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Baylor Basketball

Dain Dainja to Transfer Out of Baylor

November 20, 2021
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Baylor’s Official Press Release:

WACO, Texas – Baylor redshirt freshman forward Dain Dainja has elected to transfer, head coach Scott Drew announced Saturday.

“Dain has been a great teammate during his two years in our program, first as a practice player while redshirting last year, and continuing into this season,” Drew said. “We’re always sad if a player elects to leave our program, but we wish Dain the best and will fully support him as he pursues other opportunities.”

A Brooklyn Park, Minn., native, Dainja redshirted during the 2020-21 National Championship season. He returned after offseason foot surgery to play off the bench in the Bears’ first three games this season as a redshirt freshman. He posted six points, three rebounds and one block in eight total minutes of action.

Dainja is the first Baylor player to transfer as an undergraduate since Tyson Jolly in March of 2018.

No. 9-ranked Baylor is off to a 4-0 start this season with all four wins by 27 or more points. The Bears put together a strong second half to pull away with an 86-48 victory over Stanford on Saturday. BU now heads to the Bahamas to face Arizona State at 6:30 p.m. CT Wednesday in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis. The ASU game will be televised on ESPN2, with remaining games in the tournament televised on various ESPN networks.

Discussion from...

Dain Dainja to Transfer Out of Baylor

13,056 Views | 59 Replies | Last: 3 days ago by OldDominionBear
Billy hoover
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Well dang dein
texillian
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Man, I'm sorry to hear that. I was looking forward to him getting more court time.
He kind of seems to be an odd man out here.
historian
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What a disappointment! It doesn't make sense but I guess I should not be too surprised. The team is so stacked it will be hard for everyone to get us much play time as they would like.
“Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
I Corinthians 10:31
DanaDane
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OK, that explains why he didn't get into the game even after Drew emptied the bench and had walk-ons playing in the final few minutes today. I was really hoping he could develop into a big bodied physical guy but sounds like injuries and weight issues were always problems.
beardoc
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May have to widen the portal.
BUBradley
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bruh
Media Bear
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Talk about a bad decision ... especially given Baylor's considerable rep for developing big men. And the defending national champs no less!!!

Seriously ... one of the worst decisions I've seen a BU athlete make in quite some time.

Possibly even worse than Quincy Miller's decision to go pro early.

Wonder if somebody was waving NIL $$$ in front of him on the down-low ...
Crawfoso1973
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Media Bear said:

Talk about a bad decision ... especially given Baylor's considerable rep for developing big men. And the defending national champs no less!!!

Seriously ... one of the worst decisions I've seen a BU athlete make in quite some time.

Possibly even worse than Quincy Miller's decision to go pro early.

Wonder if somebody was waving NIL $$$ in front of him on the down-low ...
I disagree, I think this was a win-win for both parties. Will allow him to go somewhere where he will be a better fit, while freeing up a scholarship for us.

I said this on other threads, but I always thought Dain was an odd fit for us.

He is an old-school big who needs the ball in his hands on offense, while being limited defensively due to his lack of mobility.

The bigs our program covets are the opposite of Dianja: on the offenseive end, low-usage, pick-and-roll bigs who are elite at setting screens and rolling to the hoop, while on the defensive end guys who are mobile and switchable and can guard any position 1-5.

On both ends of the floor Dianja lacks the mobility to contribute for us.

No offense to Dainja, I am sure there are programs where he will be a better fit. Best wishes to him.
vanillabryce
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Not everyone works out. During a few shots of him yesterday on the bench his attitude was on display. His body language made it seems like he was frustrated or didn't want to be there.

Having surgery probably really delayed his progress and put him even further behind.

Good luck to him wherever he goes, and I hope he finds what he's looking for.
syme
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Academically ineligible last year.. overweight this year. Really poor self-discipline it seems given the unlimited resources Baylor athletes have to correct both.

Like it was mentioned, I'm not sure where an offensive minded big fits in our scheme. We've got guys for that. We need rebounders, shot blockers, pick setters, everyday glue guys.
Alf
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I was looking for him to be a big (no pun intended) factor for us this year. Whatever the issues were with this kid, I trust CSD and assume there were legit reasons behind his limited playing time.
OldDominionBear
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If we were forced to choose a big to transfer out I'd rather it be Dainja than someone like Loveday.
Adriacus Peratuun
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Good: Dainja is a very skilled post scorer and mid range jump shooter.

Bad: everything else.

The former is always a tantalizing item in any big. Forget the academic redshirt or the injury [and related weight gain]. It was everything else that ended his time here.

Work needed to regain physical form: failure.
Cultural fit: failure.
Work on D: failure.
Work on aspects of O other than shooting: failure.

The staff doesn't push players out for not measuring up [see Turner] when still giving effort and having a good attitude. They do use tough love on multiple attitude/effort failures. Dainja didn't respond well to that tough love.



