#4 Baylor Women's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

Baylor Lady Bears
Overall Rank: #4
Conference Rank: #1 Big 12
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Baylor only lost two games last season, but one of them came during the Sweet Sixteen in an upset loss to Oregon State. The Lady Bears have dominated the Big 12 over the last decade and that should not end any time soon. Four regular contributors are gone, but Coach Kim Mulkey welcomes back her top two scorers and brings in one of the best recruiting classes in the country.
2017-18 Record: 33-2, 18-0
2017-18 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Kim Mulkey
Coach Record: 539-98 at Baylor, 539-98 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Kristy Wallace, Guard, 12.9 ppg
Dekeiya Cohen, Forward, 12.2 ppg
Natalie Chou, Guard, 6.7 ppg
Alexis Morris, Guard, 9.4 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Kalani Brown, Senior, Center, 20.1 ppg
Lauren Cox, Junior, Forward, 15.3 ppg
Juicy Landrum, Junior, Guard, 7.4 ppg
DiDi Richards, Sophomore, Guard, 5.1 ppg
Moon Ursin, Sophomore, Guard, 2.9 ppg
Key New Players
Caitlin Bickle, Freshman, Forward
Aquira DeCosta, Freshman, Forward
Queen Egbo, Freshman, Center
Chloe Jackson, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from LSU
Trinity Oliver, RS Freshman, Guard
Honesty Scott-Grayson, Freshman, Guard
NaLyssa Smith, Freshman, Forward
Kalani Brown led the Lady Bears with 20.1 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. The reigning Big 12 Player of the Year was a dominate force in the paint on both ends of the floor and few teams have the ability to stop the 6-7 center. Lauren Cox will again start beside Brown. The 6-4 junior was the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2017-2018 and averaged 15.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks. Junior Juicy Landrum and sophomores DiDi Richards and Moon Ursin are the returning players on the perimeter. The unit will get a huge boost from LSU graduate transfer Chloe Jackson. With the Tigers last season she averaged 18.1 points per game and should immediately emerge as a leader on the perimeter. The addition of four top 15 recruits bodes well for the future and will provide the Lady Bears with more than enough talented depth right away. Aquira DeCosta, a 6-0 wing, is the best of the bunch, but NaLyssa Smith, Honesty Scott-Grayson and Queen Egbo all have the talent to make a huge splash as freshmen. With Brown and Cox leading the way and so much talent on the roster, this is a team that should cruise to the Elite Eight and make a push for a national championship.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 86.1 (2nd in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 56.1 (16, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 50.7 (2, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 32.5 (1, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.6 (281, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.0 (25, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.1 (113, 5)
Rebound Margin: 18.5 (1, 1)
Assists Per Game: 20.3 (5, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.0 (43, 3)
Madness 2019 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#3 Kalani Brown
Madness 2018 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#3 Aquira DeCosta
#8 NaLyssa Smith
#9 Honesty Scott-Grayson
#14 Queen Egbo
#50 Caitlin Bickle