guard like skills. He can even shot the three. Austin is also a very good shot blocker but he will need to get stronger to help him finish inside. Starting at power forward will likely be Cory Jefferson (3.6 ppg). Jefferson should excel with more playing time, in his limited playing time he was a talented rebounder and shot blocker. The top option off the bench will another highly touted freshman in Ricardo Gathers. He will remind Baylor fans of Quincy Acy a very strong player in the paint. Also providing depth here for Baylor is J’Mison Morgan (3 ppg), freshman Taurean Waller-Prince, Chad Rykhoek and redshirt sophomore Logan Lowery.