The sophomore transfer from Presbyterian was arguably facing more pressure going into the first weekend of the NCAA tournament than any other player on the Baylor roster. Before the first round game against the Hartford Hawks, Adam Flagler was in quite the slump. After scoring a season high 22 points against Iowa State last month, the Sophomore guard was only able to knock down one 3-pointer before March Madness began. Fortunately, it looks like Flagler is on his way back to helping the Bears in a big way.
I could see signs that Adam Flagler was on the cusp of breaking out during the Big 12 Tournament. He had a rough stat line in the semi-final game against Oklahoma State— going just 1-8 from the field with a turnover. But I sensed some much needed aggression from him. Yes, I believed he got the ball stripped and got swatted throughout the night, but as opposed to the four games prior where he only attempted three 3-point shots combined, he stayed confident. Flagler made a tough jump-shot in the paint, got to the foul line, and continued to shoot the ball with no hesitation. It needed to be done. There’s no other way out of a funk but to stay aggressive and eventually watch the shots start to fall.
The hard work paid off this past weekend. Against Hartford, Flagler shot 60% from 3-point range and got into double figure scoring. And although he only scored 6 points on Sunday afternoon, he might have had the biggest bucket of the game. To me, it felt like any hope of Wisconsin coming back was dashed when Flagler hit that 1st-half buzzer beater. As a plus, Flagler was also perfect from the foul line. He’s doing the little things as well. Throughout the weekend he recorded assists, rebounds, steals, and was staying active on defense.
There is no good that will come for the Bears if Flagler does not shoot the open looks when they are there. And shoot them confidently. Thankfully, coach Drew recognizes that. Even during that rough few weeks stretch, Flagler was still consistently getting 20-25 minutes per game. It’s been a while since he has led the team to victory (Illinois, Auburn, Iowa State) and this upcoming weekend would be a great time for another huge performance.