MaCio Teague was testing the NBA Waters but has decided to return in what is expected news. The former UNC-Asheville guard and now Baylor guard averaged 13.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game last season. Teague had a really good season but his numbers did drop off while he was dealing with a wrist injury during conference play. In his first season on Scott Drew’s squad he shot 35% from deep, which was far lower than his numbers at UNC Asheville which were 45% and 42%. With a fully healthy season he should be back up in the 40’s again. With a wrist injury it can be hard to find your jumper consistently he was really streaky at times last season and some of that I’d like to think is contributed to his injury issues. Baylor is a preseason Top-3 team if Jared Butler also returns this season.
Lineup with Butler:
PG: Davion Mitchell
SG: MaCio Teague
SF: Jared Butler (Testing Waters)
PF: Mark Vital
C: Tristan Clark
Bench: Adam Flagler (Presbyterian) Matthew Mayer, Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua (UNLV), Flo Thamba, Dain Dainja, LJ Cryer, Zach Loveday
Departures: Devonte Bandoo, Freddie Gillespie
Additions: Adam Flagler (Presbyterian), Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, Dain Dainja, LJ Cryer, Zach Loveday
If Butler were to not return just put Flagler in the lineup in place of him.
This is an extremely talented and experienced squad and has National Championship chances. Teague should be a 15 point, 40% from deep type of player while providing solid defense. Davion Mitchell is an outstanding defender, while isn’t a very efficient scorer but picks up 3.8 assists per game, also he does a lot of things that are important to Baylor’s success. Mark Vital is a top tier glue-guy in College Basketball. His stats may not be eye opening but he does things that don’t appear on a stat sheet. He’s a great defender and has great ability to create extra possessions for his team by making the hustle play and back tapping rebounds, something in which you don’t get credit for. He’s for more ‘Vital’ to this team than his 6 point, and 6 rebound per game average would suggest, he may be the most important player not named Butler or Teague to this team.
The biggest X-Factor is Tristan Clark, can he stay healthy? He’s 6’10” and has been great when healthy, but last season he just wasn’t able to stay healthy. He just didn’t provide much, he needs to stay healthy for Baylor to max out their potential. In 14 games in his 2018-19 season he averaged 14.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game, he’s a great shot-blocker, very good scorer down-low he just adds a different dimension when he’s right. Without Freddie Gillespie they need a big guy to play that five-man role and that’s exactly what Clark can do and I think he will.
Adam Flagler is a transfer who sat last season from Presbyterian, he had 15 points per game for the Blue Hose in 2018-19 while shooting 43% from-the-field, and 38% from deep. He adds another big scoring punch off the bench which will be very needed when Butler/Teague may be having an off game or injured, just having someone else to rely on offensively is huge to have as a sixth man.
The 3 big name Freshman most notable being Dain Dainja, he’s a huge guy and great rebounder and can score ah the basket, size wise and a bit skill wise he reminds me of Caleb Swanigan. Doubtful but if he can be anywhere near what Swanigan was for Purdue, Dainja will be huge. If Clark can’t stay healthy or even if he does, Dainja will play a big bench role with size his and rebounding ability.
This is a team that could be the best team in the country although I’m still taking Gonzaga by a fair margin.