#10 Baylor Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Baylor Bears

Overall Rank: #10
Conference Rank: #1 Big 12 Conference
#10 Baylor Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview
Baylor Team Page


The start of life without one of arguably the best guards of all-time in women’s basketball in Odyssey Sims begins in earnest for Baylor this season. Sims was very dominant last season as she averaged nearly 29 points per game and willed her teammates to a run back to the Elite Eight. The level of talent is still very high in Waco for head coach Kim Mulkey. And while the rest of the Big 12 has closed the gap on Baylor, it will not be easy for any team to knock the Bears off their perch as the top dawg in the Big 12 Conference.

2013-14 Record: 32-5, 16-2
2013-14 Postseason: NCAA
Coach:  Kim Mulkey
Coach Record: 404-86 at Baylor, 404-86 overall

Baylor should be able to dominate opponents on the boards as they were one of the best in the nation in rebounding margin at +10.8 rebounds per contest last season. Sophomore forward Nina Davis and senior post Sune Agbuke are the leading returning rebounders for the Bears. This duo combined for just over 16 rebounds per game last season. Davis also will be counted on heavily to lead the way offensively as she scored 15 points per game as a freshman and was almost unstoppable at times as she shot nearly 60 percent from the field. Baylor also has an excellent knack for sharing the basketball as they had nearly 19 assists per game as a team last season. Junior guard Niya Johnson returns for Baylor this season and will be looking to build off her record setting sophomore season with 244 assists. The 244 assists set a single season record for the Bears. Johnson’s ability to facilitate the offense in the early part of the season will buy Baylor time to find another scorer to compliment Davis.

You don’t ever replace a player the caliber of Odyssey Sims and the outstanding leadership and production that she provided the Bears during her career. Thus, the task for Baylor is going to be finding a way to at least offset some of the lost scoring and defensive prowess that Sims showed last season. The return of redshirt sophomore Alexis Prince could help as Prince did make the Big 12 All-Freshman team back in 2012-13. Incoming freshman guard Kristy Wallace, who is one of the top young players in Australia, should be in the mix as well to play early and provide more depth in the backcourt.

Final Projection:
The schedule leading up to conference play should be very conducive for Baylor to get out of the gate quickly while forming their team chemistry. There is an early test at Kentucky in what should be a very high octane type of offensive shootout between the Bears and Wildcats. In late December, Baylor will go down to Florida for a tournament to take on NCAA caliber opponents Syracuse and Michigan State. If the Bears can get two or all three of these wins this will set them nicely heading into Big 12 play. The two games with Texas are going to be very critical for Baylor in their quest to win the Big 12. The Longhorns have been getting stronger and stronger in recent years and are primed for a run to dethrone the Bears. A road trip to Morgantown on January 10th will not be easy either. The Mountaineers beat Baylor in Waco last season
and there is the beginning of good rivalry with those two schools. Overall, it will take some time but look for the Bears to be a Sweet 16/Elite Eight caliber team by the end of the season.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Niya Johnson, Junior, Guard, 5.3 points per game
Alexis Prince, Redshirt Sophomore, Guard, DNP last season
Kristy Wallace, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Nina Davis, Sophomore, Forward, 15.0 points per game
Sune Agbuke, Senior, Center, 5.9 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 83.6 (4th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 62.9 (67, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.1 (36, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 36.2 (19, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.4 (155, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.6 (84, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.2 (64, 3)
Rebound Margin: 10.8 (5, 2)
Assists Per Game: 18.9 (4, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.4 (14, 1)

Madness 2014 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#44 Dekeiya Cohen


See All Top 44 Women’s Basketball Previews