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Daily Bears Report 3/18/2017 - Rhule on Staff Firings

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Baylor MBB clears first round hurdle. Track at TCU. WBB starts 14th consecutive tournament run.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Baylor vs New Mexico State Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s Events

Football

He doesn’t shy away from visiting with fans and alumni at speaking engagements. But coaching football is what Rhule loves to do – and three months after he was hired at Baylor, he’s finally getting that chance.

Baylor will kick off the first of 15 spring practices on Saturday morning at the Allison Indoor Practice Facility. The initial drills under Rhule may resemble an NFL mini-camp to a certain extent, as the coach said the team will don helmets for the first three practices, which will be “very instructional.”

Baylor’s new coaching staff is still getting to know the players, and vice versa. There are new schemes and ideas to implement, positions up for grabs. It figures to be an enlightening spring in many ways for the program, as they embark on a new era under a new head coach.

Lady Bears Basketball

  • Baylor hopes to return to the Final Four for the first time since 2012. From BearsExtra.

But to get to Dallas, the Lady Bears have to take care of business in Waco first.

Baylor has won its last 10 NCAA Tournament games in the Ferrell Center, by an average margin of 29.4 points.

Kalani Brown is the key to one of the nation’s top offenses — second in the country with 88.6 points per contest — as the sophomore post leads the way with 15.2 points per game.

When the ball goes inside, she can kick it back out to her teammates who combine to shoot 40.6 percent from 3-point range, a statistic that leads the country.

Behind Brown, four more Lady Bears are averaging double figures.

Defensively, the Lady Bears lead the nation as they hold opponents to 31.4 percent shooting from the floor.

Continue Reading LSU, California and Texas Southern Breakdowns . . .

  • Welcome back Alexis Jones, just in time for top-seeded Baylor to start another women's NCAA Tournament at home. From Dallas Morning News.

Jones, a senior guard who hasn't played in nearly a month because of a bone bruise in her surgically repaired left knee, is expected to be back on the court Saturday night when the top-seeded Lady Bears host SWAC Tournament champion and NCAA first-timer Texas Southern.

"I haven't noticed in the days that she's practiced since being cleared that she's any different than she was before," coach Kim Mulkey said Friday. "I'm happy for her personally, and she makes us even better."

Continue Reading . . .

Tennis

  • The sixth-ranked Baylor men’s tennis team will play three-straight days at the BNP Paribas Open Collegiate Tennis Challenge Presented by Oracle Friday through Sunday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif. From Baylor Bears dot com.

Baylor (13-3) had won five consecutive matches prior to a loss at then-No. 13 UCLA, 4-0, Saturday. The Bears will look to rebound in their opening match at the event against No. 33 SMU Friday at 1 p.m. CT. The Bears beat SMU 4-0 earlier this year on Jan. 29 to win the ITA Kickoff Weekend in College Station, Texas. Baylor has won 19-straight matches over SMU, but still trail the all-time series 28-22. BU has not lost to SMU since 2001.

There are eight teams competing in the BNP Paribas Collegiate Challenge. Baylor will be joined by California, Oklahoma, Purdue, SMU, South Florida, Tulsa and USC. BU is the highest ranked team in the tournament, followed by No. 7 ranked USC, No. 9 Oklahoma, No. 13 ranked California, No. 32 South Florida, 33rd-ranked SMU and No. 45 Tulsa.

If BU beats SMU, it will play the winner of California vs. Purdue Saturday at 1 p.m. CT, but if it loses it will face the loser of the aforementioned match at 10:30 a.m. CT Saturday. Baylor defeated Purdue earlier this season, 4-0, on Feb. 10 in Waco. The tournament champion will be determined on Sunday at noon CT.

Track & Field

Following a successful indoor season, the Baylor track and field team will open the 2017 outdoor season with a large contingent of athletes competing at the TCU Invitational on Friday and Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas. From Baylor Bears dot com.

The two-day meet at the Lowdon Track and Field Complex also features host TCU, along with Abilene Christian, North Texas, Northwestern State, SMU, Stephen F. Austin, Texas A&M Commerce and UT Arlington.

The invitational meet will open for BU Friday with the women's hammer throw competition starting at 11:30 a.m. The Bears will have one competitor in that event and then two women’s and two men’s athletes in the discus competition, which will follow the hammer.

On Saturday, the field events will begin at 9:30 a.m., while running events start up at 1 p.m.

The switch to outdoor competition will include a variety of different events from the indoor season. The field events will include the discus, javelin and hammer throw, while on the track the 4x100-meter relay, 100/110-meter hurdles, 100-meter dash and 400-meter hurdles will all be contested for the first time.

The Bears are coming off having six athletes garner All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships, while the women finished tied for 14th as a team.

Men’s Basketball

ODB’s Kendall Kaut has lots more (click here) on Baylor Men’s Basketball.

Baseball

  • No. 10/20 Baylor baseball dropped a 7-1 decision to West Virginia on Friday evening at Baylor Ballpark in the Big 12 Conference opener. AP Report From Baylor Bears dot com.

The Bears (15-3, 0-1) struggled to get going on offense as the Mountaineers (9-7, 1-0) scored early.

WVU used three seeing-eye singles in the first to grab a 1-0 lead, and then did the same in the third with help from a walk to score two more.

(Continue Reading . . .)

Baylor continues its Big 12 Conference opening series at Baylor Ballpark against West Virginia with games at 3:05 p.m. CT Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday.

Softball

  • No. 14/15 Baylor softball (24-4) opened a three-game, weekend series with UCF with a bang, taking a 16-5 win over the Knights (14-11) in five innings at the UCF Softball Complex. From Baylor Bears dot com.

Kelsee Selman (12-2) continued to build on her remarkable senior campaign, picking up the win in the circle with 4.0 innings pitched. The senior allowed just four hits and two runs, both coming in the bottom of the second, while striking out three.

Shelby McGlaun closed out the final inning, allowing three unearned runs and four hits after a two-out error.

The Baylor offense had a breakthrough performance, exploding for 16 runs and 17 hits in the run rule victory for the Lady Bears.

(Continue Reading. . .)

Baylor continues the three-game series with the Knights on Saturday, March 18, at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT at the UCF Softball Complex.

  • Sydney Christensen blasted a three-run homer and Caitlin Charlton hit a solo shot as the No. 14 Baylor softball team romped to a 16-5 win over Central Florida on Friday. From Bears Extra.

Both homers came in an eight-run third inning as the Lady Bears (24-4) won for the 18th time in the last 19 games. Baylor scored seven more runs in the fourth inning.

Continue Reading . . .