Baylor Bears basketball

Early years

Luther Burleson coached the initial basketball team in Baylor in 1907 also doubling as the football coach. In Baylor’s next season of basketball afterward cross-town rival TCU started their program which the Bears defeated twice during the 1908–09 season. Ralph Glaze’s (1911–1914) .788 winning percentage ranks at the top all time in college history. Ralph Wolf (1927–1941) lead Baylor to its very first SWC Championship in 1932 after living and beating among the first great tragedies in college athletics in his first season as coach.
Immortal Ten
See also: List of mishaps involving sports teams
On January 22, 1927, Coach Ralph Wolf’s Baylor Basketball team was travelling by bus to play with the University of Texas. As the bus passed through Round Rock, Texas, it approached railroad tracks on the south side of the business district on a drizzly, cloudy day. As the bus crossed the tracks the natives failed to listen to the sound of the train whistle and ringing bell. The motorist caught sight of the train at the last minute and tried to maneuver away, however, the Sunshine Special crashed into the bus at near 60 miles off ripping off the roof and side.
The Immortal Ten Memorial Ten Baylor students and basketball players were killed by the impact. [3] One participant, James Clyde”Abe” Kelly, driven his buddy, Weir Washam, out the window of the bus only moments before the effect, saving Washam’s lifetime but costing Kelly his very own. The bodies of Kelly and Robert Hailey were discovered horrifically stretched throughout the cow-catcher on the front of the train, with arms locked around each other and Kelly missing a leg. Ivy Foster Sr. of Taylor, Texas, had heard of the crash and rushed to the train station in Taylor to meet with the train and assist where needed simply to find his son among the dead.
The deceased were Jack Castellaw, Sam Dillow, Merle Dudley, L.R. “Ivey” Foster Jr., Robert “Bob” Hailey, James Clyde “Abe” Kelly, Willis Murrary, James “Jim” Walker, and William Winchester.
The rest of the 1927 season was canceled. The tragedy had reverberations over the entire nation and country and led to the construction of the first railway overpass in Texas in which the event happened at Round Rock. Buses were later required to come to a complete stop and open the door at all railway crossings to listen to trains. The Immortal Ten story has been commemorated annually since 1927 initially in Chapel services then afterwards at the Freshman Mass Meeting during Homecoming Week. In 2007, the event was memorialized in bronze on the Baylor campus at Traditions Plaza.
On the 90th anniversary of the tragedy, January 22, 2017, the City of Round Rock held a memorial event to remember those who had been killed in the train-bus collision. In the event, the city committed to the”Immortal Bridge,” that arcs over the railroad tracks where the incident happened. Green lampposts, green-and-gold paint and other markers honor the 10 students who were murdered there. The event was open to the general public, and attendees included Baylor administrators and student leaders, that the spirit squads, and Baylor’s Golden Wave Band.
Post World War II success Baylor men’s teams won five conference championships in the former Southwest Conference (1932, 1946, 1948, 1949*, 1950*; * discussed shared name ). The Bears reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 1946, and reached the Final Four in 1948 and 1950. Bill Henderson’s 1948 group advanced to play the Kentucky Wildcats for the NCAA championship, but dropped 58–42 into Adolph Rupp’s first national championship team. The team advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 1950 beneath Henderson dropping to the Bradley Braves 68–66. Bill Menefee (1962–1973) will lead the Bears to a national position in 1969 but failed to make the postseason that year. Menefee was the only trainer during the next 50 years to have a career record of over .500, and would later serve as Baylor’s athletic director from the 1980s. Gene Iba’s 1988 NCAA championship team would be the very first NCAA tournament appearance for the app in 38 years.
2003 scandal
Main article: Baylor University basketball scandal
The men’s basketball program was plagued by a scandal in 2003. Patrick Dennehy, a participant for the team, was murdered by former teammate Carlton Dotson; then-coach Dave Bliss was forced to resign amidst allegations that he had violated NCAA rules by making monetary payments to four gamers and that he made improper statements to the media characterizing Dennehy as a drug dealer. The school placed itself on probation, limited itself to 7 scholarships for two decades and imposed a post-season ban for one year. Additionally, the NCAA further punished the group by initiating a non-conference ban for the 2005–2006 season and expanding the probationary period during the school would have limited recruiting statements.
