Monday, August 21, 2017 The Baylor Lariat
b ay lo r l a r i at.c o m
Lariat TV News Online: Ish Wainwright makes transition from basketball to football
No quarterback? No problem Lack of decision sparks player competition BEN EVERETT Sports Writer Quarterback is arguably the most important position in football. With just a few weeks until its season opener, Baylor has yet to name its starting quarterback. Three players are vying for the coveted spot: freshman Charlie Brewer, sophomore Zach Smith and senior transfer Anu Solomon. Co-offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Glenn Thomas said drawing out the competition to the start of the season is positive and forces the players to always be ready. “I don’t think there’s any negative to that,” Thomas said. “It keeps everybody on their toes every day. You can’t have a day where you’re not
QB >> Page C7
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CHOOSING A NEW LEADER Following last season’s performances from now graduated quarterback Seth Russell (top left) and sophomore Zach Smith (top middle), head coach Matt Rhule has still not selected a quarterback for the 2017-18 season.
Former Bears poised to make NBA debuts BEN EVERETT Sports Writer
8 Kansas. But even amid the highs of the season, adversity was always nipping at the heels, as then redshirt freshman middle hitter Jaelyn Jackson was lost for the season in the conference opener against Kansas State. Hope found in Romans 5 manifested itself in the most successful season for Baylor volleyball in years. The Bears finished tied for fourth in the Big 12, made the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011, including defeating San Diego in the opening round and watching redshirt junior (now senior) outside hitter Katie Staiger blossom into a All-American Second Team selection. For Fanning and Itiola, circumstances allowed them to learn different roles from what they were used to. Even though it wasn’t a physical contribution to the success on the court, it was every bit as important. “In some ways, it was best for me to sit on the bench. It was a humbling experience,” Fanning said. “I don’t think I had been a very good teammate because I didn’t know how to relate to people who weren’t starting and now I do. I think that’s a cool experience to be a part of.” Even though it was an adjustment, Itiola learned that she could serve her teammates through more than just her efforts on the court, but through encouragement, support, and celebrating in their successes. This type of service required humility and leadership, something McGuyre sees as imperative to maintaining his team’s success. “We always say the best leaders are the biggest servants,” McGuyre said. “We
A new crop of former Baylor Men’s basketball players have joined the NBA ranks, forward Johnathan Motley, guard Royce O’Neale and center Ekpe Udoh. Motley, the 2016-17 Karl Malone award winner for best power forward in college basketball, signed a TwoWay contract with the Dallas Mavericks shortly after the NBA Draft. Two-Way contracts, a new entity in the NBA this season, allow teams to sign two more players than usual, but they can only spend up to 45 days with the team. The rest of the time, Motley will be playing for the Mavericks G-League affiliate, the Texas Legends. Motley, once considered a first-round talent, failed to make it onto the draft board, some believe due to a torn meniscus he suffered in a 70-50 NCAA Tournament loss to South Carolina. Motley says not getting drafted was a tough thing to swallow, but he is thankful he will get a shot in the NBA. “It was tough,” Motley told mavs.com. “But you’ve got to take everything for what it is, and just find a way to bounce back. I’m thankful the Mavs signed me. I feel wanted here.” Motley made a strong impression on the Dallas organization after playing on both the Orlando and Las Vegas Summer League teams. In the Orlando Summer League championship game, Motley posted 18 points and 10 rebounds while also draining the game winning-jumper for the Mavericks in overtime. Motley drew oohs and aahs from the crowd with a half court shot to beat the buzzer in a game against the Sacramento Kings in the Las Vegas Summer League. He posted 15 points in that game. Motley said he recognizes that he has to get better at the small things before he can be trusted to score at the NBA level. “You’ve got to start off where you get in,” Motley told mavs.com. “It’s a league full of scorers. Yeah, I shouldered a lot of the scoring role at Baylor, but sometimes it’s a little different in the NBA. You’ve got to get adjusted to the game. The coaches got to have confidence in you, the staff has to have confidence in you, and that can take years of producing. If I produce over the years, maybe I can become a scorer like I was in college.” Udoh, the No. 6 overall pick in the NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors in 2010, is returning to the league following a stint overseas. The 6-foot-10 Udoh played five seasons in the NBA for three different teams and started 57 games, but never established himself as a solid player. Udoh signed a 2-year, $6.5 million deal with the Utah Jazz to backup All-NBA center Rudy Gobert. Udoh says he looks forward to his return and has a new level of confidence that he can resurrect his NBA career. “I’m more aggressive offensively and I think that’s the key, is my belief in myself, knowing that I can play at any level,” Udoh told Deseret News. “I look forward to this challenge. Five years in the NBA didn’t go how I wanted it to, but now I’m back and I’m ready. I can’t wait to get out there.” O’Neale, a 6-foot-5 swingman who played with the Bears from 2013-15 after transferring from Denver University, played professionally in Germany and
INJURIES >> Page C5
DEBUTS >> Page C5
Liesje Powers | Multimedia Editor
SET IT UP Redshirt senior middle hitter Tola Itiola practices her sets with junior outside hitter Aniah Philo during a Baylor practice.
