That just doesn’t read correctly. The Baylor Bears can’t possibly be the best college basketball program in the state of Texas. While it may sound sacrilegious to even suggest that a program outside of the Texas Longhorns have the best program in the state, we live in a “What did you do for me lately” world. And lately, the Longhorns have been nothing short of spectacularly average.
However, I doubt a program of Texas’ stature will be down for long. It’s not like we have a recent track record of another sports program they run being torched after being a dominate force. Oh wait, that’s right, their football program is also currently down in the dumps. But it is not strictly the other Texas’ schools ineptitude that has Baylor being a top-notch program. The Bears can flat-out recruit with anybody and everybody in the country, not just the state of Texas.
Head coach Scott Drew has not only turned this program around after the Dave Bliss scandal, he has magically turned it in to a destination spot for top recruits. With a slew of former players currently in the NBA, a few more on his roster, and a bunch of 5 star recruits coming to the program next season, Drew turns out as many NBA level players as anyone in the country. Don’t think that prospects don’t notice what Drew has done, they want to go to the pros and Drew can help them get there. I am not sure that Rick Barnes can claim he does so at the same pace and with as much vigor.
Sure, there are other Division I basketball programs in Texas. But as far as anyone has been concerned in the past, it has been the Longhorns and then JUST everyone else. However, despite having a pretty down year, Baylor is starting to catch ground. A few years of success doesn’t catapult them ahead of a program that has been as good as long as Texas, but it is a start.
A funny thing is happening in every major college sport. Programs that were once considered second-tier are starting to make a run at traditional powerhouses. Sadly for the Longhorns, this is happening to them in two sports.
Although, I doubt a single Baylor fan feels bad about any of that. Hook’em horns anyone?!
Joe covers the Catholic Seven for Rant Sports. For the love of Sam Cassell, follow Joe on the Twitter Machine @JosephNardone