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ODB Mailbag - What’s Next for Baylor Basketball Edition: Answered

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Baylor basketball and Waco food questions answered.

Who do you think stays and leaves next year for Baylor’s MBB

Posted by GraysonDupre

Joe Goodman: Flager stays, I have no doubt on that. Akinjo I’m not quite sure, but it wouldn’t surprise me, though we have a ton of guards next year. Mayer and Brown are gone for sure in my opinion, and Sochan is most likely gone considering where he’s at on the draft boards, but I don’t know, I have a weird gut feeling he stays, but that’s not based on any real info. Thamba can stay an extra year, and would love to see it, I’m just not sure. Finally, EJ will be back. Knee injuries are rough but the timelines aren’t what they were 20 years ago, even if it’s not game 1, we will see him suit up. (edited)

Andrew Miner: It will be interesting to see who, if any, decide to stay because they want another shot in the tourney and the defeat to UNC left them wanting more. That was not a regular loss. I had always thought Flagler, EJ and Flo would return. I feel like a broken record, but Flagler is the straw that stirs the drink. If James comes back to, I’d feel real confident about our backcourt being tops in the nation.

BNT: Feel strongly - Flo, Flagler, EJ (but is having another surgery and might not be ready for next season), 50/50 - Akinjo, Cryer, gone - Brown, Sochan, Mayer.

Will we be a top 3 team in the conference next year? With the guys I expect to leave, top 3 is a big ask.

Posted by JustinAllison16:

Joe Goodman: Sorry, you’ll need to define the sport. But since you didn’t, I’ll just answer yes to cover all of them.

Andrew Miner: Yes!

BNT:

Coach Tang

Why do I not like that he is going to a Big 12 school? Why do I feel he is disloyal? I feel the same way about Joey McGuire.

Posted by AkronBear

pbpope: I don’t know, but you really, really shouldn’t. He’s been at Baylor for 19 years, and waited until he was offered the head coaching gig at a Power 5 program. Someone staying an assistant coach for that long, at one program, is virtually unheard of. Tang is the opposite of disloyal. I’m 100% with you that it stings just a little bit that he went to a Big 12 conference mate… but that was the opportunity in front of him, so I don’t blame him one bit. Plus K-State’s just about the least heated rivalry we have in the conference. I never have a problem cheering for the Wildcats when they’re not playing Baylor.

Joe Goodman: He isn’t, but it’s normal to feel slighted when someone leaves, that’s ok. And by the other comments you made, you seem to still care and appreciate him, which is all anyone can ask. Just think of it this way, the Big 12 is the PREMIERE conference to coach in, of course he says yes if someone who’s in the top of your industry comes calling. I’m proud Drew is building a coaching tree.

Andrew Miner: Tang is a great guy! He also has a 4-0 head coaching record (2 due to suspension and 2 due to Covid). So he went to Kansas State—so what? I like that program and this is no Chris Beard situation. Just a quick note on Tang’s authenticity: He let me do a live Miner Minute with him while passing out pizzas to students before Gameday in 2020; he said the wrong pizza brand, Drew ribbed him slightly; and if Tang got upset or embarrassed he didn’t show it. Instead he just laughed like he was having the time of his life! He would always like my tweets—I’ll miss that the most! I hope he finds success in Manhattan.

BNT: No doubt you appreciate Tang and wish him well (I didn’t post that part of your question), but there is no need to feel he’s disloyal. He loves Baylor and more importantly there is a mutual love, friendship, and respect between him and Drew. As Drew recently stated he wishes Jerome the best success...unless they are going head to head. Tang feels the same way. Now let’s break it down a little, say you were the VP of a company for 19 years helping build it’s brand and long term success. Would it be disloyal to jump at an opportunity to be the President of a competitor? It happens all the time.

Worst Sports Weekend?

Was this the worst sports weekend at Baylor…ever? Baseball, Men’s Tennis, and both basketball teams losing big games. The two basketball games were among the most painful losses I can remember.

Posted by AkronBear

pbpope: Having been in school at the start of the Dark Times in the late ’90s, my answer is an emphatic NO. But it definitely stings to have excitement and expectations and see those expectations upset.

