Baylor Basketball: Bears hold honor of best early season resume

Baylor basketball has beaten Oregon, VCU, Michigan State, Louisville and Xavier to open this season.

Coming into the 2016-17 season, the Baylor Bears didn’t receive a single vote to be included in the Preseason AP Poll top 25.

Not a single vote.

Three weeks later, the Baylor Bears are ranked 4th overall, 10th in the KenPom rankings, have an 8-0 record and own the top resume in the country.

Scott Drew’s team has four KenPom top 25 wins, Louisville, Xavier, Oregon and Michigan State, and added another valuable victory over 44th ranked VCU. In addition, Baylor won three games in three days (VCU, Michigan State and Louisville) to win one of the top preseason tournaments in college basketball, the Battle 4 Atlantis.

Sure, UCLA has the best win through three weeks of the season (at Kentucky) and Indiana has two quality victories (against Kansas and North Carolina), however, no one has the overall resume that can top Baylor.

Obviously, there is plenty of time left in the season, so things could change drastically over the next three and a half months. But no one expected Baylor to have the opportunity to enter Big 12 Conference play at an unblemished 12-0 and be the favorite to finish second in the league.

If the season were to end today, there would be a legitimate argument that Baylor would be on the one seed line, possibly as high as the number one overall seed.

And that’s remarkable because there were questions about Johnathan Motley’s consistency, Baylor’s depth and if Manu Lecomte could really be a capable replacement for Lester Medford after sitting out an entire season.

Instead, Motley is averaging 16.3 points and 8.1 rebounds and has played like the best big man in the Big 12, the Bears have numerous weapons that have impacted different games during different stretches and Lecomte scored 24 points in the team’s recent win over Xavier.

That’s without even mentioning Jo Lual-Acuil Jr., who is currently averaging 4.4 blocks per game (second in the NCAA) and runs the floor like a gazelle.

This is no fluke. Baylor isn’t just in the midst of a hot stretch. They are a veteran team that has an excellent coach, a defense that mixes-and-matches styles and a unique offense that can beat you in numerous ways. They are big, quick and athletic, and most importantly, they have the most elite resume in the country with only a few weeks remaining until conference play.

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