Big 12 Insider: Is Scott Drew’s rebuilding job at Baylor the best in sports history?

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Drew Davison
·3 min read
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Everybody wants to witness history these days. It’s not hard to find articles telling you why Tom Brady is the best quarterback ever, or why LeBron James is a better basketball player than Michael Jordan.

Some may agree. Some may disagree.

Another “hot take” that came across the social media timeline the other day was CBS Sports’ Seth Davis declaring: “What Scott Drew has done at Baylor is the best rebuilding job in the history of sports. Tell me one better.”

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That drew plenty of responses, of course. People pointed to what Bill Snyder did with K-State football. And Jim Calhoun with UConn hoops. Gary Patterson and TCU football received a couple of mentions. The list goes on.

But Drew certainly belongs in the conversation, taking over a program in 2003 that had seen one of its players, Patrick Dennehy, murdered by one of his teammates, Carlton Dotson.

The Bears went 21-53 in Drew’s first three seasons, and had a fourth straight losing season in 2006-07.

Baylor stuck with Drew and it’s paid off. The Bears have been a winning program for the past 14 seasons, highlighted by eight NCAA Tournament bids including Elite Eight runs in 2010 and 2012.

The latest feat came this week when Baylor won the Big 12 regular-season title for the first time since joining the league. It was the Bears’ first conference title in men’s basketball since winning the 1950 Southwest Conference title.

“This is for all the fans that came to games when we were 35-40 point underdogs and having walk-ons starting,” Drew said, according to KWKT-TV in Waco. “So everyone can celebrate and enjoy.”

Baylor has a chance to make more history this month. The Bears should have a prime opportunity to become the first Texas school to win the Big 12 tournament. And they’re loaded enough to make a deep run in March Madness.

The last time the Bears went to the Final Four? The same year as their longest conference title (1950) until this season.

Hoops tracker

Much like the football season, the basketball seasons should be deemed an overall success for the Big 12. The majority of games were able to be played.

As far as the men’s side, the Big 12 is set to have four teams play all 18 conference games (Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Iowa State) and four more play 17 conference games (Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia).

TCU will finish the season by playing 16 Big 12 games, while Baylor will have played 14.

On the women’s side, every school is scheduled to play a full 18-game conference schedule.

Before the season started, it’s a safe bet that the conference gladly would have taken 170 of 180 (94%) of the league’s men’s games and 100% of the league’s women’s games being played.

Baseball in Frisco

Another big-time college baseball tournament is in the area. The Frisco Classic started Thursday at Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, featuring Oklahoma, Arizona, Missouri and Dallas Baptist.

OU takes on Arizona Friday at noon, and then the Sooners face Missouri at 7 p.m. Saturday and Dallas Baptist at 6 p.m. Sunday.

General admission tickets are $10 per game with reserved seats ranging from $20 to $30.

Briefly

Texas continued its dominance in swimming and diving, winning the Big 12’s men’s and women’s championships once again. The Longhorn men have won all 25 championships since the inception of the league while the women earned their 19th championship.

The Big 12 named Texas Tech’s Ludvig Aberg the conference’s men’s golfer of the month for February. Oklahoma State’s Maja Stark was named the women’s golfer of the month in February.