For those who have become fans of college basketball within the last few years, even within the last decade, it’s hard to really comprehend what Scott Drew has done at Baylor Basketball. When he was hired in 2003, he inherited a program that was literally lower than rock bottom. We’re not going to focus on what happened two decades ago, but instead, just focus on where this incredible program has risen in recent years under Drew’s leadership.
After inheriting a destitute program, Drew turned the Bears into a winner. He led the program to a pair of Elite Eights and a pair of Sweet Sixteens before that major breakthrough in 2021, leading Baylor to their first national championship in men’s basketball. It was the ultimate rags-to-riches story for the Bears program and it certainly wasn’t a fluke. This program has been dynamic in recent years and shows no signs of stopping.
Following up that national championship season, the Bears couldn’t quite repeat that success, falling in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to North Carolina. It’s disappointing for a 1-seed to not make it out of the opening weekend of the Big Dance, but it’s hard to get too upset based on what this program has accomplished recently. The important thing is that the Bears were a top seed for a second straight Tournament and could be trending in that direction again.
Winning a national championship is never easy, and Drew’s had his work cut out for him building powerful and talented teams in a tough Big 12. The Bears bid goodbye to James Akinjo, Kendall Brown, Matthew Mayer, and Jeremy Sochan, all who averaged at least 9 points a game last season. There are new faces in Waco set to replace those roles in the lineup, but can a team that will be younger and dealing with some injuries really compete at the same level?
We are going to be taking a deep dive into the roster and what to expect from Baylor this upcoming season. As we teased, there are certainly some new faces for the Bears but that doesn’t necessarily mean we should expect anything less from Drew and this squad. After watching conference rival Kansas cut down the nets last season, you can bet that the Bears are even more energized to make postseason history again.