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Daily Bears Report 1/13/17

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Motley Named to Wooden Award Midseason Top 25

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma State at Baylor Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s Events

Soccer

  • Baylor soccer added forward Camryn Wendlandt after transferring from San Diego State, head coach Paul Jobson announced Thursday. From Baylor Bears dot com.

The six-foot Coeur d’Alene, Idaho native will be eligible immediately as a sophomore for the Bears in 2017 after playing in 10 matches for the Aztecs in 2016 as a freshman.

“We are looking forward to getting Camryn plugged into what we are doing here at Baylor very quickly,” said Jobson. “She fits extremely well into where we are headed as a team and she will also mesh well into our family environment.”

Continue Reading . . .

Women’s Tennis

  • Baylor's women's tennis opens the 2017 regular season this weekend in action at the National Collegiate Tennis Classic from Jan. 13-16, at Sunrise Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. From Baylor Bears dot com.

Senior Rhiann Newborn, sophomore Karina Traxler and freshman Angelina Shakraichuk will play their way through the singles bracket, and Newborn and Shakraichuk team up for doubles action.“For any of our players at this stage of the season, it’s important to just get back into it,” Baylor head coach Joey Scrivano said. “I look for them to compete and sharpen their skills to get ready for the season that is ahead. We need to focus on what’s in front of us, take it day by day and let it build from there.”

Shakraichuk is making her Baylor debut after joining the program in January. She will gain valuable experience, competing in both singles and doubles for the Bears right away.“For Angelina, this is a great opportunity for her to get her feet wet and learn a lot about college tennis and the level of play,” Scrivano said. “All we’re expecting from her is to have a great attitude, give it her best effort and get more familiar with our program, our system and our way of doing things.”

Baylor is one of nine teams with representatives competing in the tournament. The field features student-athletes from No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 Oklahoma State, No. 17 Texas, No. 25 UCLA, Arizona, USC, San Diego, and Wichita State.

Match play kicks off at 10 a.m. (CT) Friday and continues on day two beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday. The final day of action starts at 11 a.m. Sunday. Fans can watch matches live on www.flotennis.com.

Continue Reading . . .

Men’s Tennis

  • Eight players from the 22nd-ranked Baylor men's tennis team will open their 2017 spring season at the Sherwood Collegiate Cup Friday through Monday in Thousand Oaks, Calif. From Baylor Bears dot com.

“This is a great event with great competition,” head coach Matt Knoll said. “We are tired of playing ourselves and ready to play somebody else. We are motivated. Our guys have all the right ingredients. We just need to play a little bit and get them some more experience.”

Baylor is playing at the Sherwood Country Club for the eighth consecutive year and has placed eight singles players and four doubles teams in the 32-man singles and 16-pairing doubles draws, including the No. 5 overall seed and 44th-ranked Max Tchoutakian.

This year's field includes three other powerhouse collegiate tennis programs with representatives from UCLA, USC and Stanford, which are ranked in the preseason polls at No. 8, 10, and 18 respectively.

Continue Reading . . .

Track and Field

  • BU will open the indoor season with the first of three trips to College Station, Texas, for the Texas A&M Team Invitational on Jan. 13-14. From Baylor Bears dot com.

That meet is followed by a trek north to Lexington, Ky., for the Rod McCravy Memorial, Jan. 20-21.

The Bears will be off the last weekend in January, before heading back to College Station for the Texas A&M Charlie Thomas Invitational on Feb. 3-4. The next weekend, Baylor will be in Fayetteville, Ark., for the Tyson Invitational, Feb. 10-11, in the final meet before postseason action.

The Big 12 Indoor Championship will be held on Feb. 24-25 in Ames, Iowa. Postseason action will continue for qualified athletes at the NCAA Indoor Championship in College, Texas, March 10-11.

Basketball

Motley is one of four Big 12 Conference players on the list, which was chosen by a poll of national college basketball experts. The 25 players are considered front-runners for the sport’s most prestigious honor based on their performances during the first half of the 2016-17 season. Motley is joined on the list by Iowa State’s Monte Morris and Kansas’ Josh Jackson and Frank Mason III.

A junior from Houston, Motley was one of four players added to the Midseason Top 25 who were not included in the Preseason Top 50, joining Duke’s Luke Kennard, UCLA’s TJ Leaf and Butler’s Kelan Butler.