Griz
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At this level, a guy can only improve so much. Dain has a very long way to go. The truth is, we could be investing the time and resources elsewhere. Initially, it was made to sound like he was a young Charles Barkley. That does not appear to be the case. I wish him well, and I hope he has received a positive impact from his time with Drew at BU.
BearTruth13
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Media Bear said:

Talk about a bad decision ... especially given Baylor's considerable rep for developing big men. And the defending national champs no less!!!

Seriously ... one of the worst decisions I've seen a BU athlete make in quite some time.

Possibly even worse than Quincy Miller's decision to go pro early.

Wonder if somebody was waving NIL $$$ in front of him on the down-low ...


Man forgot about Quincy Miller. Still can't believe he decided to go pro that fast. Guess he is enjoying playing basketball in Uruguay.
bear2be2
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Media Bear said:

Talk about a bad decision ... especially given Baylor's considerable rep for developing big men. And the defending national champs no less!!!

Seriously ... one of the worst decisions I've seen a BU athlete make in quite some time.

Possibly even worse than Quincy Miller's decision to go pro early.

Wonder if somebody was waving NIL $$$ in front of him on the down-low ...
Kids want to play. And Dainja's path to playing time became even murkier with Ojianwuna's signing.

I had high hopes for Dain at Baylor, but it just didn't work out here. Best of luck to him in the future.
Crawfoso1973
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Absolutely agree with all of this, and re:Turner, a lot of people might view this as a wasted scholarship since he will not in all probability ever be a rotation player for us. However there is tremendous value to locker room guys, practice players who will show up and do whatever is asked, to contribute to the culture of the program.

By the way who was it on these boards who said Dainja would start this year and play ahead of JTT and Flo? Fail....
historian
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There is always the possibility that Turner will work his way into the rotation. I'd love to see him play regularly at a high level.

We are blessed to have an embarrassment of riches.
“Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
I Corinthians 10:31
OldDominionBear
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I remember the day he declared for the draft. I was going to a baseball game and since Quincy had said he was coming back I was going to enjoy a nice game with my friend when we got a text saying he had declared out of nowhere. We were both visibly confused at the quick turnaround in his thinking. Hell, it's still confusing to the day to me
Media Bear
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bear2be2 said:

Media Bear said:

Talk about a bad decision ... especially given Baylor's considerable rep for developing big men. And the defending national champs no less!!!

Seriously ... one of the worst decisions I've seen a BU athlete make in quite some time.

Possibly even worse than Quincy Miller's decision to go pro early.

Wonder if somebody was waving NIL $$$ in front of him on the down-low ...
Kids want to play. And Dainja's path to playing time became even murkier with Ojianwuna's signing.

I had high hopes for Dain at Baylor, but it just didn't work out here. Best of luck to him in the future.
Well, prolly wasn't gonna play for awhile, given roster and weight issues.

But moving on from a program like ours with no desire to "do the hard work in the dark before shining in the light" (as Dave Aranda would put it -- and as many Bear bigs before him did to pave their way into the league) ... just a bad move on his part.

May be a better fit in other places. May get PT sooner. But I have a feeling that his odds of one day making the league just dropped significantly ... Luck to him anyway.
Crawfoso1973
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Absolutely, 10-15 years ago Turner would have been a rotation player. We are able to recruit at such a high level these days that he just doesn't have the relative talent or athleticism to see meaningful minutes for us.
OldDominionBear
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I'm more concerned about Loveday's lack of minutes. I get it's a loaded front court but I thought he had huge upside. I think him leaving would be a big loss for the program
Adriacus Peratuun
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OldDominionBear said:

I'm more concerned about Loveday's lack of minutes. I get it's a loaded front court but I thought he had huge upside. I think him leaving would be a big loss for the program
Why would he leave when he will get full rotation minutes next year?
OldDominionBear
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I mean we just had a scholarship open up and lost a big so Drew might decide to go after one of the unsigned bigs left out there.

I just think it's weird that he's barely getting time when He's probably taking Thamba's role next year.
historian
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People can be impatient, especially when they are younger. It's also possible that there are other issues (maturity, personalities, grades, etc). There is no way of knowing for sure.
“Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
I Corinthians 10:31
Crawfoso1973
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OldDominionBear said:

I'm more concerned about Loveday's lack of minutes. I get it's a loaded front court but I thought he had huge upside. I think him leaving would be a big loss for the program
With Loveday I'm not sure lack of minutes is necessarily a concern, from the limited glimpses I've had of Loveday he seems to have all the physical tools, and decent mobility. Like you say our frontcourt is loaded. Thamba/JTT are splitting the minutes at center and Loveday is 3rd string behind them. Since none of them have perimeter skills we wouldn't play any 2 of them together at the same time due to lack of spacing. If Loveday has the right mindset and is putting in the work behind the scenes, I wouldn't be surprised to see him start next year.
fubar
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Crawfoso1973 said:

Absolutely, 10-15 years ago Turner would have been a rotation player. We are able to recruit at such a high level these days that he just doesn't have the relative talent or athleticism to see meaningful minutes for us.
15 years ago we would've soiled ourselves when signing a player of Turner's talent. Now we just figure Drew and the Staff must see something that we aren't.

