Overall Rank: #1
Conference Rank: #1 Big 12
Baylor Team Page
The 2011-12 edition of Baylor women’s basketball is on a mission after losing to eventual national champion Texas A&M in the Dallas Regional Final last year. Four starters return including arguably the most dominant force in the history of women’s basketball, Brittney Griner. The Bears enter this season with the top billing in the College Sports Madness Women’s Basketball Rankings and it will be a difficult task for anyone to knock them off if the team plays up to their potential.
2010-11: 34-3, 15-1
2010-11 postseason: NCAA
Coach: Kim Mulkey (298-79 at Baylor, 298-79 overall)
Melissa Jones will be the biggest loss as she was tough on the boards as a guard with 6.9 rebounds and just under nine points per contest. Her leadership is also going to be missed and it will be interesting to see who steps up and takes that role.
The Baylor Bears only signed one incoming player, forward Sunejiro Agbuke out of San Antonio. She will be allowed to come in not have to worry about starting or carrying the team. Agbuke has plenty of upside and could develop into a fun, versatile player for Coach Mulkey. She blocked four shots off the bench in an exhibition game against St. Edward University.
Who to Watch:
Kimetria Hayden has played both the point and the two guard spots in her career at Baylor. She has done nothing but evolve as a player each year in Waco. Her shooting has improved and her assist to turnover ratio became more balanced at almost 1:1 instead of three turnovers to every assist as a freshman. Destiny Williams was the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year in 2010-11 and has the potential to average a double-double this season and that would make the Bears even more dangerous.
The Baylor Bears will be more than just Brittney Griner and everyone else. Odyssey Sims will ignite things in the backcourt and take some of the load off of Griner. The schedule out of conference is tremendous with the likelihood of playing Notre Dame in the Preseason WNIT finals, UConn comes to Waco, and there is a road game at Tennessee as well. The conference should come down to Baylor and Texas A&M going at each other like a heavyweight fight. Hopefully, the selection committee will use actual common sense and keep these two teams out of the same bracket in 2011-12. If the Bears win the national championship, it would not stun me if Griner would move on to the WNBA. Nor would it surprise me if she came back to try to pull a back to back title run to cement her legacy in the neighborhood of Maya Moore.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
Projected Starting Five:
Odyssey Sims, Sophomore, Guard, 13.0 PPG
Jordan Madden, Junior, Guard, 4.1 PPG
Kimetria Hayden, Junior, Guard, 7.5 PPG
Destiny Williams, Junior, Forward, 8.7 PPG
Brittney Griner, Junior, Center, 23.0 PPG
Madness 2012 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#13 Brittney Griner