Baylor MBB's Drew Named Naismith Coach of the Year Finalist

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Published: Mar. 18, 2020 at 2:12 PM CDT
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Baylor men’s basketball 17th-year head coach Scott Drew has been named one of four finalists for the 2020 Werner Ladder Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year, as announced Wednesday by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

Drew is joined by San Diego State’s Brian Dutcher, Dayton’s Anthony Grant and Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton as finalists for the award, and the winner is scheduled to be announced on April 3. All four finalists are potential first-time winners.

Fans can support their favorite finalist by visiting between March 20 and April 1 to cast their ballot, and the fan vote accounts for five percent of the overall final vote.

Drew has already been named National Coach of the Year by NBC Sports, District VII Coach of the Year by the USBWA and Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year by both the league’s coaches and media who cover the conference. This marks the first time he’s been a Naismith Trophy Men’s College Coach of the Year finalist.

Drew led the Bears to a 26-4 record and a program-best No. 5/4 final ranking. Baylor was ranked No. 1 nationally for five consecutive weeks, matching the longest by any team since Kentucky in 2015 and the longest by any team from Texas since Houston in 1968.

The Bears’ four losses were their fewest since BU began playing a conference schedule in 1914, and BU set a school record with 15 conference wins, three more than any previous season in program history. Baylor’s .867 winning percentage was the program’s best in the modern era and trailed only the 13-0 mark in 1911-12.

Drew’s squad also set a Big 12 Conference record with a 23-game winning streak, which included six wins against ranked opponents, nine road wins and three neutral-site victories. BU was also ranked for the entire season for the second time in program history and finished the season on a school-record streak of 11 consecutive weeks ranked in the top-five nationally.

Baylor’s 6-1 record against AP Top 25 teams was the nation’s best, and the Bears tied for the third-most wins against ranked teams behind only Iowa (7-5) and Michigan State (7-4). Baylor also had the nation’s best record in NET Quadrant 1 games at 11-2, and the Bears finished the season ranked No. 5 in the final NET.

The Bears became the first team in the Big 12’s 24-year history to have all five starters named to All-Big 12 teams, and BU also had the conference’s Sixth Man Award winner, Most Improved Player, Coach of the Year and Newcomer of the Year. Additionally, BU had three players on the five-member Big 12 All-Defensive Team and two unanimous selections on the league’s All-Newcomer Team.

BU finished the season ranked No. 8 nationally in offensive rebounding percentage, extending a nation-leading streak to seven consecutive years top-10 ranked in offensive rebounding. BU finished No. 17 in adjusted offensive efficiency, marking the 11th time in the last 13 years BU was top-25 in that metric.

After playing mostly zone defense over the previous decade, Drew made the switch to a man-to-man defense in 2019-20, leading the Bears to finish No. 7 nationally and No. 1 among Power-5 conference teams with a 60.1 points per game scoring defense. Baylor’s 60.1 points per game allowed set a school-record for the shot clock era and was BU’s best mark since holding teams to 59.1 points per game in 1958-59.

The Bears led the Big 12 in scoring defense for the first time in the league’s 24-year history. BU also led the league in turnover margin (+3.3) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.16) for the first time in conference history. Baylor’s 60.1 points per game allowed was the fourth-best mark in Big 12 Conference history, trailing only Texas A&M’s 59.4 in 2007, Texas Tech’s 59.5 in 2019 and Oklahoma’s 60.0 in 2003.

Baylor’s defense finished the year ranked No. 4 nationally in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency (88.1), the best by a BU team since the metric was first tracked in 1997. BU’s best previous mark in adjusted defensive efficiency was ranked No. 16 in 2017 (92.9). This marked the fourth time in the last six seasons BU has finished top-25 nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency, and BU’s best final ranking prior to that six-year stretch was No. 34 in 2012.

The Bears started the year ranked No. 16 nationally in the preseason polls and remained ranked throughout the season for the second time in program history (2012). The Bears’ streak of 20 consecutive polls ranked is third-longest in program history behind only 25 consecutive polls in 2016-17 and 22 consecutive polls in 2011-12. Baylor is projected No. 2 nationally in USA Today’s early preseason top 25 for 2020-21.

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