Recruits, fans wonder what Lady Bears look like without Mulkey

Published: Apr. 26, 2021 at 11:47 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Within hours of Kim Mulkey announcing her departure from Baylor, a class of 2023 commit reopened her recruiting.

That recruit isn’t the only person with questions about what the Lady Bears look like without Mulkey.

The world of college basketball is waiting to see: is Baylor still a powerhouse without Mulkey at the Helm?

Brian Ethridge is the co-owner of SicEm365 and has been covering the Bears since before Mulkey came to Waco.

Ethridge told me today, “Baylor is going to dedicate the resources to remain there. Some of the names we’ve been hearing in the coaching search are blue-blood type coaches to come in. Rising stars in the field.”

For many recruits, who the next coach is could determine whether they still consider Baylor, or if they move on.

Baylor’s star players, like NaLyssa Smith, could also be vital in keeping prospects interested in coming to Waco, regardless of who takes over the program.

Ethridge explains, “There are text groups usually between recruits and players on the team, and they talk. Obviously, the girls at Baylor right now understand the commitment Baylor has to their program.”

Because of that unique commitment Baylor makes to the Women’s Basketball program, the job opening will be enticing to many of the country’s top coaches.

“With the amount of resources Baylor puts into Women’s Basketball, it is a destination job. It will be pretty unlimited on who wants to come at this point,” says Ethridge.

Sytia Messer served as Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator under Mulkey and will likely be considered for the job, but Ethridge says hiring from within gets a split reaction from recruits.

“One recruit wasn’t as happy, if it’s Messer, another was excited for that. It is just personal preference, and knowing what someone from within would run. Is she going to run the same offense and defense Kim ran? If she changes that up, maybe that player doesn’t fit in Baylor’s plans any longer.”

One thing is for sure, it will be an interesting job search for the Baylor Administration, and Athletic Director Mack Rhoades is under a lot of pressure to get it right, after many fans feel he let a once-in-a-lifetime talent go.

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