Joe Goodman: Peter lived through the before times, I’m but a lowly Guy Morriss fan starter, and I can tell you it’s not. Caring about these results is so much better than the apathy we used to see from the fanbase when we didn’t matter in the grand scheme.

Andrew Miner: I think it’s very important on how we define ‘worst sports weekend’ in order to properly answer this question across BU generations. While I have much respect for Peter and Joe, I have to adamantly disagree. Allow me to explain. This has to be answered in the context of worst emotional weekend and can only be in the context of the games that happened on the court & the immediate repercussions of those results, not the entire season. This immediately eliminates the two Baylor scandals (off the field) and those dark age football seasons on the whole. This is the worse weekend in Baylor sports history. The emotional roller coaster that was being down a little at half to UNC, watching it ballon to 25, and then seeing the Manek ejection and the Bears get hot in the final 10 minutes to tie it. Only to get down 4 in OT, tie it and then fall. The dream of a repeat Final 4 trip dies along with it and as a double whammy, Coach Tang departs. The next day, the women’s team scores a season low 47 points (this is honestly the lowest amount I ever remember them scoring in the pas decade plus… I need a fact check) and lose to No. 10 South Dakota. But look at what this loss does: snaps 12-straight Sweet 16 trips; first non-conference home loss since No. 1 UConn in 2014 and they only muster 47 points with potential No. 1 WNBA pick NaLyssa Smith. And honestly, the Bears never really even seemed in this one. The Coyotes not only upset the Bears, but dominated them from start to finish. If there is another 48-hour stretch of shocking, disappointing and emotionally gut-wrenching Baylor upsets that derail championship dreams in two different sports I would love to know. Off the top of my head (in no particular order) here are the other worse BU weekends that this past second round overtook: 1. UNLV fumble return in ‘99; 2. Sweet 16 loss to Louisville in ‘13; 3. Super Regional back to back losses to Arkansas in ‘12 (the only other 48 hr stretch I can think); 4. Back to back football losses to Liberty and UTSA in ‘17 (pick your weekend, I know many debate on which is worse). Add the Duke Elite 8 loss in 2010. I understand the pain there; this past weekend was still worse.

pbpope: Oh, my sweet summer child…

BNT: Once upon a time, Baylor sports were so bad that the fans hoped we wouldn’t end up last place in conference play. On top of that, even though we probably wished it, none of our coaches (including HC) were a thought in other programs minds to poach. Funny story, but the green lights lighting up Pat Neff after a Baylor victory were installed back in my day. The joke was that we won so little that we’d never have to replace the light bulbs. lol Sad times...

How badly will Tang’s exit hurt this program?

He has been with Drew for so long I have no idea how much of this team is Drew’s and how much of it is Tang’s. Is there a concern this is the beginning of the end for this program’s championship competition?

Posted by 5StarCouchQB

Andrew Miner: I feel confident that Coach Drew has enough experience to restaff and not miss too much of a beat. Think the impact is different is Tang leaves 5 years ago.

BNT: Drew has an elite staff and Tang’s leaving will have no impact on our program. Also, we are one of the elite programs in the country and that will not change because Tang left. Recruits and transfers know that they will get maximum development and exposure at Baylor.

Yeah, and when are we going to hear about CSD’s contract????

Posted by aintathangbutachickenwing

Joe Goodman:

BNT: Ditto

For the past eleven months

I have been wearing a MBB National Champions lanyard for my work ID/keycard. Now that a repeat won’t be happening, how much longer is it fashionable to keep wearing it before switching back to my Baylor Realtree lanyard? At what point am I living in the past??

Posted by PioneerSkies

pbpope: Never. Keep wearing it. They can’t ever take it away from you, and celebrating that isn’t “living in the past.” Now, as far as rubbing your coworkers nose in it? I’d say you’ve got another 3-4 years.

Joe Goodman: You were living in the past on April 6th, 2021. Who cares. Wear it forever. We were, are, and always will be champions.

Andrew Miner: Wear that crap until it literally frays apart!

