#2 Baylor Women's Basketball 2016-2017 Preview

Baylor Lady Bears
Overall Rank: #2
Conference Rank: #1 Big 12
Despite falling short in the Dallas Regional Final to a tough Oregon State team, Baylor had a phenomenal season with a 36-2 record. Kim Mulkey has built the Lady Bears into one of the toughest programs in the country at both ends of the court and with a very experienced team returning they show zero signs of slowing down any time soon.  Also, with Connecticut heading into a rare season where they will be reloading, the door is wide open for Baylor and several other elite programs to battle for the number one national seed in the NCAA Tournament.
2015-16 Record: 36-2, 17-1
2015-16 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Kim Mulkey
Coach Record: 473-92 at Baylor, 473-92 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Niya Johnson, Guard, 6.9 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Nina Davis, Senior, Post, 16.3 ppg
Alexis Jones, Redshirt Senior, Guard, 15.0 ppg
Kristy Wallace, Junior, Guard, 8.1 ppg
Beatrice Mompremier, Sophomore, Post, 7.2 ppg
Alexis Prince, Redshirt Senior, Guard, Redshirt Senior, 6.0 ppg
Khadijah Cave, Senior, Post, 6.3 ppg
Kalani Brown, Sophomore, Post, 9.3 ppg
Dekeiya Cohen, Junior, Forward, 2.5 ppg
Alyssa Dry, Sophomore, Guard, 0.7 ppg
Key New Players
Natalie Chou, Freshman, Guard
Lauren Cox, Freshman, Forward
Calveon Landrum, Freshman, Guard
It wouldn’t be Baylor women’s basketball without dominant post play and Coach Mulkey has two of the best in the nation in Nina Davis and Beatrice Mompremier. They both can be very dominant on the defensive end of the court. Davis is the stronger offensive player of two as she averaged just over 16 points per game last season. Alexis Jones is another top-flight scorer that is back for her redshirt senior season. Jones averaged 15 points per game and shot 41.4 percent from behind the three-point line last season as well.  The ability to go inside and outside so smoothly is one of the big reasons why this Lady Bears team is so difficult to completely slow down on a nightly basis. Kristy Wallace, Khadijah Cave, Kalani Brown and Alexis Prince will provide additional balance offensively for Baylor to round out a very deep lineup. The schedule will provide plenty of challenges early on for the Lady Bears as they host UCLA on November 14th and then travel to Storrs, Connecticut to play UConn. Both the Bruins and Huskies are teams that Baylor could very easily see in a Sweet 16, Elite Eight or Final Four this season. Tennessee will be the opponent for the Big 12/SEC Challenge in Knoxville and the Lady Vols are always tough to deal with in Knoxville. Texas highlights a tough Big 12 schedule and those two matchups in February should decide the Big 12 champion. Overall, as long as the Lady Bears stay healthy all year long, they should be at minimum an Elite Eight team with a ceiling of winning their second national championship in program history.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 77.7 (14th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 53.6 (16, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.4 (5, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 33.1 (3, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 3.7 (311, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.2 (14, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 66.5 (261, 7)
Rebound Margin: 13.9 (4, 1)
Assists Per Game: 20.7 (3, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.1 (111, 2)
Madness 2017 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#8 Alexis Jones
#10 Nina Davis
Madness 2016 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#2 Lauren Cox
#12 Natalie Chou
#17 Calveion Landrum