Hit you guys with the hesi hey on this one. The title isn’t a typo, I am switching it up one time and writing an eye test on our guys. Specifically I wanted to write an eye test on the guys who may be playing their last game in the Ferrell Center on Saturday.
I hope as many of these kings come back as possible, but it may not happen. We are at a unique point in the Baylor program’s history where Baylor has turned into a school that is a legitimate destination for one and done talent. As fans we are leaving the days of old where we get to cheer on our best players for three to four years, and that’s okay.
I landed on the decision to not write a second piece on Iowa State after we beat UT on Monday. I had written one Iowa State Eye Test, the Cyclones are very similar and honestly have fallen off a bit. I knew with a little help we could be in a position to win the Big 12 regular season title with a win at home. Help acquired, painfully a shoutout to TCU. So, I wanted to take us all on a walk down memory lane and look at our guys as we wrap up the regular season, hopefully with a share of the Big 12 title.
I will still include a prediction for the matchup with this Iowa State team that was just held to 36 points in an entire game, at home. But let’s focus on our Bears this post, and some bonus content from a few other folks on the ODB team as we take a look at the Drew-Tang Clan, the official name of Scott Drew’s coaching staff and team.
Baylor Eye Test
With how nuanced player eligibility is I think most of these guys could actually return for another season, but for the sake of this article let’s unfortunately assume they may be walking. As stated two iPhone scrolls up, below is an eye test and a thank you to the guys who may be playing their last game for the Drew-Tang Clan.
Included in each player eye test is my favorite video I could find of each guy on twitter. Take the time to watch these flicks. Enjoy.
#0 Flo Thamba – @Flo_T3
Flo is a Senior and has been with the Bears since the 2018-2019 season. He has started every game for the last two seasons and his production this year is the best of his tenure at Baylor. Flo is averaging 6.0 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.0 BPG and is shooting 52.8% from the field.
Flo has consistently stepped up for the Bears this season. He has been a defensive backbone, a rim protector, and a steady offensive player. Flo had been dealt a tough hand this year with EJ going down, but has played some of his best basketball in green and gold since EJ’s injury.
The energy that Flo plays with is more valuable than any production metrics you could ask for. He is a leader, a champion, and an all time Baylor Bear. Flo’s presence will be huge in March…and hopefully the first Monday of April.
#1 Jeremy Sochan – @SochanJeremy
I have being singing Jeremy Sochan’s praises since he showed up to campus and died his fro blonde. It was a total vibe and I have missed that drip dearly. Until he entered the arena against Kansas with the Grinch/Tennis Ball look and absolutely silenced the haters.
King Jeremy The First hailing from Milton Keynes, England is a true Freshman and a certified Diaper Dandy as Dickie V says. Sochan is averaging 8.5 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.2 SPG, and 0.7 BPG. His talent has never been in question, but early in the year there were some expected growing pains. However, when EJ went down and Sochan’s minutes skyrocketed he showed everyone that talent plus opportunity equals production.
Sochan has been doing nothing but killing the Big 12 on the floor since he has been given more looks. He has stepped in and been comfortable playing positions 1 through 5, seriously; and shown that he has the potential to be an incredible point forward at the next level.
This is where my heart starts to break. Sochan has been flying up draft boards and is a projected first round pick. I am a betting man, and I bet this is Sochan’s last game in the Ferrell Center. The only potential draw for the drippiest Baylor Bear ever to return would be to try and play his way into the lottery next year.
Someone throw this dude some NIL money and let’s get the band back together.
Jeremy Sochan was so good in a win over Kansas that I decided to make a 5-minute breakdown on his performance + how it translates to the NBA. One of the most versatile players in the NCAA. Have really enjoyed watching his progression since the U16 Euros (B Division) in 2018. pic.twitter.com/hccBLEs0Fb— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) February 28, 2022
#2 Kendall Brown – @TheeKbrown
KB walked onto campus and said this is my city. Brown has started every game this season as a true Freshman and is absolutely dynamite. He has blow the roof off the building athleticism, and has NBA scouts drooling. Brown creates a mismatch for whoever guards him, and puts his opponents in a torture chamber for his 27 minutes of play per game.
Brown is averaging 9.9 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1.0 SPG, and is shooting an impressive 59.2% from the field. He has also emerged as a legitimate shooting threat, knocking down threes at a 36.4% clip. He is a complete stud of a three level scorer.
