Baylor Basketball
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For the past 20 years, the Kansas Jayhawks have dominated the Big-12 basketball scene. Since the 2000-2001 season, Kansas has won 17 Big-12 regular season titles. However, their run may be coming to an end, as another team in the conference has emerged as a legitimate threat to end Kansas’ dynasty. We’ve seen West Virginia, Oklahoma, Texas, and others fail to top Kansas, but Scott Drew’s Baylor Bears might be the team to complete the job.

Two years ago, nobody would have given Baylor a thought when discussing the best basketball teams in the Big-12. Last year, however, the Bears put themselves on the map. Baylor shocked the nation by going 26-4 and finished second in the Big-12 with a 15-3 in-conference record. Baylor dominated all season and logged some impressive wins, including a victory at Allen Fieldhouse against the Jayhawks. They were the number one ranked team in the country for 4 weeks in the 2019-2020 season. Head coach Scott Drew led his team of Jared Butler, MaCio Teague, Davion Mitchell, Mark Vitale, Freddie Gillespie, and others, to a record-breaking season for the Bears.

If anyone expects Baylor to be a one-year wonder, they are wrong. The Bears should be one of the best teams in the country again in 2020-2021. Some key players have returned and are looking to perform even better than in 2019. Point guard Jared Butler announced today that he will be withdrawing his name from the draft and returning for his junior season. Butler was a top point guard all season for the Bears and will immediately make Baylor a preseason top 5 team. He averaged 16.0 points per game and 3.1 assists per game, both of which should improve next season.

Last week, guard MaCio Teague also decided to return for his redshirt senior season in the hopes of winning a championship. Baylor has only lost center Freddie Gillespie from their starting lineup, so they are in great shape. Their guard play is exceptional and Davion Mitchell is becoming a star on the wing. The crowning of Baylor as the Big-12 super-team could commence earlier than expected if they play to their potential in 2020-2021.

Jared Butler announces that he will return to Baylor for his junior season via Twitter

Baylor has the chance to win the national championship in 2021. After the 2020-2021 season, the Bears future only looks brighter. Although it may not seem possible, the Bears might be better than ever in the 2021-2022 season. Currently, Scott Drew has the number one recruiting class of 2021, headlined by players like 5-star Kendall Brown, 4-star Langston Love, and Jeremy Sochan. Drew has done something special over the past year and a half for the program, and he will soon reap the benefits. Baylor should continue to bring in great recruits year in and year out as long as they continue to win under Drew. Guys like Jared Butler, Davion Mitchell, and Kendall Brown will lead some top recruits to the program based on their on-court play.

As long as Baylor continues to win on and off the court, the tide in the Big-12 will change. This season, Kansas is losing their top 2 players, Devon Dotson and Udoka Azubuike. Baylor should be the favorite to win the Big-12 in 2021. After the 2020-2021 season, there’s a chance that Kansas will lose some recruits to Baylor or other top programs. We’ve seen teams steal conferences from others before; Villanova has the Big East on lock, Virginia and Florida State are outperforming UNC and Duke in the ACC, and LSU is giving Kentucky a tough time in the SEC. If the last few pieces fit into the puzzle, Baylor will steal the Big-12 from the mighty Kansas Jayhawks sooner than you think.

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