#8 Baylor Women's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

Baylor Lady Bears
Overall Rank: #8
Conference Rank: #1 Big 12
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This will be a very interesting season for Baylor. Coach Kim Mulkey left for LSU and the Lady Bears went out and grabbed Nicki Collen to lead the program. Coach Collen was the head coach for the Atlanta Dream from 2018 to 2020, but has plenty of experience as an assistant coach at the collegiate level. This team does have some reloading to do with the loss of Moon Ursin and second round WNBA draft picks DiDi Richards and DiJonai Carrington.
2020-21 Record: 28-3, 17-1
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Nicki Collen
Coach Record: 0-0 at Baylor, 0-0 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Moon Ursin, Guard, 12.6 ppg
DiJonai Carrington, Guard, 14.1 ppg
DiDi Richards, Guard, 6.3 ppg
Hannah Gusters, Center, 5.0 ppg
Trinity Oliver, Guard, 4.4 ppg
Jordyn Oliver, Guard, 4.0 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
NaLyssa Smith, Senior, Forward, 18.0 ppg
Queen Egba, Senior, Center, 11.1 ppg
Caitlin Bickle, Senior, Forward, 4.6 ppg
Sarah Andrews, Sophomore, Guard, 4.2 ppg
Jaden Owens, Junior, Guard, 2.4 ppg
Key New Players
Ja’Mee Asberry, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Oklahoma State
Kendra Gillispie, Freshman, Forward
Jordan Lewis, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Alabama
Kamaria McDaniel, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Penn State
Coach Collen will be able to rely on a very talented and experienced frontcourt. NaLyssa Smith led the team with 18.0 points and 8.9 rebounds and earned All-American accolades. She can carry this team a long way. Having Queen Egba back by her side will again give Smith plenty of room to operate in the paint. Egba, a 6-3 senior, tallied 11.1 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks. Caitlin Bickle is another experienced senior who can hit a few outside shots and provide depth in the frontcourt. Sarah Andrews showed some promise as a freshman, averaging 4.2 points and 1.2 assists. A trio of experienced Division I transfers will add some much-needed options on the perimeter. Kamaria McDaniel spent three seasons at Penn State where she averaged 19.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists last season. Jordan Lewis averaged 17.0 points and 4.1 assists during her senior season at Alabama. Ja’Mee Asberry is coming off a breakout season at Oklahoma State where she averaged 17.0 points, 3.8 assists, 1.6 steals and hit 78 three-pointers at a 41.9 percent clip. It is quite likely that the three transfers will start in the backcourt with Smith and Egba holding down the frontcourt. As long as all the new pieces can come together, Baylor will be looking at their 12th straight Big 12 title.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 81.9 (5th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 55.3 (15, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.4 (4, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 32.6 (1, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 3.5 (325, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.1 (84, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.1 (145, 8)
Rebound Margin: 18.6 (1, 1)
Assists Per Game: 20.2 (4, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 16.0 (188, 9)
Madness 2022 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#3 NaLyssa Smith
#19 Queen Egbo