#1 Baylor Men's Basketball 2020-2021 Preview

Baylor Bears
2020-2021 Overall Rank: #1
Conference Rank: #1 Big 12
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After losing to Washington in the second game of the season, Baylor reeled off an impressive 23 consecutive victories. The Bears struggled a bit down the stretch, losing three of their last five games before the season was canceled, but obviously it was still a great season for Coach Scott Drew and company. With six players returning who were in the regular rotation last year, Baylor should find themselves right in the mix for a Big 12 title and their best NCAA Tournament run since reaching the Elite Eight in 2012.
2019-20 Record: 26-4, 15-3
Coach: Scott Drew
Coach Record: 341-209 at Baylor, 361-220 overall
Key Departed Players:
Freddie Gillespie, Forward, 9.6 ppg
Devonte Bandoo, Guard, 7.6 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Jared Butler, Junior, Guard, 16.0 ppg
MaCio Teague, Senior, Guard, 13.9 ppg
Davion Mitchell, Junior, Guard, 9.9 ppg
Mark Vital, Senior, Guard/Forward, 6.1 ppg
Matthew Mayer, Junior, Guard/Forward, 4.8 ppg
Tristan Clark, Senior, Forward, 4.0 ppg
Flo Thamba, Junior, Forward, 2.3 ppg
Key New Players:
LJ Cryer, Freshman, Guard
Dain Dainja, Freshman, Forward
Adam Flagler, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Presbyterian
Zach Loveday, Freshman, Forward
Mark Paterson, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from St. Edwards
Jonathan Tcharmwa Tchatchoua, Sophomore, Forward, Transfer from UNLV
Jordan Turner, Freshman, Guard/Forward
Baylor will have one of the most dynamic backcourts in the country. Jared Butler averaged a smooth 16.0 points per game during his sophomore season and added 3.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.6 steals. Butler connected on a team high 77 three-pointers and hit them at a 38.1 percent clip. If Butler keeps improving, he will not just be an All-American again, but possibly the national player of the year. MaCio Teague is the other prolific shooter on the team. He ended the year averaging 13.9 points per game and hitting 60 three-pointers. Davion Mitchell stepped into the starting point guard role and dished out 3.8 assists per game on top of his 9.9 points. Wing Matthew Mayer has had a couple up and down seasons, but he is a very talented player who can make a big impact if he can put all of the pieces together. Mark Vital is listed as a 6-5 wing, but he will be asked to do a lot of the work in the paint especially now that Freddie Gillespie is gone. Tristan Clark, Flo Thamba and UNLV transfer Jonathan Tcharmwa Tchatchoua will have to help replace Gillespie too. If they can do that, especially in the rebounding and shot blocking departments, Baylor will be one of the toughest teams in the country to beat.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.1 (174th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 60.1 (7, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.9 (217, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.7 (26, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.7 (131, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.1 (87, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.0 (245, 5)
Rebound Margin: 3.5 (75, 3)
Assists Per Game: 13.8 (120, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.9 (68, 2)
Madness 2021 NBA Draft Rankings:
#33 Jared Butler
Madness 2020 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#78 Dain Dainja
#85 L.J. Cryer