Brown is equally impressive defensively. If he fills out his frame just a bit this offseason he has the opportunity to be a lockdown defender combining his athleticism and high basketball IQ.
One of my favorite things about KB is his unselfishness. Would I like to see Brown be more aggressive on offense, sure; but his desire to first be defined as a great teammate is what makes him so unique. Brown is humble and will thrive wherever he is next year.
I really think Brown declares for the draft. A number of draft boards have him as a lottery pick and that is downright impossible to turn down. Brown will probably go down as a top 5 athlete to ever play for the Bears, but don’t let his athleticism be the defining factor. More than anything Kendall Brown was a great teammate.
#10 Adam Flagler – @adamflagler
Adam Flagler is one of the players from last year’s team that we all expected to see take some serious steps forward this year. The season started off slowly as Flagler was clearly rehabbing an injury, but his attitude and leadership never changed. Flagler has been an impact player all while being a Pre-Med major with goals of being a pediatrician, pretty freaking cool.
Flagler is a Junior, emerging as Baylor’s leading and most consistent scorer. He is averaging 13.9 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.2 SPG, and is shooting 40.5% from deep. Flagler’s production in February has been even more impressive, averaging over 17 PPG and shooting 46.7% from three. He is just getting started family.
Flagler’s energy is infectious. All throughout a season of ups and downs, Flagler’s smile and high motor has never left the court. He has uplifted his teammates, and been an instrumental piece to Baylor’s success this season.
To be honest, I expect Flagler to be back next season. He has made his intentions clear of pursuing a degree to set him up for success when his basketball career is over. But, if he goes bonkers in March I wouldn’t be surprised if he declares for the NBA Draft while maintaining his eligibility.
Let’s hope Dr. Flagler returns because if his college hoops career has shown us anything, he is aging like a fine wine and just getting better.
#11 James Akinjo – @akinjojames3 (Insta no Twitter for our boy)
As we all know I have been as up and down as anyone in America on James Akinjo. He has been the definition of a no, no, no, no…YES player. One thing has rang true throughout this season, Akinjo is tough as nails and dedicated to the success of this team.
I’m not sure that any player had as much pressure on their shoulders following last year’s natty and guard play as James Akinjo. He has been asked to fill the guard shoes of Jared Butler (NBA), Davion Mitchell (NBA), and MaCio Teague (NBA). Woof, lesser men would crumble. Guess what James Akinjo is a certified hooper and a grown man.
Akinjo is a Senior, and after transferring multiple times, who the heck knows if he is eligible to return next year. I would assume he’s not and I couldn’t find anything online saying if he is or isn’t. So let’s just assume this is his last game in the Ferrell Center. In his only season with the Bears, Akinjo has averaged 13.1 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 5.8 APG, 2.0 SPG, and has been ICE from the free throw line shooting 83.9%.
Akinjo has stepped up and gotten Baylor buckets in some of the biggest moments this year. No matter what the first 35 minutes of a game have looked like you can count on him going killer mode as the clock winds down. I’ve made the comparison before but Akinjo has that same Oakland mentality as Damian Lillard.
Akinjo’s quickness and passing ability make him a nightmare to guard and he can beat literally anyone off the bounce. He has continued to heal from a tailbone (buttocks) injury and as he gets healthy it is scary hours for America in March.
We all owe a massive thank you to James Akinjo. He goes about his business, is a winner, and from what all reports say, he is one of the best teammates and leaders on this team.
#24 Matthew Mayer – @MatthewMayer24
Matthew Mayer is just so fun to watch. Opposing fan bases still have to absolutely despise this guy because he is unconscious, has never seen a shot he doesn’t like, has a mullet, and will also clamp up your best player.
Mayer was known from last year’s team as an offensive microwave off the bench. I think we all unfairly assumed that he would step into a starting role and maintain his same offensive output from last year in a larger sample size. Hand up, I fell into this camp, but Mayer has still impressed this season and has become one of the better defenders in the country.
Mayer is a Senior averaging 9.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.1 APG, 1.3 SPG, and 0.7 BPG. The most impressive stat here are Mayer’s rebounding numbers. In EJ’s absence Mayer has been a force on the boards. We all know Mayer can score, but what he has shown us this year is he is a well rounded player.
