Can anyone stop Baylor?

By Ryan McCarthy

It wasn’t the first time that night that Baylor’s superstar Brittney Griner flung the ball over Kansas junior forward Carolyn Davis’ head for another easy basket when Kansas lost to Baylor 74-46 on Jan. 28.

It doesn’t happen to Davis very often, but when playing Griner, it’s the norm.

“When you have a team like that, you kind of come out of that game and just say you did all you could do,” Davis said.“She’s gonna make shots. She’s gonna do things. That’s why a couple of times after she scored I just laughed because you really can’t do anything about it.”

The Jayhawks are not the only team to suffer the wrath of Lady Bears; 20 other teams have fallen victim to Baylor.

So the question remains: Can anyone Beat the Lady Bears this year?

Looking at the rest of the Lady Bears’ schedule it could prove to be difficult challenge. They still have two games against Texas A&M and one against Oklahoma, but the real threat might not come until deep into the NCAA Tournament.

“I really don’t see anybody challenging them until they get to a Final Four level,” women’s basketball broadcaster Brenda VanLengen said. “That’s how good they are.”

Baylor has already proven it can take down the top teams. It has already defeated Notre Dame and Connecticut, the No. 2 and No. 3 ranked teams in the country.

“Baylor has demonstrated that it’s far and away the best team in the Big 12 this season,” Brice Cherry wrote in an email. Cherry is the associate sports editor and Lady Bears beat writer for the Waco Tribune-Herald.

But there’s more to this team then just Griner.

Sophomore guard Odyssey Sims continues to tear up the Big 12, averaging 15.4 points per game and shooting 41.8 percent from three-point range.

Junior Destiny Williams forward, junior guard Jordan Madden, and junior guard Kimetria Hayden round a balanced group of players in the Baylor back court.

With a team this stacked sometimes half the struggle for opponents is to get in the right mindset before the game.

“Just confidence and believing that you can, because that’s part of the battle when step up on the floor with them,” VanLengen said.

Still with the Lady Bears jumping out to such a substantial lead in the Big 12 standings, it’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t believe they won’t be cutting down the nets in Kansas City at the very least.

“At the end of the day, Griner is still 6 foot 8, and Sims is still faster than a jack rabbit on roller skates,” Cherry said. “Baylor isn’t unbeatable, but it’s certainly going to be hard to beat.”

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25 thoughts on “Can anyone stop Baylor?”

  1. Baylor has an awesome team this year – it is directly related to the coach – she respects the players and raises their performance at every level. Thanks for keeping us up to date Ryan!

  2. I don’t follow women’s basketball but this make me want to see what happens when we get into the Final Four tournament.

  3. And that’s the beautiful thing about sports – the unpredictable, unthinkable and near impossible can, and often does, happen. Go Hawks!

  4. Great Article….Yes, Baylor will be unstoppable (at 6’8″ Griner is pretty dominating). They Play K-State this weekend….and as an alumni, I just hope it close/respectable.

  5. Great article Ryan. I do think that Baylor will be tough to beat… but then I thought the Packers were going to be tough to beat too. I guess that is why teams play the game. Keep up the great work. You are a very talented writer. Keep sending it our way!

  6. Great story. The writer did a great job of portraying the strength and power of the Baylor team. I thought the quotes were interesting and were effectively woven into the story.

  7. Baylor has a couple of great BBall teams this year – the girls will be hard to beat, but i hope KU can do it. Always look forward to the tourny! I will be watching your blog for insight!

  8. I’m not convinced. In the world of sports, I think talent represents only half of a winning equation, and the remaining fifty percent rest on one’s psychie. Miss Griner may be phenomenally talented (and phenomonenally tall), but in the world of sports, I’ve seen time and again, that the psychie can be defeated, removing the advantage that the talent and height might otherwise deliver. Texas A&M Adaora Elonu will need to come out tenacious, not allowing Miss Griner the ball – it’s hard to score if you can’t receive the ball – delivering an A&M victory and a surprise upset.

  9. “Sims is still faster than a jack rabbit on roller skates…”
    What a great quote! Always love to read your stuff, Ryan.

  10. Great article Ryan. I am a retired girls basketball coach and after watching the Baylor women’s team several times on ESPN2, you were spot on.

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