• New era set to tip off for No. 7-ranked Baylor women’s basketball

    NaLyssa Smith drives against WVU

    When the 2021-22 Baylor women’s basketball season tips off Tuesday night, fans will get their first regular season chance to see a team that brings an exciting blend of aspects both familiar and new to the court.

    It’s the first season under new head coach Nicki Collen, who was named to the job in May and spent the last six months building relationships with her new team, installing an offense that bring a free-flowing style and three-point emphasis to the Bears, and preparing for a season that comes with the lofty accolades and expectations that are the norm for the program.

    Baylor begins the season ranked No. 7 nationally in the AP preseason poll — the program’s 13th straight season to open among the AP top 10 — and chosen by conference head coaches as favorites to win their 12th straight Big 12 Conference title.

    While a new head coach heralds a new era for the program, Baylor fans will welcome back some familiar faces on the court, starting with preseason All-American NaLyssa Smith. The senior forward was the 2020-21 Big 12 Player of the Year and is this year’s Preseason Player of the Year. She’s joined on the Preseason All-Big 12 team by senior forward Queen Egbo, as well as two newcomers at guard: Jordan Lewis, a graduate transfer from Alabama, and JaMee Asberry, a transfer from Oklahoma State. Lewis was named Preseason Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, making her the third straight Bear to earn that honor.

    After Texas State on Tuesday night, the Bears will head to the Dallas-Fort Worth area to play at UT-Arlington on Thursday. Their non-conference schedule features contests at No. 4 Maryland; a trip to Cancun to take on Fordham, Arizona State and Houston; an SEC matchup with Missouri; and a game in Connecticut against No. 11 Michigan. Their Big 12 schedule will pit them against three other ranked schools: No. 12 Iowa State, No. 19 West Virginia and No. 25 Texas. Season and single-game tickets are available now!

    Sic ’em, Bears!