Let's take the games in order.
Waco, Texas • Attendance: 8,158
- Brittney Griner led the way for the Lady Bears with 24 points on 10/17 shooting and 5 rebounds in only 18 minutes of play.
- Griner's fellow All-American Odyssey Sims also had 11 points (5/12), 8 assists, and 4 rebounds of her own. The pair were assisted by Brooklyn Pope (8 points, 4 rebounds) and Jordan Madden (10 points, 4 rebounds). Quite a few different players got into the game since it was basically never in doubt, including freshmen Niya Johnson and Chardonae Fuqua'.
- I didn't get to watch this game since it was so early, so if anyone else had the chance to do so, I'd appreciate your thoughts. Lamar wasn't expected to put up much of a fight against the Lady Bears and didn't.
Waco, Texas • Attendance: 6,568
- I did get to watch most of this game after about the first ten minutes and could not have been more impressed with Baylor as a whole. We've got a few things to work on defensively; I saw way too many open threes just outright missed for my tastes, and Lehigh's CJ McCollum legitimately lit us up with a game-high 36 points.
- The story of this game is primarily one of the domination of our frontline players. Freshman Isaiah Austin dazzled in his first real game in a Baylor uniform, showing all of the aggression we expected and didn't get from Perry Jones III as a freshman. Before he turned his ankle in an injury that apparently looked a lot worse than it was, Austin scored 22 points on 10/12 shooting (including 2/4 from 3) in only 17 minutes. He also had 4 rebounds in his limited action.
- What arguably limited Austin more than his injury, however, was the play of his teammate Cory Jefferson, known affectionately around these parts as "Two Sleeves," "2Sleeve," or some variation thereof. Jefferson had a career-high 26 points, including 9 dunks, with 13 rebounds. He was literally all over the place for Baylor on offense, and though he benefited greatly from the stellar guard play of Pierre Jackson, Brady Heslip, true freshman L.J. Rose, and senior stalwart A.J. Walton, Jefferson actually made his own offense, as well. 5 of Jefferson's team-high 13 rebounds came on the offensive end, and most of those, if not all, resulted directly in putback dunks. Lehigh missed all-conference big Gabe Knutson tremendously, and his absence is part of the reason Austin and Jefferson were able to do what they did.
- In the end, though, Baylor overcame relatively poor shooting performances from both Heslip and Jackson, particularly Heslip, to blow out the Mountain Hawks and start the season strong. The team as a whole looked extremely athletic, a hallmark of Scott Drew's rosters, and much better on offense than I expected. I hope that continues in their next game on Sunday against Jackson State. The defense is obviously a work-in-progress with so many new faces, particularly inside. Baylor played more man-to-man than fans probably expected, a good departure from what we saw for most of the early portion of last season.
- Speaking of Jackson State, word is that Austin will almost certainly miss that game due to his injury, but it is not considered overly serious. I would expect him back by the time Baylor plays against in the Charleston Classic beginning November 15.