Repeat NCAA title would fulfill Scott Drew’s goal of legacy at Baylor

FORT Value — Baylor senior ahead Flo Thamba vows the major-seeded Bears aren’t on the lookout past very first-round opponent and 16th seed Norfolk Condition in the NCAA Match at 1 p.m. Thursday in Dickies Arena.

Thamba playfully admits to on the lookout at minimum 30 many years forward, nonetheless, regarding the record the Bears and coach Scott Drew can make this spring.

“Coach Drew is generally significant on, ‘Hey, depart a legacy’ and individuals are going to converse about it when you’re 50, 60, 70 years aged,” Thamba stated. “We’re just hoping to be a component of that legacy.”

Baylor (26-6) is striving to turn out to be initial crew to repeat as nationwide champion since Florida in 2006 and 2007 below then-coach Billy Donovan.

“Personally, I come to feel like a lot of the world does not really assume us to go considerably,” mentioned Baylor junior guard Adam Flagler, a critical determine in the Bears’ 2021 title operate. “So it is similar, in my view, to last year.”

There are two large additions that can make this time significantly unique than a 12 months in the past: Supporters and regional venues unfold throughout the country.

“There are bands and enthusiasts and the accommodations are whole,” Drew stated, grinning. “… Men and women provide power — lovers carry power. It’s remarkable to be again.”

Drew will in no way knock final year’s placing prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, on the other hand: Six NCAA Match wins in and all-around Indianapolis as portion of a “bubble” that saved the 68-crew shindig confined to 1 metropolitan location.

Looking at the pandemic and the tournament’s cancellation due to the fact of COVID-19 the yr prior, most groups just felt fortunate to be a component of the confined motion in 2021.

“The bubble was pretty superior to us now, suitable?” Drew stated with a chuckle. “There were a large amount of positives about the bubble. We finished up not only getting a excellent time together, but successful it. There are much more distractions with lovers, and there is far more energy with admirers.

“So you have to do a very good task of taking care of both equally.”

The Bears had to replace four starters from final year’s champion, which includes NBA draft picks Davion Mitchell and Jared Butler. Baylor is extremely effectively-rounded on offense this season, with four gamers averaging double figures in scoring.

The Bears’ foremost scorer, guard LJ Cryer, will not engage in in the to start with weekend of tournament motion, nevertheless, and has been out due to the fact mid-February with a foot damage. Cryer’s 13.5 factors per game is just in advance of the 13.4 ppg every single from Flagler and James Akinjo.

Flagler, a transfer from Presbyterian, is always swift to present his appreciation for symbolizing a Major 12 system soon after he was flippantly recruited out of large school in Duluth, Ga. He’s also stepped into much more of a leadership role in Cryer’s absence the previous thirty day period.

“When he’s performed enjoying basketball, Adam wishes to be a pediatrician,” Drew claimed. “Normally, you really do not want to be a pediatrician except if you actually care for other individuals. Any time you have an professional player, a chief that cares that considerably about his teammates, you know they’re going to make a wonderful leader.

“We have the final faith in Adam, and know that he constantly has the team’s most effective interest at heart.”