Baylor performed a quick two-step with its ever-changing schedule and found a willing adversary in the form of Stephen F. Austin.
The second-ranked Bears (3-0) will play their home opener against the Lumberjacks (3-0) on Wednesday in Waco, Texas.
Stephen F. Austin replaces Nicholls State, which saw its scheduled game versus Baylor called off due to a positive COVID-19 test within the Colonels’ program.
The Bears’ fancy calendar shuffle comes on the heels of Saturday’s showdown against top-ranked Gonzaga, which was postponed due to a COVID-19 situation within the Bulldogs’ program.
“This year more than any year you have to be flexible,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said, per the Waco-Tribune Herald. “It used to be one coach was involved in scheduling and then the head coach would sign off on the deal and vice versa. Now, it’s all hands on deck to try to find answers to possible solutions and things that will work.”
And that solution comes in the form of an in-state foe. In fact, the Bears reportedly are working on scheduling a game with Tarleton State on Tuesday. Tarleton State is located in Stephenville, Texas.
“Logistically, it’s easier for schools that can bus because things are a lot tougher when you have to get plane fights involved and what not,” Drew said. “But the big thing is availability, and then the COVID protocols, and then how quick the administrators can OK all the travel and necessities.”
The Bears attempt to regain their edge after having what amounts to a seven-day stretch between games. Baylor posted an 82-69 victory over Illinois last Wednesday, with Adam Flagler coming off the bench to score a team-high 18 points.
Flagler wasn’t alone, as the Bears benefited from their immense depth to subdue the Fighting Illini. Davion Mitchell highlighted his 15-point performance with four 3-pointers, while Jared Butler had 12 points and MaCio Teague added 11.
The four players are averaging at least 13 points a game, while Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua leads the team with 8.3 rebounds per contest.
Butler previously played against Stephen F. Austin, however he went 0-for-5 from the floor — including 0-for-4 from 3-point range — to finish with two points in a 59-58 setback on Dec. 18, 2018.
Stephen F. Austin recorded its third straight double-digit winning margin with a 97-79 victory over LSU Alexandria on Sunday.
Cameron Johnson erupted for 29 points on 12-of-19 shooting from the floor and Calvin Solomon collected 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Lumberjacks, who outscored the Generals by a 58-39 margin in the second half.
Nigel Hawkins added 18 points off the bench as Stephen F. Austin continued its winning ways after shooting 51.4 percent from the floor.
Southland Conference Player of the Week Gavin Kensmil tied a career high with 23 points in an 86-76 win over McNeese State on Friday. He is averaging 17.3 points and 5.0 rebounds this season.
–Field Level Media