Baylor’s #2 ranking will help Bears succeed for years to come
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The Baylor men’s and women’s basketball programs return to campus this week after heading home for Christmas break, and both teams remain near the top of the latest AP poll released Monday.
The AP Poll is a weekly ranking of the top 25 teams in Division one Basketball. It is released every Monday, and It’s essentially 65 sportswriters and broadcasters from across the country that help college basketball fans sort out which teams they should be paying attention to.
AP Voter and Waco Trib Baylor Sports Beat Writer John Werner explains, “I’d say you have a pretty good idea about the top 15 teams, they belong there. After that, there can be like 30 or 40 teams that could have those last ten spots.”
The best way for a team to start getting attention from the voters is through upset wins - the higher the rankings of the teams you beat, the more attention you will get.
With Baylor sitting at #2, there is a huge target on their back every game they play. Being ranked at the top has its perks as well, the Bears secured a top-five recruiting class last year, after spending five straight weeks ranked #1.
Werner says, “Recruits see that. They seem them on TV a lot, they see them in the polls – I think it helps a lot.”
Baylor head coach Scott Drew agreed, saying, “That not only helps with the notoriety of the program with recruiting, but also gives your fan base a lot of pride.”
The Baylor community is proud of their basketball teams... to the point where many fans are bothered that Baylor is #2, and not ahead of top-ranked Gonzaga.
It looked like those two teams would be able to settle things on the court earlier this month, but the game was postponed due to COVID issues.
Now, the Bears will be relying on a tough Big-12 conference schedule to get to the top.
“Once Baylor starts playing those games, in the conference, they have a really good chance to overtake Gonzaga for #1,” insists Werner.
A number one ranking would be exciting for the University and its fans, but Coach Drew says his players aren’t too concerned with where they stand in the polls.
Coach says, “We always control what we can control... analytically we want to be the best team we can be. More importantly, we want to love one another, play with joy, and I think the rankings will take care of themselves.”
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