#17 Baylor Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Baylor Bears
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #17
Conference Rank: #3 Big 12
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After a one-year hiatus, Baylor got back to the NCAA Tournament in 2019 for the eighth time under Scott Drew. The Bears have now won at least 18 games in 12 consecutive seasons. This season, Baylor should be right back where they normally are towards the top of the Big 12. Mario Kegler’s recent dismissal from the program hurts, but the roster remains loaded with returning talent from a team that won an NCAA Tournament game last season.
2018-19 Record: 20-14, 10-8
2018-19 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Scott Drew
Coach Record: 318-208 at Baylor, 338-219 overall
Key Departed Players:
Makai Mason, Guard, 14.9 ppg
Mario Kegler, Forward, 10.5 ppg
King McClure, Guard, 9.0 ppg
Darius Allen, Guard, 2.0 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Tristan Clark, Junior, Forward, 14.6 ppg

Jared Butler, Sophomore, Guard, 10.2 ppg
Devonte Bandoo, Senior, Guard, 8.4 ppg

Mark Vital, Junior, Forward, 7.2 ppg
Freddie Gillespie, Senior, Forward, 5.3 ppg

Matthew Mayer, Sophomore, Forward, 4.6 ppg
Flo Thamba, Sophomore, Forward, 1.8 ppg
Obim Okeke, Senior, Guard, 1.1 ppg
Key New Players:
Davion Mitchell, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Auburn
MaCio Teague, Junior, Guard, Transfer from UNC Asheville
Jordan Turner, Freshman, Forward
Mario Kegler’s dismissal from Baylor hurts their expectations a bit, but the return of Tristan Clark will help make up for it. Clark played in just 14 games last season and was on his way to an all-conference season. Clark averaged 14.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 2.4 blocks and 1.1 steals before getting injured. If Baylor gets a full season from Clark at that level this year, he could compete for Big 12 Player of the Year. Jared Butler had a strong freshman campaign, averaging 10.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.0 steals. Butler didn’t become a starter until January, and he averaged 12.3 points in his 21 starts. Devonte Bandoo also stepped up big in his first season with the Bears. Bandoo was a sparkplug off the bench who averaged 8.4 points and shot 39.5% from three on 3.8 attempts per game. Mark Vital is the ultimate “glue guy” for the Bears. Vital averaged 7.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.9 blocks per game. Vital won’t be making any all-conferences teams, but he is arguably the most important player on the roster. Freddie Gillespie is yet another player who stepped up for Baylor once Clark was injured. Gillespie himself missed time throughout December and January but played 22.6 minutes per game in February and March. Strong seasons from sophomores Matthew Mayer and Flo Thamba would be huge for Baylor. Both players showed flashes as freshmen but need to be more consistent this season in larger roles. Davion Mitchell and MaCio Teague join the Bears as transfers who sat out last season. Mitchell played one season at Auburn, averaging 3.7 points and 1.9 assists in 17.1 minutes per game. Mitchell is a former four-star recruit who Baylor hopes becomes their next top point guard. Teague spent two years at UNC Asheville where he started 64 games. Teague was a big-time player in the Big South, averaging 16.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.6 steals in 2017-18. Lastly, three-star freshman Jordan Turner joins the team as a 6-foot-6 forward ranked in the top-200 of his class. Scott Drew has built Baylor into consistent contenders in the Big 12, and this could be his best team since 2016-17.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.8 (195th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.7 (70, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.2 (187, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.5 (103, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.1 (138, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.1 (195, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.7 (285, 9)
Rebound Margin: 5.7 (24, 1)
Assists Per Game: 13.9 (132, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.1 (194, 7)
Madness 2019 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#160 Jordan Turner