Texas Southern-Baylor Preview
Baylor will have to get through the first five games of the
season without sophomore standout Perry Jones.
The good news for coach Scott Drew and the 12th-ranked Bears is
that Jones, the Big 12 preseason player of the year, is even back
They are more than willing to wait for the 6-foot-11 forward to
complete an NCAA suspension for accepting improper benefits before
he got to Baylor. After all, he was expected to become Baylor’s
first one-and-done player, a potential lottery pick who instead
decided to stay in school.
“Everybody is excited to have Perry back because he’s a good
player, but even more excited because he’s a great teammate and
person,” Drew said. “Every day you just love being around the guy.
He never has a bad day. Always makes people feel better. Great
Even after losing Big 12 career scoring leader LaceDarius Dunn
and failing to make the NCAA tournament, or even the NIT last
season with an 18-13 record, the Bears now are the preseason pick
to finish third in the Big 12 behind league co-favorites Kansas and
There can be such lofty expectations for Baylor because four
starters are back heading into Friday’s opener against visiting
Jones averaged 13.9 points and 7.2 rebounds a game last season
while making 55 percent of his shots. The other returning starters
are 6-7 forward Quincy Acy (12.4, 7.6), 6-10 forward Anthony Jones
and guard A.J. Walton.
“Excited about the potential of our team,” Drew said.
“Definitely going into the season I feel it’s the deepest team
Among the newcomers is another big Quincy and four new
Quincy Miller is a top prospect from Chicago, even though the
6-foot-9 power forward is coming back from a torn ACL during his
senior season in high school.
“Quincy Miller provides a skill set that’s rare for a person his
size … can handle the ball and shoot it,” Drew said. “I know he’s
fit in well in practices and I think he’s recovered well from his
surgery, and I think people are going to be excited to watch
The new guards include prep standout Deuce Bello and Pierre
Jackson, a top junior college player last season. Transfers Brady
Heslip (Boston College) and Gary Franklin (California) both will
make their Bears debuts as sophomores, though Franklin will have to
wait until after the fall semester.
Perry Jones missed the Bears’ opening and only game in the Big
12 tournament last March after the NCAA upheld a six-game
suspension. That tournament game counted as part of his
Jones was also ordered to repay at least $700, including a trip
to California in August 2010 to attend an NFL preseason game before
he began classes at Baylor. The NCAA said Jones’ trip with his AAU
coach was provided by an unidentified NFL player, and that the NFL
player also provided Jones’ parents with three separate 15-day
loans, all of which were repaid.
While he can still practice with the team, Jones will have to
wait until Nov. 29 against Prairie View to make his season
In the meantime, Baylor might not want to take the Tigers
(19-13) too lightly. Texas Southern won the Southwestern Athletic
Conference regular season title by four games last season,
finishing 16-2 before losing in the league tournament
The Tigers played the Bears tough Jan. 2, losing 68-60 as Dunn
led the way for Baylor with 17 points.
Travele Jones had a game-high 21 points for Texas Southern in
that game, but he’s gone, as are forward Kevin Galloway and guard
That leaves Lawrence Johnson-Danner (13.1 points per game) as
the only one of the Tigers’ top four scorers that’s back – a reason
Texas Southern was picked to finish fourth in the SWAC preseason
Baylor leads the all-time series 6-0.