Baylor Bears

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Report: CBE Hall of Fame Classic headliners set

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The headliners for the 2017 CBE Hall of Fame Classic have been set.

UCLA, Baylor, Wisconsin and Creighton will highlight the bill for the annual event in Kansas City, according to a report from CBS Sports.

The CBE Hall of Fame Classic historically has included on-campus games and a flagship four-team championship round at the Sprint Center. This year’s headliners include Kansas, Georgia, George Washington and UAB.

Certainly securing four high-majors is a significant get for the event, which will also likely coincide with the induction of the 2017 class of the Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. The 2016 class is highlighted by Mark Aguirre, Doug Collins, Dominique Wilson, Jamal Wilkes and Mike Montgomery.

Prince, Medford lead No. 25 Baylor past No. 16 Vanderbilt

Rico Gathers, Lester Medford
Associated Press
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Given the amount of interior talent on both teams, Sunday’s matchup between No. 16 Vanderbilt and No. 25 Baylor presented the 33 NBA scouts in attendance with a good opportunity to evaluate the likes of Vandy’s Damian Jones and Baylor’s Rico Gathers Sr. However it would be two Bears who spend a significant amount of time on the perimeter who had the greatest impact on the outcome, a 69-67 Baylor victory.

Versatile wing Taurean Prince scored 30 points to lead the way and Lester Medford added 11 of his 15 in the second half, three of which came on a critical three-pointer with 42 seconds remaining that produced the final margin.

Prince was one of the Big 12’s most improved players last season, and as a senior he’s expected by many to take another step forward for a team with Big 12 title aspirations. But leading into Sunday’s matchup his shooting percentages were lower than what he produced as a junior, shooting 37.3 percent from the field and 36.7 percent from three through six games.

That wasn’t an issue against Vanderbilt, as Prince shot 10-for-19 from the field and 4-for-7 from beyond the arc.

The senior carried Baylor offensively during a critical second-half stretch, as he scored seven points during a 13-0 run that erased a 52-39 Vanderbilt lead. Up until that point the Commodores, even with Damian Jones having a quiet night, appeared poised to run away with the game. Kevin Stallings’ team doesn’t lack for scoring options, and with sophomore guards Wade Baldwin IV (19 points, four assists) and Matthew Fisher-Davis (11 points, five rebounds) serving as the catalysts Vanderbilt established what appeared to be a comfortable margin.

But Prince and Medford, who assisted on three of the baskets scored during the run, turned the game around. And over the final 8:13 those two combined to score 14 of Baylor’s final 17 points, with a Johnathan Motley free throw and a Gathers Sr. (ten points, 13 rebounds) dunk accounting for the other three.

Prince’s effort was obviously critical, but given the questions asked by some of Baylor’s point guard play Medford’s second half may be the most important development moving forward. Entering Sunday the senior had a solid assist-to-turnover ratio, with 5.7 assists and 2.3 turnovers per game, but he was shooting just under 43 percent from the field.

While he did struggle in the Bears’ loss at No. 15 Oregon in mid-November, Medford’s two best offensive outings of the season have come in Baylor’s best wins. There was Medford’s 13-point, nine-assist game in a blowout win over Stephen F. Austin in the season opener, and Sunday night against Vanderbilt he accounted for 15 points, five assists and just one turnover. Baylor has one of the nation’s best front courts, and their ability to both keep Jones (nine points, eight rebounds) and Luke Kornet (seven points, four rebounds) in check and rebound 46.5 percent of their team’s missed shots (Gathers Sr. and Prince had 12 of Baylor’s 20 offensive rebounds) serves as evidence in the affirmative.

But if Baylor is to compete with the likes of Kansas, Iowa State and Oklahoma atop the Big 12 their perimeter play will be key. Medford stepped forward to assist Prince Sunday night, and that will need to be the case on a consistent basis when conference play begins next month.

