Baylor Bears

Big 12 Portal Thoughts: Baylor Building Another Contender

Jan 13, 2024; Waco, Texas, USA; Baylor Bears guard Langston Love (13) and guard Ja'Kobe Walter (4) defend Cincinnati Bearcats guard Jizzle James (2) during the first half at Paul and Alejandra Foster Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

Keeping men’s basketball coach Scott Drew at Baylor qualifies as the athletic department’s biggest victory this offseason.

The Bears won out over Kentucky when the Wildcats came calling after John Calipari left for Arkansas. It’s enough to lead anyone to believe that nothing will get Drew out of Waco.

It probably helped him in the transfer portal and the recruiting trail, too.


In this edition of Portal Thoughts we take a look at where Baylor is now and what’s left to do this offseason.

Baylor’s Losses (5)

Guard RayJ Dennis is out of eligibility. Forward Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua played six years of college basketball and said goodbye to Baylor fans earlier this month in a social media post.

Two freshmen opted to head to the NBA, as expected — guard Ja’Kobe Walter and center Yves Missi. At least one will be a first-round pick.

Senior forward Jalen Bridges announced he was headed to the NBA on Tuesday. He had a year of eligibility left but he doesn’t appear to be leaving the door open for a return.

Baylor’s Transfer Losses (4)

Three Baylor players are in the transfer portal — sophomore guard Dantwan Grimes (who was not on Baylor’s final roster), senior forward Caleb Lohner and senior forward Austin Sacks.

Grimes has found a home at Southeastern Louisiana. Sacks was put on scholarship late last season after making the team as a walk-on.

Note: After the initial publication of this piece guard Miro Little reportedly declared for the transfer portal.


Baylor’s Transfer Gains (1)

Baylor has just one and it’s a big one — Duke guard Jeremy Roach, who will use his final season with the Bears. The former McDonald’s All-American averaged 14.0 points and 3.3 assists while shooting 42.9% from 3-point range.

Baylor’s Recruiting Gains (4)

Drew and his staff put together a masterful class, capping it with the signing of five-star forward VJ Edgecombe from Long Island Lutheran in Glen Head, NY. Per 247Sports he is the No. 5 player in the country.

But the Bears signed two other Top 50 players in the early period — Montverde (FL) Academy guard Rob Wright (No. 25) and Hillcrest Prep (AZ) forward Jason Asemota (No. 47).

Forward Noah Boyed, a 7-footer from McCook Community College in McCook, Neb., is also part of the class.


Set to Return (5)

The Bears have guard Jayden Nunn, guard Langston Love, forward Josh Ojianwua, guard Omar Adegbola and forward Yanis Ndjonga.

Nunn surged into a starring role late last season and should slide into Dennis’ starting role next season. The Bears hope to have Love healthy and Ojianwua should compete for a rotational role in the frontcourt once again.

What’s Left?

The Bears have three scholarship left right now. If the Bears’ pursuit of Tennessee big man Jonas Aidoo pans out the Bears can pursue one more transfer or recruit this cycle. It would be hard to project a starting lineup yet. But Roach, Nunn and Love feels like a good start in the backcourt.  

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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