This morning, Jeff Goodman of ESPN posted a story detailing the origins of the secret scrimmage between Baylor and Vanderbilt that happened a few days ago in Nashville. For those who don’t know or had forgotten (*raises hand*) Bryce Drew, Scott Drew’s younger brother, accepted the head coaching position at Vandy this offseason. Baylor and Vanderbilt had one another on the schedule, but neither brother really wanted it.
You see, the Drew brothers love one another. Even the euphoria of victory would be mired in the empathy for his brother’s loss.
As an older brother myself, I totally get this. Sure, beating my younger brother in competition is fun, but in a high stakes game like college basketball when 20 wins means keeping your job and 19 wins means you’re scrolling through the Big Sky Conference Wikipedia page, that’s a different thing, emotionally.
As a result, the two schools cancelled the games, Vanderbilt handed over some cash to Baylor, and the schools scheduled two “secret scrimmages”, one in Nashville this October and another in Waco next year. Before we move on to the highlights, I want to point out that Scott Drew got his lil bro to pay not to play him. What a baller big brother move. AND he got some of that SEC football money. Scott Drew truly is Baylor’s second greatest coach ever (Kim Mulkey, stand up!). (**NOTE** ESPN modified their story after the publishing of this post to reflect that Baylor actually paid Vandy, but darn it all if I’m not going to leave this now inaccurate joke on the internet.)
Schools aren’t allowed to share any statistical information from the scrimmage (including the final score), but they can share video footage, apparently. So here are three short highlight videos!
There is a lot to like in those videos, even while keeping in mind that these are highlights and so don’t include the times when Al Freeman tried to split a double team but bounced the ball off a defender’s knee instead.
First and foremost, as demonstrated at the 1:10 mark of the second video, I am here for Ish Wainright goose-necking a contested three and draining it in his defender’s eye.
That aside, the ball movement and extra passing on some of these possessions is encouraging. Baylor’s offense can stagnate, but hopefully this squad will have the cohesion to move the ball, run around the floor to create passing lanes, and avoid hero ball late in the clock. The offensive rebounding of the big men and Wainright is also on display. There aren’t really any defensive highlights, so that side of the floor is still a bit of a mystery, but if the offense can hum along like that, these Bears could be dangerous.