HOUSTON (CBS-Houston) Basketball never ends when you’re Baylor Men’s Head Coach Scott Drew. His Bears were eliminated last Sunday by eventual NCAA Champion Kentucky. Sticking with that theme, the eventual NCAA National Champion Lady Bears, with Head Coach Kim Mulkey at the controls, had just capped their National Championship win over Notre Dame.
So following the extraordinary successes of each, an on-campus celebration ensued Wednesday afternoon a short time after the Lady Bears had comfortably arrived back in Waco from Denver. In attendance were the Baylor faithful, Drew, the Men’s team, and others.
But the celebration of the National Championship win for the Women and nearly reaching a Final Four for the Men didn’t last long for Drew. The recruiting trail was waiting and he almost immediately got back to work with the goal of advancing to the Final Four.
The Bears only got as far as the Elite Eight after being soundly defeated 82-70 by Head Coach John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats. While Drew says he likes the sound of the Final Four, it just wasn’t meant to be this time around.
“Two out of the last three years you’ve played in the Elite Eight and both times you’ve lost to the National Champion. So, I guess if you’re going to lose, you want to lose to the best and this year Kentucky was the best team. In fact, Kentucky might have been the best team in college basketball in the last ten years.”
A CLOSER LOOK
Drew’s claim is very close to accurate when considering that Kentucky is the all-time most winning collegiate basketball program in the nation since 1903, last count 2054 wins. They have 8 national championships to their credit. North Carolina and Kansas follow in win totals. The Wildcats have actually won 273 games over the last 10 seasons which averages roughly 27 wins per.
Kentucky has lost 81 games for an average of roughly 8 losses per season. Meanwhile, Baylor instituted basketball in 1907 and has won a total of 1346 games. They have appeared in two Final Fours. During Drew’s nine seasons as Head Coach, his record is 157-124. The first four years of Drew’s tenure were lean as his teams won 15 games per season or less from 2003-04 to 2006-07.
However, the win totals changed drastically beginning with the 2007-08 season as Drew’s Baylor teams gained national attention by winning 20-plus games three consecutive seasons. The 2009-10 season was highlighted by a berth in the championship game of the National Invitation Tournament. The Bears followed that performance with a 2010 NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance after an 18-13 overall finish.
The 2011-12 season saw the Bears with their best finish ever at 30-2. Add a second consecutive Elite Eight appearance and suddenly one can make a case that Baylor is slowly becoming one of the elite basketball programs in the nation.