Motley, who is in his fourth year at Baylor after redshirting during the 2013-14 season, leads the Big 12 with six double-doubles on the season and is first among active Big 12 players with 11 career double-doubles. He’s started 15 games and is averaging 15.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.2 blocks in 29.0 minutes per game. Motley ranks second in the Big 12 in rebounding, seventh in scoring, ninth in field goal percentage (.521) and 10th in blocked shots.

Motley has led Baylor to a 15-1 start and the program’s first-ever No. 1 national ranking. In four wins against ranked opponents, he’s averaged 18.8 points per game, while shooting .533 from the field. He was named 2016 Battle 4 Atlantis MVP after leading the Bears to the tournament title, and he’s twice been named Big 12 Player of the Week this season.

Continue Reading. . .

  • Baylor's stay at No. 1 will likely only last a week — even if the Bears (15-1, 3-1 Big 12) can topple No. 25 Kansas State (13-3, 2-2) on the road on Saturday. From the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

West Virginia's suffocating defense forced the Bears into committing 29 turnovers in an 89-68 loss on Tuesday. But the Wildcats will have plenty to prove as well after falling to Texas Tech 66-65 on a Keenan Evans layup with 15 seconds left Tuesday. Continue Reading . . .

  • Two Baylor women’s basketball recruits, Alexis Morris and Didi Richards, have been included in the 2017 Naismith Trophy High School Girls Player of the Year Midseason 25 List, announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club Thursday morning. From Baylor Bears dot com.

The award honors the nation’s top high school girls’ basketball player of the year.

Morris is the No. 6 rated point guard and the No. 18 player overall, according to ESPN HoopGurlz. She has guided Legacy Christian Academy to a 22-2 record so far this season, averaging 31.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 5.1 steals and 4.5 assists per game.

A three-year letterwinner, Morris has earned three-straight Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools 3A Player of the Year accolades (2014, 2015, 2016). She was also a 2016 USA Today All-Texas second team honoree and named to the Naismith Trophy Watch List previously in 2016.

Richards has led Cypress Ranch High School to an 18-6 record thus far, averaging 17.9 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.0 steals per game. She is No. 4 ranked guard and No. 16 player overall, according to ESPN HoopGurlz.

The three-year letterwinner and all-time leading scorer at Cypress Ranch High School is a two-time All-District first-team honoree (2015, 2016). Richards was also named to the Naismith Trophy Watch List in 2016 and earned 2017 All USA Preseason Girls Basketball Team recognition. The five-star recruit has also been recognized as a McDonald's Invitational Most Valuable Player (2016), Newcomer of the Year (2014) and Nike National Champion (2013).

The guards, who signed with the Lady Bears in the early signing period, find out if they are on the list of 10 national semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy on Feb. 6, 2017.

Football

  • Former Midway offensive lineman Christian Beard will join the Baylor football team as a walk-on with hopes of earning a scholarship. From BearsExtra.

The 6-5, 305-pound Beard will redshirt in 2017 under NCAA transfer rules and will have at least one year of eligibility remaining after playing at Central Florida last season.

However, he could earn a second year at Baylor if he is granted a medical redshirt after playing just three games last season due to a toe injury. He’s already enrolled at Baylor for the spring semester and will participate in spring football drills.

Continue Reading . . .

  • David Wetzel interviewed for a position with Matt Rhule's new Baylor football staff one day last month and was hired the next day. From the Brownwood Bulletin.

Since then, Wetzel has told his Reagan High School players of his decision to leave after 13 seasons in San Antonio. He made an appearance at a Houston Touchdown Club banquet, talked to parents of potential recruits, made in-home visits to recruits, attended high school playoff games along with multiple Baylor functions, became active on Twitter, and watched countless hours of potential recruits on film.

It has been a whirlwind welcome to college football for the 47-year-old Wetzel, who grew up in Goldthwaite and has family ties to Brownwood with his father, Grayson Wetzel, and his grandfather, Marion "Choc" Wetzel.

"I had thought it (joining the Baylor staff) might be a possibility with me being a Baylor alum and former player and current president of the coaches association. I knew where Baylor was and where it wanted to get back to," Wetzel said.

"But when it actually happened, it happened very, very fast."

Dream