LJ Cryer is back; like fully, all the way, officially cleared, bucket getting, back. This is HUGE NEWS, as first reported by Jon Rothstein and later confirmed by Baylor Men’s Basketball on Twitter.
Baylor’s rotation was not complete without Cryer, and it wasn’t just the guard position that suffered. Cryer’s presence forces opponents to defend every position differently because of how lethal he is from three. This greatly opens up the spacing on the floor and gives everyone more room to operate. Plain and simple the offense runs better with Cryer on the court.
It felt like in every game Cryer was listed as a game time decision and we would inevitably see him on the bench in a walking boot on one of his feet. Cryer had offseason surgery on his feet; that was then, this is now - HE IS BACK. It’s been some time since we have seen Cryer play fully healthy; so if you’ll allow me to take a walk down memory lane let’s revisit what the Bears are getting from a fully healthy LJ Cryer.
LJ Cryer’s Game In A Nutshell
Cryer was one of Baylor’s leading scorers last year, averaging 13.5 PPG on an incredibly efficient 47.6 FG% and 46.8 3P%. Cryer’s efficiency from three is absolutely nuts. How nuts you ask? If Cryer had appeared in enough games and continued to shoot at this clip he would have lead the nation in 3P%, let that sink in. Think about the games last year where we were an offensive spark away, enter LJ Cryer.
Cryer does more than shoot as we all are aware. Cryer is a capable ball handler and can facilitate the offense if needed. He is also an incredibly impressive defender for his size and can hang with most of our opponents PG’s.
LJ is also a freak athlete. Let’s not lose sight of his near 40” vertical.
Baylor MBB Guard Outlook
Last year ended in heartbreak, I still can’t see Carolina Blue without toeing the line of nausea. But, this year Baylor is primed to make another run at a Big 12 and National Championship. Men’s College Basketball is a guard driven sport, there is no secret there.
No disrespect intended to last year’s team, but this Baylor roster is better built for a deep run into March and God willing April; and it all starts with the guards.
We all are eagerly anticipating seeing Keyonte George in green and gold for the first time, rightly so. But think about who else is filling our guard room:
Adam Flagler: went through the draft process and came back, ready to perfect his craft, as a veteran senior leader
Langston Love: never played for Baylor after suffering a knee injury in a scrimmage, essentially another top 50 recruit coming in this season
Dale Bonner: full off season in the Baylor system ready to be effective, as we saw in GLOBL Jam
Dantwan Grimes: absolute energizer bunny athlete with a high motor and unlimited potential
LJ Cryer: see the first 400 words of this post
All this to say, welcome back LJ Cryer, rounding out the best guard rotation in America. The run to another natty starts November 7th.