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Baylor Basketball

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly from Baylor's Week of Sports

February 13, 2023

Men's and women's hoops head in separate directions, and so too are the Big 12 and OU/Texas, officially after next season. 

Here's a look at The Good, The Bad & The Ugly from the past week in Baylor Athletics. 

The Good  

Men's Hoops — Just win, baby. Adam Flagler was sensational last week in helping the Bears earn wins at home against Oklahoma and on the road against No. 17 TCU. Thankfully, LJ Cryer wasn't out of the lineup for too long. Given the difficulty of this league, the Bears remain on an insane run of late, but with six games to play, it's crunch time. Up next, Big Monday tonight, hosting West Virginia and a road trip to Allen Fieldhouse to face the Top 10 Jayhawks on Saturday. 

Final Countdown — Despite all the posturing, the Big 12 reached an early exit agreement with Oklahoma and Texas, and the 2023 calendar year will be the institutions' last in the league. A cut was always the most likely outcome, even though we all hoped they'd somehow have to back up the Brinks for the full $100+ million payment. Now, I'm interested to hear more details, but however the decision unfolded, it does feel like a weight lifted for all involved parties. Sure, you could make their exit as painful as possible, but that could create adverse side effects. We now have clarity on the future, and everyone can move forward accordingly, which makes next season all the more interesting. For now, the Bears will end the Oklahoma series with two straight wins, and the Longhorns' last hurrah in Waco will occur in September. That'll be one hot ticket and a historical event. 

New 2024 Commit — The 2024 class grew to three commits with the pledge of Lumberton edge prospect Brock Jackson. He chose the Bears over Arkansas, Colorado, Texas Tech, and UTSA. A nice recruiting win against some teams they're closely grouped with, looking at the big competitive picture. 

Combine Invites — Siaki Ika and Connor Galvin will represent the Bears in Indianapolis at next month's NFL Combine. Last year's Draft was record-setting and deep for the program, so there's an inevitable letdown in comparison, not unlike the season. Still, these two could be great reps at the next level, and player development is significant, particularly for a school without every advantage. 

Softball — Glenn Moore's Bears got off to a 4-0 start to the season at the UNLV Tournament in Las Vegas before falling to Arkansas in the Championship Game, 11-7. All seven of their runs occurred in the 4th inning, including a Shaylan Govan grand slam, but it was ultimately not enough. However, before their first loss, they earned wins over Southern Utah (2x), Weber State, and tournament host UNLV. They'll now host the Getterman Classic starting on Friday, featuring an opener against SFA, Longwood on Saturday and a Sunday double-header against Oklahoma and Army. 

A&T — No surprise, the Bears dominated Trine University in Angola, Indiana. They're 2-0 and will host Presbyterian College on Sunday at the Ferrell Center. 

Women's Golf — The timing of this article and golf finishing on Mondays always paints an incomplete or oddly timed picture. The No. 18 Bears took home first place at the Collegiate Invitational in Mexico last Monday. After the first round, they entered Monday in first place at the T. Hession Regional Challenge in California. 

T&F Records — Ben Conacher won gold in Pole Vault at Clemson's Tiger Invitational, earning the team's lone medal. Elsewhere, Ryan Day broke the school record in the 3,000 meters that had stood since 1995. Cole Hardan broke his school record in the shot put. They'll have the week open before heading to Lubbock the following week for the Big 12 Indoor Championships. 

Caitlin Bickle — It was a rough week for the WBB team, and unfortunately, the OU loss overshadowed a career night from the fifth-year senior, who set new highs with 30 points and 4/7 shooting threes. Jaden Owens had a career-high 14 assists, as well. 

Baylor Athletics

The Bad

Discounted Exit Fees — We all wanted to see Oklahoma and Texas' financial feet held to the fire and hoped for 100% compensation or close to that amount. Or at least be held to the length of their contract, meaning two more football seasons under the Big 12 banner. But that was mostly wishful thinking and definitely won't be occurring with the deal made. However, that's the norm in these deals, and I can understand wanting to avoid a legal battle, for example. Still, I wanted to feel like the Big 12 won in the end, and maybe that only happens if someone other than those two wins the conference title again this season.  

Men's Tennis Streak — Been a tough week or so for Michael Woodson and the program. The Bears closed the week prior with a loss at home to top-five Michigan and then went 0-2 this week, falling at home to No. 3 TCU and No. 18 Arizona by scores of 4-1 and 5-2. Riding three straight losses, up next is No. 1 Ohio State in Columbus on Tuesday, and then Indoor Championships in Chicago beginning on Friday. 

Women's Tennis vs. Top 25 — Speaking of ranked struggles, the Bears defeated Harvard in Cambridge, 5-2, during the week but then got bullied by No. 25 Wisconsin, 6-1, at home. The team is 7-0 vs. unranked teams and 0-3 vs. ranked teams. It's not the end of the world but of note. They host Arkansas on Friday at the Hurd Tennis Center. 

The Ugly 

WBB — A brutal turn of events. I was already planning on slotting the Oklahoma loss here, no matter what, but when you turn around and get beat by 20+ in the following effort, there's just no argument for anything but an 'ugly' week as a program. First, the Bears had No. 16 OU dead to rights but fumbled the end of regulation and ultimately over time, turning what should have been a tremendous win into a devastating and deflating overtime defeat. Then, in the follow-up contest, an emotionally hungover Bears were rolled by Oklahoma State, 77-56, as the Cowgirls swept the season series. Overall, the Bears have faded from realistic contention for the regular-season title. And to simply remain above .500 in conference play, this team must pull themselves together as they travel to Kansas State on Wednesday and then host Iowa State on Saturday. 

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The Good, The Bad & The Ugly from Baylor's Week of Sports

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