Hope Dainja finds what he seeks. Sorry it didn't work out here, but best of luck and whatnot.
Gunter gleiben glauchen globen
OldDominionBear
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He was a 4 star out of HS right? If we can keep him here for three years now without anything beyond garbage minutes then that says a lot about both Loveday and our coaching staff.

Nowadays it's hard to sell a high ranked kid on a 3+ year project. I personally think it shows us that Loveday has bought in on Drew's plan for him and he's confident it'll work out better than finding somewhere else to go.
OldDominionBear
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I remember on BFans people calling for Ish to not start/play meaningful minutes for us when he was a sophomore and I had to keep pointing out he was 75th or so in the national rankings so it'd take time and how he was a glue guy. He turned out to be like Vital was for us the past two years except you switch rebounding with more scoring.

I still think we make the Final Four in 2017 if Motley doesn't get hurt. Was BFans already migrated over to here then? I can't remember.

But still it seems now after Ish and Vital our fans know how important glue guys are even if they don't leave a lot of results in the box score and it's refreshing
DanaDane
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OldDominionBear said:

I remember on BFans people calling for Ish to not start/play meaningful minutes for us when he was a sophomore and I had to keep pointing out he was 75th or so in the national rankings so it'd take time and how he was a glue guy. He turned out to be like Vital was for us the past two years except you switch rebounding with more scoring.

I still think we make the Final Four in 2017 if Motley doesn't get hurt. Was BFans already migrated over to here then? I can't remember.

But still it seems now after Ish and Vital our fans know how important glue guys are even if they don't leave a lot of results in the box score and it's refreshing

Same for Royce O'Neale when he was here. He had obviously starred in a smaller situation in Denver, but looked a little shakey at first with us. Drew stuck with him and he became yet another pivotal glue guy.
bear2be2
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OldDominionBear said:

I'm more concerned about Loveday's lack of minutes. I get it's a loaded front court but I thought he had huge upside. I think him leaving would be a big loss for the program
With Dainja moving on, Loveday has a good chance of replacing Flo in the rotation next year. And he's still just a sophomore, so there's no hurry to rush out when playing time is just now opening up.
bear2be2
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OldDominionBear said:

He was a 4 star out of HS right? If we can keep him here for three years now without anything beyond garbage minutes then that says a lot about both Loveday and our coaching staff.

Nowadays it's hard to sell a high ranked kid on a 3+ year project. I personally think it shows us that Loveday has bought in on Drew's plan for him and he's confident it'll work out better than finding somewhere else to go.
This is only Loveday's second year. If he's patient, he'll get two years as a heavy rotation player. That's pretty good for any high school kid in a top-10 program.
Adriacus Peratuun
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FYI: COVID year.

Theoretically every player on the team could come back next season. Won't happen but it could.

And the COVID Super Seniors don't count against scholarship limits. So that issue is moot.
bear2be2
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OldDominionBear said:

I remember on BFans people calling for Ish to not start/play meaningful minutes for us when he was a sophomore and I had to keep pointing out he was 75th or so in the national rankings so it'd take time and how he was a glue guy. He turned out to be like Vital was for us the past two years except you switch rebounding with more scoring.

I still think we make the Final Four in 2017 if Motley doesn't get hurt. Was BFans already migrated over to here then? I can't remember.

But still it seems now after Ish and Vital our fans know how important glue guys are even if they don't leave a lot of results in the box score and it's refreshing
I was way wrong on Ish. I never thought he'd amount to much watching him as a freshman and sophomore. Same with Rico Gathers.

I've long since stopped doubting Scott Drew and his staff's ability to turn projects into players.

I was higher than most on Taurean Prince and Matthew Mayer, though. I could tell even as wild-eyed freshman that both of those guys had NBA potential.
OldDominionBear
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Oh yeah I was Bear pit when Prince was a freshman. You could he had the *it* factor within reach but couldn't grasp it yet. It's like he was too fast for the game at first which caused a lot of turnovers and bad shots. Mayer is cut from the same cloth but I don't think Mayer will reach TWP's level and that's not a criticism of Matt, it's just TWP didn't have anything close to the team that Matt does this year so he didn't have the choice of letting others take over. TWP had it hard, especially when Rico realized he didn't have a NBA career on the horizon and (at least to me) mentally checked out the final months.

When you look back at the roster it's not too surprising we got upset.
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