SUNDAY’S SNACKS: No. 25 Baylor comes back, No. 9 North Carolina rolls

Taurean Prince
Associated Press
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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 25 Baylor 69, No. 16 Vanderbilt 67

Taurean Prince scored 30 points and Lester Medford added 15 and five assists as the Bears erased a 13-point second half deficit to beat the Commodores in Waco. Medford’s three with 42 seconds remaining gave Baylor the lead for good, and the Bears’ work on the offensive glass was notable as well.

Baylor racked up 20 offensive rebounds, with Rico Gathers Sr. responsible for eight, which worked out to an offensive rebounding percentage of 46.5 percent despite going up against the likes of Damian Jones and Luke Kornet. Wade Baldwin IV led Vandy with 19 points, and more about Baylor’s win can be read here.


Florida State 76, VCU 71: The Seminoles managed to hang on in Atlanta, with VCU’s Melvin Johnson nearly leading the Rams to a comeback win. Johnson scored a career-high 36 in the loss, with 23 of those points coming in the second half. Xavier Rathan-Mayes led the winners with 23 points while also grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out three assists.

San Diego 53, San Diego State 48: In a game played outdoors at Petco Park the Toreros picked up the first big win of Lamont Smith’s tenure as head coach. USD wasn’t great offensively but their opponents were even worse in the first half, as SDSU shot 3-for-20 from the field and trailed 31-13 at the break. Steve Fisher’s team managed to pull to within one late in the second half, but the hole was too deep to crawl out of. Duda Sanadze led San Diego with 15 points and Olin Carter III added 12 (4-for-7 3PT).


Devin Patterson, Omaha: Not only did Patterson score 41 points Sunday, but his three-pointer as time expired gave the Mavericks a 100-97 win at Montana State.

Melvin Johnson, VCU: Johnson shot 14-for-24 in scoring his career-high 36 points in the Rams’ five-point loss to Florida State in Atlanta.

Taurean Prince, Baylor: Waller-Prince scored 30 points on 10-for-19 shooting to lead the Bears to a two-point win over No. 16 Vanderbilt.


San Diego State (first half): Shooting 3-for-20 from the field is bad. What was also bad for San Diego State was the fact that they allowed San Diego to grab eight offensive rebounds on the other end. They were outworked and outplayed Sunday.

Damian Jones, Vanderbilt: Jones, who did grab eight rebounds in a two-point loss at No. 25 Baylor, shot just 2-for-7 from the field in scoring nine points.


  • No. 9 North Carolina rolled to a 98-65 win over Davidson, as they limited the Wildcats to 34.3 percent shooting from the field. Nate Britt matched his career-high with 17 points, leading five Tar Heels in double figures.
  • No. 17 Cincinnati scored 51 points in the first half of its 87-66 win over Morgan State. Shaq Thomas posted 15 points, nine rebounds and four assists, and Gary Clark Jr. accounted for 13 points and 14 rebounds for the Bearcats.