BNT:

Where will…

Baylor WBB and MBB be ranked in next season’s preseason Top 25 AP poll?

Posted by PoppyBear

Joe Goodman: Both will be top 10

Andrew Miner: I have MBB in top 10; I think WBB slip to top 20.

BNT: I agree with Andrew, but I think Nicki will have some immediate portal help and the freshmen might be able to step in immediately and should have a top 10 season.

With Smith and Egbo going pro, will WBB’s next season be the rebuilding year some expected this year?

Will Baylor’s conference title streak be broken?

Posted by Your_Bailey_Bear

Joe Goodman: I’ve heard people say for years that the streak would be broken and it hasn’t. Until someone else gets that confetti, I don’t see anyone but us as the favorites.

Andrew Miner: Yeah, I’m going to stick with Baylor. Texas, Iowa State or Oklahoma or someone else has to figure out how to win. They haven’t in 12 years.

BNT: We should be fine, just a different feel as it will probably be a heavy guard oriented team. It will also be the further evolving of long athletic players who can guard 1-5. Until otherwise, the ‘ship runs through Waco!

Also, do you expect staff change-ups within the Collen regime?

Posted by Your_Bailey_Bear

Joe Goodman: No, you don’t shuffle a championship coaching staff. They’ll all be raising a banner to start next season.

BNT: I agree with Joe. This is an elite staff and has a plan to keep the program relevant.

2022/2023 basketball

I feel pretty good about our guard play next year, and Everyday Jon should have the 5 spot locked down. Who do you think takes on the Brown/Sochan/Mayer roles on next year’s team assuming all 3 leave? More minutes for Jordan Turner? A transfer we pick up this offseason?

Posted by Oso Maravilloso

BNT: EJ is scheduled to have another surgery and might not be ready. LJ is to have another surgery and is 50/50 on being back. That’s the bad news. The good news is that with Flagler, Love, George, Bonner, and most likely Akinjo our guard play will actually improve...definitely from a length/athletic and 3 pt shooting standpoint. Flo will have the 5 spot locked down and I expect him to move up to the next level. True freshman Ojianwuna should make an immediate impact at the 4-5. Look for a stud wing from the portal...as Baylor can be picky. Next seasons team is gonna have a great year.

Hey BNT

Should Kendall Brown stick around another season?

Posted by aintathangbutachickenwing

BNT: Nope. The NBA looks for age, athleticism, and ceiling. They will draft highly based upon potential and how it translates to the pro game. Brown having just turned 18, has oodles of athleticism, and ceiling hasn’t been close to being reached is a perfect early 1st round pick. He can’t pass up the opportunity or the money.

Since being a rabid sports fan requires fueling our bodies, these questions feel appropriate for the mailbag:

Milos or Pivovar?

George’s or Vitek’s?

WhatABurger or ChickFilA?

Balcones Distillery or Bare Arms Brewing?

Posted by PoppyBear

Andrew Miner: ChickFil A & Viteks.

BNT: Pivovar hands down

How can you compare two different species? All around George’s, BBQ Vitek’s

Can’t beat ChickFilA’s customer service (WhatABurger being owned by a NY holding company makes me smh)

If I were to drink “wink, wink”, Balcones as I’m not a big beer guy

Who will be point guard next season if Akinjo leaves?

Is Akinjo guaranteed to play point if he stays?

Do Flagler or Cryer have ambitions for the playmaker role?

Posted by Your_Bailey_Bear

Andrew Miner: Akinjo is 100% playing if he stays. If he leaves I think Flagler slides into the main point role with Bonner/Cryer helping. My guess is they would look for a transfer PG so Flagler can stay in the 2 role where is probably most effective.

Branden MacKinnon: Langston Love is the truth. Don’t sleep.

BNT: I think Akinjo stays, if so how can you not let a 1st Team All Conference player who led the league in assist not be the point guard? Love is gonna be a beast as well as you have a 6ft 5”, 210 lb guy who has great handles and shoots lights out from 3. And let’s not forget about Keyonte George.

As always leave your comments or other questions below. Sic ‘em!

xoxo

BNT