Photo by © Kim Klement/© Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Baylor Women's Basketball

Lady Bears Preview: 2019-20

November 3, 2019
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In the 2018-19 season the Baylor Lady Bears had a historic run to another National Championship. Graduate transfer Chloe Jackson drove to the basket and floated a layup over the defense of both Oregon and Notre Dame to provide the winning goal. Kalani Brown provided a low post scoring presence and ample defense, but both are now gone to the professional level. 

 

@Kim Clement
Death, taxes, defense, and championships

Entering the 2019-20 season, Coach Kim Mulkey and the Lady Bears return All-American forward Lauren Cox. The 6-4 standout from Flower Mound can play any position on the court defensivly while commanding double teams on the offensive end. Sharpshooting guard, Juicy Landrum returns and she feeds off her defensive effort while drilling over 40% of her three point attempts. Emerging star, DiDi Richards, began to show her offensive prowess during the run to the National Championship. Richards is relentless on defense and held the opponents best scorers to emberrasing percentages. If you noticed a theme amongst the three returning starters, defense is it. Kim Mulkey has built her program’s foundation on defense and the rings, trophies, and accolades continue to be produced.

Replacing Chloe Jackson is All-American graduate transfer Te’a Cooper from South Carolina. Cooper brings a wealth of talent and experience to the Lady Bears. She isn't afraid to launch a three from WNBA range or take the ball to the rack. She's also adept at setting up her teammates with pinpoint passes for easy baskets. Cox, Richards, and others playing in the paint will benefit from her abilities. 

© Kim Klement/© Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
All-American Cox returns

Kalani Brown and her 6-7 frame and soft hands will not be as easiliy replaced next to All-American Cox. The athleticism may increase with Queen Egbo coming onto the court as a starter. The 6-3 Houston native has bounce like a pogo stick and an impressive wingspan to be a defensive force.  If Egbo is unable, 6-6 graduate transfer Erin DeGrate could be the low post presence many are accustomed to seeing while Brown roamed the court. Versatile Sophomore standout NaLyssa Smith could be the next great Lady Bear with her silky shot and athleticism. At 6-2, Smith isn't afraid to mix it up down low, take her defender off the dribble, or step out for a three. The options for the Lady Bears are an abundance of riches which should run teams off the floor. Caitlin Bickle also provides a variety of offensive skills with her gritty defense. The Arizona native is the definition of team player with her unselfish passing and abilty to drop a three at any moment. 

The backcourt isn't as deep with two Lady Bears deciding to transfer for playing time close to the season. Moon Ursin is the most experienced back up on the team. Ursin had flashes of brilliance last season coming off the bench. The Louisiana native has athleticism, strength, and an improving shot from deep. Ursin is also a great defender and not afraid to crash the glass.  Freshman, Jordyn Oliver and Sophomore Trinity Oliver will be the remaining depth behind Landrum and Cooper. Expect each to see the court early and often in non-conference to keep the starters fresh for a run at another title while gaining experience for the coming seasons ahead. 

The season predictions from the press and coaches have the Lady Bears as the favorites to repeat in the Big 12. On the national level, Oregon is the Pre-season favorite and the matchup with the Lady Bears would happen in the Final Four for the second year in a row. Does anyone doubt the Lady Bears will be ready and waiting for the challenge?


 

Returning Players 2018-19 Stats

PLAYER POS CLASS PTS REB AST STL BLK
Lauren Cox F SR 13.0 8.3 3.7 0.9 2.6
Juicy Landrum G SR 11.1 5.1 3.9 0.9 0.5
NaLyssa Smith F SO 8.4 5.1 0.4 0.4 0.4
DiDi Richards G JR 7.2 3.7 4.1 1.5 0.5
Queen Egbo C SO 5.6 4.2 0.3 0.7 0.9
Moon Ursin G JR 4.0 2.3 1.4 0.5 0.1
Caitlin Bickle F SO 2.0 1.1 0.3 0.4 0.1
Trinity Oliver G SO 1.2 1.4 0.8 0.3 0.1

 

Graduate Transfers 2018-19 Stats

PLAYER POS CLASS PTS REB AST STL BLK
Te’a Cooper G SR 11.9 2.5 2.2 1.1 0.3
Erin DeGrate C SR 8.2 5.3 0.4 0.2 0.8

 

Signee High School 2018-19 Stats

PLAYER POS CLASS PTS REB AST STL BLK
Jordyn Oliver G FR 20.0 9.0 n/a n/a n/a

 

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Lady Bears Preview: 2019-20

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