Baylor will start the season without forward Mario Kegler, as the former Mississippi State transfer has been suspended for the first six games of the season.
Head coach Scott Drew announced the suspension of Kegler to reporters on Monday as Kegler will sit out due to a violation of team rules.
The 6-foot-7 Kegler is expected to be one of Baylor’s go-to players this season after he sat out last season following his transfer from the Bulldogs. As a freshman with Mississippi State two seasons ago, Kegler averaged 28.7 minutes per contest as he put up 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. A noted scorer and former four-star prospect, Kegler shot 42 percent from the field and 34 percent from three-point range.
Baylor’s schedule doesn’t start with many difficult games, so Kegler’s suspension shouldn’t hurt the Bears too much. Playing mostly buy games, except for a clash with SEC bottom feeder Ole Miss on Fri, Nov. 23, Baylor has a chance to win all of those games even without one of their best players.
But Baylor is definitely going to need Kegler to get up to speed and produce if they want any sort of successful season. Making matters more difficult for Baylor is an ankle injury that guard Makai Mason is dealing with at the start of the season. Although only a minor injury, Mason is expected to be a game-time decision for Baylor’s season-opener against Texas Southern on Tuesday.
Without Kegler and Mason, it’ll be interesting to see who Baylor turns to for offense as senior guard King McClure is the team’s returning leading scorer at 8.1 points per game.