  • Pittsburgh scored 50 points in both halves as they rolled to a 100-47 win over Central Arkansas. Damon Wilson scored 20 points, shooting 7-for-9 from the field, off the bench to lead the barrage.
  • Chris Mullin picked up his first head coaching win at Madison Square Garden as St. John’s held off St. Francis-Brooklyn 63-56. The win is also the 1,800th in the history of the program, making St. John’s the ninth Division I program to reach that number.
  • Hofstra capped the doubleheader at MSG with an 86-80 win over Appalachian State, as they scored 52 second-half points. Brian Bernardi scored 23 points to lead the way for the Pride.
  • James Madison moved to 8-3 on the season with a 107-84 win over Marshall. Shakir Brown scored 30 points and Ron Curry added 20 for the Dukes.
  • UMass-Lowell picked up its first-ever win over Boston College, beating the Eagles 68-66 in Chestnut Hill. The Eagles were shorthanded, as Eli Carter (ankle) and Dennis Clifford (stomach bug) both sat out.
  • Monmouth rebounded from its loss at Canisius Friday night with a comfortable 56-42 win at Niagara. The Hawks limited the Purple Eagles to 15 first-half points.
  • Two-time defending MAAC tournament champion Manhattan fell to 0-2 in league play, losing 75-70 to Marist at home. Khalid Hart scored 17 points and Brian Parker and Ryan Funk added 16 apiece for the winners.
  • Coastal Carolina moved to 1-1 in Big South play with a 63-58 win over Radford (als0 1-1). Jaylen Shaw and Marcus Freeman scored 12 apiece to lead a balanced offensive effort for Cliff Ellis’ Chanticleers.
  • Colorado State scored 52 first-half points and then went ice cold in the second half, with Colorado’s improved defense ultimately leading to the Buffaloes winning 88-77 in Fort Collins. Josh Scott, who struggled in each of the last two meetings in this series, scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Colorado.
  • Jaelan Sanford’s three-pointer as time expired gave Toledo a 71-69 win at Green Bay. Nathan Boothe led the Rockets with 27 points.
  • Southern Miss picked up its first win of the season, beating North Dakota State 74-62. Quinton Campbell scored 17 points to lead four Golden Eagles in double figures.
  • Saint Mary’s remained undefeated as they beat Big West favorite UC Irvine 70-60 in Moraga. Emmett Naar led five Gaels in double figures with 15 points while also dishing out five assists.
  • Bryce Alford scored 24 points and Isaac Hamilton 21 as UCLA beat Long Beach State 83-76. The visiting 49ers were playing their second game in as many days, as they beat New Mexico State Saturday.
  • Dejounte Murray scored 17 points, Matisse Thybulle 16 and Andrew Andrews 15 and ten rebounds as Washington took care of Cal-State Fullerton, 87-69.

Indian Hills CC forward Nuni Omot commits to Baylor

Scott Drew
Associated Press
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This weekend has proven to be a productive one for Baylor on the recruiting front, as they’ve now landed two verbal commitments. One day after 2017 four-star power forward Tristan Clark announced that he’ll play for Scott Drew while on an unofficial visit to the Big 12 program, 6-foot-9 Indian Hills CC forward Nuni Omot did the same while on his official visit.

Omot is Baylor’s second commitment in the Class of 2016, joining four-star small forward Mark Vital. This will be Omot’s first season at Indian Hills after spending his first two years of college at Division II Concordia University in St.Paul, Minnesota.

After redshirting as a freshman in 2013-14 Omot averaged 12.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game last season. With Baylor losing the versatile Taurean Waller-Prince and one of the nation’s top rebounders in Rico Gathers Sr. from their front court at the end of the 2015-16 season, adding another piece is a positive for the Bears moving forward.

Baylor lands four-star center

Scott Drew
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Baylor landed a commitment from four-star center Tristian Clark on Friday night. Clark announced his decision on Twitter.

“I will be furthering my basketball career and education at Baylor University,” he tweeted.

The 6-foot-9 big man, who plays for Findlay Prep in Henderson Nevada, becomes the first commit in Baylor’s Class of 2017.

Baylor 7-footer Jo Acuil out eight weeks

Scott Drew
Associated Press
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With returnees such as seniors Taurean Waller-Prince and Rico Gathers Sr., Baylor will begin the 2015-16 season with one of the nation’s top front courts. However, head coach Scott Drew will have to work with one less option, as it was reported by the Waco Tribune that junior forward Jo Acuil will miss at least the next eight weeks of action.

During this time Acuil will undergo testing for a possible heart ailment, which leaves Baylor without a junior college transfer who was expected to help out in regards to both the depth and skill of the front court. The 7-footer from the Sudan averaged 20.1 points, 11.2 rebounds and 4.7 blocks per game as a sophomore at Neosho Community College.

“Jo’s health is of first and foremost importance,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “He had really improved this summer and fall, not only on the court but also in the weight room. He had progressed nicely.”

With Acuil sidelined Baylor’s tallest available player is redshirt sophomore Johnathan Motley, who’s only 6-foot-9. Motley was productive in his first season on the court, starting all 34 games and averaging 7.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 21.5 minutes of play per game.