Baylor Bears

Scott Drew Remembers His Seniors After Elite 8 Win

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Texas

Baylor head coach Scott Drew remembered his three seniors from a season ago as the Bears clinched their first Final Four appearance since 1950 on Monday night.

The Bears defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks, 82-71, in the Elite Eight, and as is tradition, they cut the nets down on their court at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Afterward, Drew made sure to remember three players that never got the chance last season.

 

“It’s nice that these guys were able to celebrate especially, after last year when we were on the verge of having the first No. 1 seed in school’s history and not having a chance to compete in the NCAA Tournament,” Drew said. “And as Obim (Okeke), who was on our team last year and is now a (graduate assistant), said, ‘Freddie (Gillespie) and Devonte (Bandoo), a piece of that net is coming to you.’”

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Okeke, Gillespie, and Bandoo were seniors on last year’s team, which went 26-4 and, for a good stretch of January and February, were the No. 1 in the both the AP Top 25 and the USA Today Top 25. Many projected the Bears as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, no matter what happened in the Big 12 Tournament.

The Bears, like the rest of college basketball, never got the chance to play in the 2020 NCAA Tournament. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the Tournament, meaning that Okeke, Gillespie, and Bandoo’s college careers ended without that possibility of ‘One Shining Moment.’

While Okeke was a little-used guard, Gillespie and Bandoo were significant cogs in last year’s team. Gillespie was All-Big 12 Second Team and All-Big 12 Defensive Team and parlayed his play into a spot in the G League. Bandoo was the Big 12’s Sixth Man of the Year.

Bandoo expressed his joy on Twitter after the game was final.

 

Baylor will play former Southwest Conference rival Houston in the national semifinals on Saturday.  

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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