By Kaylyn Thornal, Fanzooloo Founder, Baylor Alumni
The girl can ball! Last night Brittney Griner and the Baylor Bears women’s basketball team made history going 40 – 0. No other college basketball team, women or men, has ever won 40 straight games in one season.
So let’s pause for a moment to reflect….
Ok moment’s over. Here’s why Baylor should go 80-0.
1. Brittney Griner (Junior, 26 points) announces on ESPN that she will not go pro. Griner says instead that she will turn down millions and the top draft pick for the team she has always wanted to play for, the LA Sparks (kinda sucks for us in LA), saying instead that she has made a commitment to Baylor, to her teammates, and that she never goes back on a commitment. Those tornadoes in Dallas were in actuality the entire population of Waco breathing a giant sigh of relief. Look for Griner to further improve. Yes, that’s possible. She’s got the dunk, she can roll over both shoulders and shoot all net, the can step back and take it off the board, she can step out and shoot from the free throw line (averages over 80%). On D, Griner can block like Refrigerator Perry. Not only does she have the same imposing force as Shaq, take a pummulling like Tyson (was fouled about 20 uncalled tonight), but she moves like Kobe. Griner is why heads turn, TVs turn on, and fans both hate (and boy do they hate) and love Brittney wunderkind Griner. Look for Griner to come back even more agile, stronger, able to handle the ball even better – like it’s an extension of her mighty grip, and oh yes, to drop 3s, drive to the basket from the free throw line, and absolutely DUNK. This year was nail-biting nervousness with the imposing pressure of ‘unfinished business,’ next year with the pressure off, will be dunkolicious. Yep, I went there. And it’ll catch.
2. Odyssey Sims (Sophomore,18 points). Oh my Lord! Odyssey-eye-of-the-tiger-Sims. Sims reminds me of my high-school tennis partner who if not performing at 150% smashes her racket, then your racket and in doing so intimidates the opponent into pretty much tossing the match. We lettered that year. Sims is a sophomore. Right? A kid. The girl ain’t even legal but she steals like a thief. She’s relentless, hungry, angry, has got attitude, enough attitude to be repeated twice. Last year Sims would let her emotions get to her, but Kim Mulkey saw a prodigy, and true rockin’ talent. Odyssey came back this year poised, mature, stronger, smarter, quicker, shiftier, with more swagger. Smooth Criminal swagger that would make MJ proud. No doubt that’s what Skyler Diggens thought when Sims pick-pocketed her in the 2nd half, giving her a taste of her own theivin’ medicine.
3. Destiny Williams (Junior, 12 points) – Williams is wicked off the boards. She TebowSanchez’d (yeah that’s a word now) her place into the starting rotation over a pretty amazing Brooklyn Pope (8 pts off the bench, 4/4 FT and one of her best games all year) because of her offensive rebounds and points per game. This year she had 122 offensive rebounds and 218 defensive – that’s over twice as many as last year. And perhaps more evident than ever is her presence underneath the basket. When Brittney is triple-teamed she can drop it off to Williams for a lay up.
You’d think this would be enough. But then check this: Jordan Madden (Junior) is Baylor’s best defensive player, and Kimetria Hayden (Junior) had 18 points, against Tennessee, most of them 3s.
If my point isn’t clear yet, let me sum it up in the simplest of terms. The word “Senior” doesn’t exist in this equation.
Ain’t nobody goin’ nowhere. And the bench is Ike & Tina “DEEP”.
Well it should be mentioned that Terran Condrey is a senior, and she will be missed off the bench. If you read Monday’s blog, you’ll know how her 13 points ignited the Baylor team to victory. But the bench is much deeper than Condrey, and someone will step up and take her place in the front court.
It indeed looks tough. So who could possibly upset Baylor? Stanford? Notre Dame? Connecticut? Graduating, graduating, and meh. Tennessee? Going to be an interesting year over there. Texas Tech? You gotta sleep with one eye open with that crew. University of Texas had a little giddy-up late in the year, but frankly Condolezza Rice is more intimidating (seen here in the stands).
Look for those pesky thumbing Aggies to rebound in their new shishi SEC digs. Of course Mulkey’s made clear we won’t see hide-nor-hair of gig’em nation until playoffs, so Baylor could still looking at 70+-0.
Be afraid. Be very afraid. But more importantly, place your bets and let them ride! 80-0 could pay out as much as the recent Mega Millions lottery.
Congratulations Baylor! See you in the fall.