Decade Long Resurgence
The 2005 Bears were hindered by only having 7 scholarship players and recorded just one win in conference play. In spite of these challenges, head coach Scott Drew was able to gather a 2005 signing class ranked No. 7 nationally by HoopScoop.
The basketball program undergone a resurgence under coach Scott Drew having an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2008 for the first time in 20 years with a 9–7 summit record and the team’s first national standing in 39 decades. The January 23, 2008 116–110 5OT triumph over Texas A&M at College Station formally became the longest game in Big 12 history. The 2008–09 team was ranked early in the summer but stumbled to a 5–11 summit finish before heating up in the Big 12 Tournament defeating both Kansas and Texas en route to the championship match versus Missouri, also lost by a score of 73–60. The 2008–2009 group recorded the program’s first postseason victory since 1950 in its first round NIT victory within the Georgetown Hoyas at Waco.
The 2008–09 team went on to advance to the NIT Final where they fell to Penn State. The 2009–10 squad was rated in both polls and pulled off the largest road win in school history across the then #6 Texas Longhorns at Austin 80–77 on Jan. 30th. The Bears closed out the season with a Big 12 era finest 11–5 record and #3 seed at the Big 12 championship.
The 2009–10 group was picked to finish 10th in the Big 12 at the Big 12 Coaches Poll as a result of graduation of several key players from the preceding year. On the other hand, the team ended the regular season 23–6 and tied for 2nd in the Big 12 standings. After a 2–1 album in the Big 12 tournament, the Bears were rewarded with a #1 in the South Region of the NCAA tournament. The Bears defeated #14 seed Sam Houston State 68–59 in First Round actions and then conquered #11 seed Old Dominion 76–68 in Second Round play to advance to the Sweet 16 hosted in Reliant Stadium in Houston. The Bear’s Sweet 16 match-up was 10 seed Saint Mary’s, which had defeated #2 seed Villanova the previous week ahead of the Sweet 16. The Bears won handily over the Gaels, 72–49, after major 47–19 in the half. The Elite Eight was held in Reliant Stadium and the Bears’ opponent was the #1 seed Duke Blue Devils, the final #1 seed standing at the NCAA tournament following the other three #1 seeds (Kansas, Syracuse, and Kentucky) were all defeated by lower seeded teams. In front of a very pro-Baylor audience of over 47,000, the Bears were defeated by the Duke Blue Devils, 78–71, to finish the magic run to the Elite Eight. It was the best season in the Scott Drew age as characterized by conference standing, overall ranking, wins, and NCAA championship wins. The Bears finished the year ranked #10 from the last ESPN/Coaches Poll–the highest ranking in program history at that moment.
The 2010–11 team started the season ranked 14th (according to the AP Preseason poll). The Bears started 7–0, also climbed to 9th in the polls prior to falling to Gonzaga in a neutral court in Dallas. The team finished 18–13 total and seven –9 in league play. The highlight of the season was Lacedarius Dunn getting the Big 12’s all-time top scorer, and a sweep of this series versus rated Texas A&M. After freshman star Perry Jones III was suspended by the NCAA for six games, the Bears proceeded to lose their first-round match of the Big 12 Championship from Oklahoma.
The 2012 season saw another historic campaign for the Bears as they followed up the 2011 season with another successful conference run which saw the Bears win 30 games and make it to the Big 12 championship title game. The Bears were selected for the NCAA tournament and made it all of the way to the Elite Eight, which ended at a loss to eventual national champion Kentucky.
The 2013 year witnesses another winning campaign for the Bears as they followed the 2012 Elite Eight season with another successful conference run that saw the squirrels sweep both TCU and Texas Tech while just dropping one match to UT. The bears started out using a pre-season ranking of 19 in the nation. The Boys finish conference play .500 and were chosen for the NIT tournament. The Bears made it all the way to the Final, which ended in a win over Iowa, winning the tournament in front of a sizable audience in Madison Square Garden and claiming the 2013 NIT Title.

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