#2 Baylor Women's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Baylor Bears
Overall Rank: #2
Conference Rank: #1 Big 12
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Baylor heads into 2019-20 as the defending national champion as they outlasted Notre Dame 82-81 in an instant classic. The resilience of the Bears came to the forefront as they overcame an injury to Lauren Cox and found a way to beat a Fighting Irish team that was loaded offensively. Head Coach Kim Mulkey welcomes back Cox and two other starters this season and they will be the foundation of a team that is looking to repeat as National Champions.
2018-19 Record: 37-1, 18-0
2018-19 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Kim Mulkey
Coach Record: 576-99 at Baylor, 576-99 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Kalani Brown, Center, 15.8 ppg
Chloe Jackson, Guard, 11.7 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Lauren Cox, Senior, Forward, 13.0 ppg
Juicy Landrum, Senior, Guard, 11.1. ppg
Didi Richards, Junior, Guard, 5.1 ppg
NaLyssa Smith, Sophomore, Guard, 8.4 ppg
Queen Egbo, Sophomore, Center, 5.4 ppg
Aquira DeCosta, Sophomore, Forward, 3.0 ppg
Moon Ursin, Junior, Guard, 2.9 ppg
Caitlin Bickle, Sophomore, Forward, 2.0 ppg
Trinity Oliver, Sophomore, Guard, 1.2 ppg
Key New Players
Jordyn Oliver, Freshman, Guard
Te’a Cooper, Grad Transfer, Guard (From South Carolina)
Erin DeGrate, Grad Transfer, Center, (From Texas Tech)
Lauren Cox will set the tone for Baylor this season as she avoided tearing an ACL in last year’s national title game. Cox averaged 13 points, 8.5 rebounds and had 142 assists and just 56 turnovers last season. Her ability to take over a game along with great leadership is going to be huge asset for Baylor moving forward. Juicy Landrum is back as well, and she is effective knocking down the outside shot as she shot 39.1 percent from behind the three-point line last season. Didi Richards is very good at helping run the offense while taking advantage of her shot opportunities. Richards averaged just over seven points per game and converted 52.2 percent of her shots from the floor. The transfer market should help offset some of the lost production from Chloe Jackson and Kalani Brown. Te'a Cooper comes over from South Carolina to play the point guard position for the Bears. Cooper led south Carolina last season in scoring as she averaged 11.9 points per game for the Gamecocks. Erin DeGrate is a Texas Tech transfer that should compete right away for playing time down in the post. The schedule has some quality tests for the Bears as they will play Connecticut, South Carolina, Indiana, and Georgia which will provide a nice mix of tests for Baylor prior to Big 12 play. It will take a little bit of tweaking and retooling for Coach Mulkey and her staff in the first few games of the 2019-20 season. However, the Bears should find their way back to Final Four and get their shot to defend their national title in New Orleans this April.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 81.7 (7th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 55.7 (13, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 50.4 (3, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 31. 8 (1, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 3.1 (345, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.3 (14, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.8 (233, 7
Rebound Margin: 17.0 (1,1)
Assists Per Game: 22.4 (1,1)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.9 (30,1)
Madness 2020 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#2 Lauren Cox
Madness 2019 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#20 Jordyn Oliver