Through the season’s ebbs and flows, Mayer has been a steady player for Baylor. If you told me that the wild stallion with a mullet would be steady I would take that all day. Mayer hasn’t even come close to peaking offensively this year, and maybe that is a good thing. The defensive intensity hasn’t ever dropped off and he is a star.
Matthew Mayer will forever be one of my favorite Baylor Bears. The goofy 6’ 9” kid cooking the nation’s highest rated recruits is absolutely elite. He tested the NBA waters last season, and I am not sure what his eligibility is, but I think this will likely be his last game in Waco.
Thank you Mayer for being nothing except yourself while playing for Baylor, it’s all we could ever ask for and more.
Matthew Mayer was on a different level today pic.twitter.com/wmgDKzsMSb— Defending National Champion Barstool SicEm (@BarstoolSicEm) February 16, 2020
The Bears are going to come out firing on all cylinders. Baylor will open up a lead in the first few minutes, primarily taking advantage of switches onto some of Iowa State’s slower defenders. The athleticism of Akinjo, Brown, Sochan, and Mayer will just be too much for the Cyclones.
Iowa State will get going a little bit, putting Brockington in isolation and letting him go to work from mid-range and at the rim. The Cyclone defense will get some key stops in the middle of the first half and cut the lead back to single digits by halftime.
The Drew-Tang Clan will make the necessary halftime adjustments and get back on track in the second half. The guard combination of Akinjo and Flagler will put Iowa State defenders in a cyclone and start scoring in bunches.
The Iowa State offense that was just held to 36 points in their last game will go cold and Baylor will balloon to 15 points. The second half will continue and the game will end without the Cyclones ever getting within 10.
The Bears get a statement win and repeat as Big 12 Champions.
Baylor 73 – Iowa State 56
If the line is anything at or below 10 lay a whale on the fellas and get rich kids.
Bonus Content: Enter the Drew-Tang (19 Seasons)
Fellow ODB contributor Cody Orr was inspired by the headline and created a tracklist for the Drew-Tang Clan’s debut album, Enter the Drew-Tang (19 Seasons).
Each song has five or six featured artists. In the comments below (or if you want to keep your answers private, DM @cody_orr or @Branden_MacK on Twitter), see if you can correctly guess why the artists were chosen for each song. Whoever gets the most correct by Friday, March 11 will win
exclusive rights to the single-printed album “Once Upon a Time in Waco” a Drew-Tang Clan-inspired t-shirt.
For example, a song called “Ice Bath” (feat. T. Carter, L. Dunn, C. Jerrells, Q. Acy and K. Rogers), based on Raekwon’s “Ice Cream” (feat. Ghostface Killah, Method Man, and Cappadonna), features Baylor’s career minutes played leaders in the Scott Drew-Jerome Tang era.
Without further ado, here is Enter the Drew-Tang (19 Seasons):
- Bring Da Croots (feat. I. Austin, K. George, Q. Miller, P. Jones, and K. Brown)
- Shame On a Doubter (feat. F. Gillespie, R. O’Neale, P. Jackson, E. Udoh, and T. Prince)
- Baylor On Da Front (feat. A. Walton, R. Gathers, Q. Acy, L. Dunn, and I. Wainright)
- Drew-Tang: 1st Season (feat. M. Sayman, T. Swanson, C. Marshall, T. Thomas, and H. Thomas)
- Making It Look All So Simple (feat. P. Jackson, L. Dunn, C. Jerrells, J. Motley, and T. Prince)
- Da Mystery of Reboundin’ (feat. R. Gathers, E. Udoh, J. Motley, C. Jefferson, K. Rogers, and special guest T. Prince)
- Drew-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing ta F’ Wit (feat. Q. Acy, A. Walton, J. Lomers, L. Dunn, J. Motley)
- J.R.E.A.M. JOY Rules Everything Around Me (feat. P. Jackson, L. Medford, C. Jerrells, T. Carter, and K. Chery)
- On Their Man (feat. P. Jackson, A. Walton, H. Dugat, C. Jerrells, J. Butler, and I. Wainright)
- Protect Da Paint (feat. E. Udoh, I. Austin, J. Acuil, C. Jefferson, and Q. Acy)
- Threez (feat. B. Heslip, L. Dunn, M. Lecomte, P. Jackson, and T. Carter)
- Drew-Tang: 19th Season (feat. F. Thamba, K. Brown, M. Mayer, J. Akinjo, and A. Flager)