#2 Baylor Women's Basketball 2017-2018 Preview

Baylor Bears
Overall Rank: #2
Conference Rank: #1 Big 12
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Baylor was statistically one of the most dominant teams in women’s college basketball last season as the Bears had very few flaws. They shot the ball at just under 50 percent, crushed teams on the glass defensively, but they fell short of the Final Four. Baylor ran into the Mississippi State buzzsaw in the Oklahoma City Regional Final as Morgan William’s 41 points were enough for the Bulldogs to upset the Bears 94-85. Head Coach Kim Mulkey has some reloading to do this season, but they will be a contender for the national championship all season long.
2016-17 Record: 33-4, 17-1
2016-17 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Kim Mulkey
Coach Record: 506-96 at Baylor, 506-96 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Nina Davis, Forward, 13.0 points per game
Alexis Jones, Guard, 13.2 points per game
Alexis Prince, Guard, 12.1 points per game
Beatrice Mompremier, Post, 8.3 points per game
Khadijah Cave, Center 6.6 points per game
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Kalani Brown, Center, 15.4 points per game
Kristy Wallace, Guard, 7.6 points per game
Lauren Cox, Sophomore, Forward, 7.6 points per game
Natalie Chou, Sophomore, Guard, 4.7 points per game
Dekeiya Cohen, Senior, Forward, 3.6 points per game
Juicy Landrum, Sophomore, Guard, 1.8 points per game
Key New Players
Alexis Morris, Freshman, Guard
Trinity Oliver, Freshman, Guard
Didi Richards, Freshman, Guard
Moon Ursin, Freshman, Guard
The run of dominant post play should continue for the Bears this season as Kalani Brown will be back at center. Brown shot 67.9 percent from the floor and averaged 15.4 points per game. Defensively, Brown was outstanding last season and collected 8.2 rebounds per game, along with 2.0 blocked shots per game. Kristy Wallace will provide great leadership, clutch shooting and keep this high flying offensive attack rolling all year long. Wallace did an excellent job of distributing the basketball last season with 208 assists, while committing only 80 turnovers. Lauren Cox and Natalie Chou will be relied upon as sophomores to pick up some of the lost scoring production from the graduations of Nina Davis, Alexis Prince, and Alexis Jones. Cox should see her production rise while moving into starting lineup and see her scoring average get over 10 points per game. Chou will be looking to build upon her experience trying out for the U23 Women’s USA National team during this past offseason. Didi Richards highlights a small but talented incoming freshmen class that, along with Alexis Morris, is going to elevate the competition level in practice right away. There will be some challenges for Baylor during the non-conference portion of the schedule where they will play at UCLA and host Kentucky and Stanford. The Big 12 race should come down to the home and home with Texas and if the Bears can sweep they will cruise to another Big 12 title. Bottom line, despite some big losses to graduation, expect this Baylor to consistently score about 80-85 points per game. They will also win at least 30 games again and be right back in the Elite Eight with a shot get back to the Final Four.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 89.5 (1st in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 56.3 (20, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 49.8 (3, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 31.3 (1, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.7 (175, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 40.3 (2, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.5 (198, 6)
Rebound Margin: 20.7 (1, 1)
Assists Per Game: 21.8 (2, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.4 (37, 2)
Madness 2017 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#10 Alexis Morris
#11 Deauzya Richards
#121 Moon Ursin