#10 Baylor Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

Baylor Bears
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #10
Conference Rank: #2 Big 12
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Not much more can be said about Baylor’s rise to greatness since Coach Scott Drew took over a program in disarray in 2003. The rise culminated with the programs first National Championship. And the Bears did not just win the national title, they had one of the more dominating NCAA Tournaments we have ever seen. They handled everybody with relative ease and never won by fewer than nine points. As if building the program was not difficult enough, the harder part starts now. The Bears lose perhaps the best backcourt college basketball has ever seen and now have to reload and attempt to do it all over again.
2020-21 Record: 28-2, 13-1
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Scott Drew
Coach Record: 372-215 at Baylor, 392-226 overall
Key Departed Players:
Jared Butler, Guard, 16.7 ppg
MaCio Teague, Guard, 15.9 ppg
Davion Mitchell, Guard, 14.0 ppg
Mark Vital, Guard/Forward, 5.6 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Adam Flagler, Junior, Guard, 9.1 ppg
Matthew Mayer, Senior, Guard/Forward, 8.1 ppg
Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, Junior, Forward, 6.4 ppg
Flo Thamba, Senior, Forward, 3.6 ppg
LJ Cryer, Sophomore, Guard, 3.4 ppg
Zach Loveday, Sophomore, Forward, 2.2 ppg
Jordan Turner, Sophomore, Guard/Forward, 1.7 ppg
Key New Players:
James Akinjo, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Arizona
Dale Bonner, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Fairmont State
Kendall Brown, Freshman, Guard/Forward
Dain Dainja, RS Freshman, Forward
Langston Love, Freshman, Guard
Austin Sacks, Sophomore, Forward, Transfer from Santa Clara
Jeremy Sochan, Freshman, Forward
Baylor had a lot of talent on their bench and that is proved by the fact that the lone returning starter may not be starting this season. Flo Thamba stepped into a starting role last season and the 6-10 forward did the dirty work in the paint very effectively. Junior Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua is the better scoring threat and ended his debut season with the Bears averaging 6.4 points and 5.0 rebounds. Adam Flagler and Matthew Mayer played large roles off the bench during the title season and will step into much larger roles in 2021-2022. Flagler should start at the shooting guard spot after averaging 9.1 points per game last year. He is a very consistent outside shooter and hit 43.4 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. Matthew Mayer is an athletic and versatile 6-9 wing. He has kept getting better during his time at Baylor and his senior season will be his best yet. Kendall Brown is a five-star recruit and another big wing who can finish above the rim. With the other scoring threats around him, expect Brown’s biggest impact to come on the defensive end. The final hole to fill is at point guard where James Akinjo will take over. This is his third stop in as many seasons, but he played well at Georgetown and averaged 15.6 points and 5.4 assist with Arizona last season. Akinjo can shoot the ball effectively, but will need to be efficient inside the arc. In the end, this is not a Baylor team that will dominate like they did a year ago, but they can win another Big 12 title and make a nice NCAA Tournament run.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 82.9 (6th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 65.5 (51, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.6 (17, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.3 (170, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 10.0 (13, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 41.3 (1, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.8 (177, 8)
Rebound Margin: 4.3 (51, 1)
Assists Per Game: 16.9 (10, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.5 (60, 3)
Madness 2022 NBA Draft Rankings:
#15 Kendall Brown
#45 Matthew Mayer
Madness 2021 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#10 Kendall Brown
#36 Langston Love
#129 Jeremy Sochan