Injuries bring perspective, service, leadership to volleyball NATHAN KEIL Sports Editor Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Shelly Fanning had finally reached the point of no return. The lingering pain in her foot dating back to her freshman season in 2015 was something that she could no longer ignore, if not for herself, but for her teammates. “Going into my sophomore season it was really hurting me,” Fanning said. “In the Green and Gold scrimmage was when I realized I could no longer jump, play to the fullest, or give my teammates my best. That’s when I realized I had to stop sucking it up and stop at that point.” The stress injury kept Fanning sidelined for the entire 2016 season. But Fanning wasn’t the only one bitten by the injury bug in 2016. Redshirt senior middle hitter Tola Itiola found herself in a similar scenario, falling victim to an injury of overuse and exhaustion. “I guess I felt stuff but I didn’t know what I was feeling, whether aches or pains or if something was actually there,” Itiola said. “ The medical staff at Baylor is amazing and they took really good care of me. We figured out that it was something that just didn’t go away initially, so they did a good job working with me to figure out was going on.” The 2017 season was only in its infancy stage and yet head coach Ryan McGuyre had already lost two key contributors from his debut season in Waco. But Baylor volleyball didn’t fold at the first sign of trouble. It didn’t abandon its competitive spirit and hold on to the hope of a fresh start next season. Instead, it
As a coach, I know that hope is there, that this is going to be part of something good. RYAN MCCGUYRE | HEAD COACH
found hope in perseverance and adversity, something that McGuyre accounts to the strength of the team’s chemistry. “Perseverance was a goal of our team. When you look at Romans 5:4, ‘Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. As a coach, I know that hope is there, that this is going to be part of something good. Disappointment is the start of a great journey, not the end,” McGuyre said. “ Our team’s character was extremely strong and the adversity strengthened us. We were very strong because of our chemistry and that had to do with how everyone contributed, top to bottom.” Baylor began to see the fruits of that character as the Bears overcame a slow start to the season to rattle off a 10-match winning streak, including its first two Big 12 matches before falling on the road to No.
Monday, August 21, 2017 The Baylor Lariat
Two Lady Bears selected for international competition Brown, Wallace play for USA, Australia in new tournament BEN EVERETT Sports Writer Baylor Lady Bears junior center Kalani Brown and senior guard Kristy Wallace represented the United States and Australia, respectively, as a part of the inaugural U23 Four Nations Tournament in Tokyo. Team USA took home first place posting a 3-0 record while Australia was named runner-up after going 2-1. Brown, a native of Slidell, La., was one of 12 players chosen to represent USA in the tournament following a 40-person training camp held in Colorado Springs, Colo. Brown was a unanimous All-Big 12 Team selection following a breakout sophomore campaign that saw her lead the Lady Bears in five major statistical categories including scoring and rebounding at 15.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. “I’m excited – overwhelmed, really,” Brown told usab.com. “It’s been a while for me to get back to this point, but I’ve been working for this and coming to trials each time I could, so I’m really excited for this opportunity.” During the training camp, the players were divided into four teams and competed for gold, silver and bronze medals. Brown’s team won gold. Brown joined a roster composed of women’s college basketball stars such as South Carolina forward A’ja Wilson, Tennessee center Mercedes Russell and Ohio State guard Kelsey Mitchell. This will be Brown’s third trip with Team USA, competing on the 2013 U16 National Team and winning gold with the 2014 U16 National Team at the 2014 FIBA Americas Championship. Despite having some international experience, Brown says there are more traveled players on the team and that she can learn from them. “I think it’s important to be a good teammate, to be a motivator and continue to do what helped me get here,” Brown told usab.com. “But there are girls like Mercedes Russell, and she has way more international experience. I’m trying to learn
from her. I’m learning just like everybody else is, but anywhere I can give some pointers, I will.” Brown posted averages of 9.7 points, five rebounds and one block per game for the undefeated USA squad. Wallace, from Loganholme, Australia, expressed her excitement to compete for her home country, having already won a bronze medal with the U19 Australian Team in 2015. “It’s a massive honor,” Wallace told baylorbears. com. “I’m really excited to get the opportunity to play in Japan. These opportunities don’t come around too often, so I’m super excited.” Wallace is coming off of a strong junior season for the Lady Bears in which she was one of three players to start all 37 games in addition to leading the team in both assists and steals at 5.6 assist and 1.3 steal per game averages. The tournament consisted of four teams: the United States, Japan, Australia and Canada. Wallace noted the strengths of Japan while also pointing out the difficulty of defeating Team USA in an interview with baylorbears.com. “Japanese teams can shoot the ball,” Wallace said. “They’re really quick up and down the floor. Obviously American teams are super athletic and hard to guard.” