Ever since the Royce O'Neale transfer saga began, Baylor has been the logical choice for the talented SG/SF, who is looking to move closer to home in Harker Heights, a small community directly adjacent to Killeen, Texas, from Denver due to the declining health of his grandfather. Until the last couple of days, the problem wasn't desire or need for Royce's talents, it was the fact that Baylor was actually over the scholarship limits by one and could not accommodate him. The Bello and Rose transfers, as sad as they are and will continue to be as departures of Baylor Bears, have made space a non-issue, but we still didn't know when the chips were going to fall, if at all.
Jeff Goodman says that could be today:
Baylor set to add Denver transfer Royce O'Neale - who averaged 11 points last season & could be eligible next season: cbssports.com/collegebasketb…— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanCBS) May 16, 2013
After a freshman campaign in which the 6-5 O'Neale averaged 9.9 points on .51/.38/.86 shooting, decent numbers all around, O'Neale saw his minutes increase this season and all of his numbers except per-game scoring go down. This year, he averaged 11.2 points (second on the team), 5.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists for the Pioneers, but he did it on a less efficient .441/.333/.762. Baylor, in bringing him in, hopes for a repeat of the former in efficiency but the latter in production. If you can get 10 points and 5 rebounds from a wing spot, something we haven't had in quite a while, I think we'd be ecstatic.
As an upcoming junior, Royce would, absent transfer, have two years' eligibility remaining. If he has to sit out a year, that obviously becomes one. A transfer waiver from the NCAA, likely to be granted due to the health of his grandfather, would not only give him that year back but also let him play for the Bears this season, when we will have a need for an experienced player at the SF spot, especially. That's a need O'Neale can fill more than capably.
At this point, it's like Scott Drew responded to the obvious need this team had last season for an athletic, taller SG/SF and said "FINE, TAKE ALL THE BIG GUARDS/SMALL FORWARDS AND CHOKE ON THEM" with the potential arrival of O'Neale and the recruitment of Allerik Freeman and Ishmail Wainright. Sure, the plan for Ish and Al probably has them playing smaller than bigger, particularly Freeman, but the point remains. We had a need and he's filling it.