Last year, the Baylor women’s basketball program received a commitment from the No. 1 high school player in the country, Brittney Griner, on National Signing Day. Griner, known for her 6-foot-8 height and ability to dunk, is now the Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year as the 4th-ranked Lady Bears open their season Sunday at No. 9 Tennessee (4 p.m. CT, ESPN2).
This year, both the Baylor men and women drew national headlines on Signing Day. Three years after he first verbally committed to head coach Scott Drew’s Bears, Duncanville forward Perry Jones — a consensus top-5 recruit — made his commitment official Wednesday. The highest ranked recruit in program history, the 6-10 Jones is ranked No. 3 overall in the ESPNU Top 100, No. 4 by Scout.com and No. 5 by Rivals.com. This marks the fourth straight year the Bears have signed a top-50 national recruit, following LaceDarius Dunn, Anthony Jones and Nolan Dennis.
The women, meanwhile, followed up last year’s signing of Griner (part of the top signing class in America) with the commitment of the nation’s No. 2 player this year, point guard Odyssey Sims. The nation’s top high school point guard, Sims averaged 18 points, 7 assists and nearly 6 steals a game last year as a junior and was named district MVP for the third year in a row.
Baylor basketball has seen tremendous success in recent years, with the women coming off six straight NCAA tournament appearances (including the 2005 national championship) and the men having made back-to-back postseason appearances for the first time in 20 years. Adding talents like these should keep the good times rolling in the Ferrell Center.
Sic ’em, Baylor basketball!