IRVING, Texas (Baylor Athletics) Two road wins over ranked teams led to a two-spot jump to No. 2 in the AP Top 25, as well as two Big 12 Conference weekly awards for Baylor basketball players.
Sophomore Jared Butler was named Big 12 Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week, while redshirt junior MaCio Teague was tabbed as the conference’s co-Newcomer of the Week, sharing the honor with WVU’s Miles McBride. The weekly awards are voted by on a panel of media members and were announced Monday by the league office.
The duo helped Baylor to a pair of marquee road wins. The Bears knocked off No. 22 Texas Tech 57-52 on Tuesday, snapping the Red Raiders’ 15-game home winning streak, which was the nation’s sixth-longest. BU then recorded its first win at Allen Fieldhouse, defeating No. 3 Kansas 67-55 on Saturday, ending the nation’s second-longest home winning streak at 28 games. It was Baylor’s first road win over a top-5 team in program history.
Baylor climbed to No. 2 in the Associated Press Top 25 released Monday. The Bears received 31 of 65 first-place votes, while No. 1 Gonzaga had 30 first-place votes and sits seven points ahead of the Bears. This marks eight consecutive weeks the Bears have climbed in the AP poll, moving from No. 24 on Nov. 18, to No. 19, to No. 18, to No. 11, to No. 10, to No. 7, to No. 6, to No. 4 and to No. 2.
Butler picked up his second Big 12 Player of the Week award of the season and his third career Big 12 weekly honor. He was recognized as Player of the Week on Nov. 25 after the Bears won the Myrtle Beach Invitational, and he picked up Big 12 Newcomer of the Week on Feb. 25 last season.
This is the first Big 12 weekly award for Teague, but he was recognized three times as Big South Player of the Week and four times as Big South Freshman of the Week while at UNC Asheville during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.
Butler scored 10 straight second-half points in the win at Kansas, and he finished with a game-high 22 points, along with four rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block in 33 minutes. In the win at Texas Tech, Butler made a pair of clutch buckets on consecutive possessions with less than four minutes remaining and the Bears leading by four each time.
Teague posted 16 points, a team-high seven rebounds, three assists and zero turnovers in 35 minutes of the win at Kansas. He scored 11 points as part of the Bears’ 22-4 run to close the first half, turning a 20-15 deficit into a 37-24 lead at the break. He added a 3-pointer with 10 minutes remaining after Kansas cut the lead to five points, sparking a 10-2 run which gave Baylor a double-digit lead for the remainder of the game.
Butler and Teague helped the Baylor defense limit Texas Tech to its fewest points in a home game during the four-year Chris Beard era and Kansas to its fewest points in a home game during the 17-year Bill Self era. The Bears have now held five consecutive high-major opponents to their season-low scoring totals.
All told, Baylor has had 34 Big 12 Player of the Week winners in the last 13 seasons after earning seven honors in the league’s first 11 seasons. The Bears have had 24 different players earn Big 12 Player of the Week honors, and those players have combined to win the award 41 times in the league’s 24-year history.
Baylor players have earned multiple Big 12 Player of the Week honors in nine consecutive seasons, and a BU player has been named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week at least once in 14 of the last 16 seasons.
BU has earned 26 Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors in the last 13 seasons after earning 10 such honors in the league’s first 11 seasons. All told, 24 different Baylor players have earned 36 Big 12 Newcomer of the Week awards in the league’s 24-year history.
Baylor hosts Iowa State at 7 p.m. CT Wednesday at the Ferrell Center. The game will be televised on Big 12 Now on ESPN+. Wednesday is Baylor Bear Foundation appreciation night, and Bear Foundation members can receive $15 tickets.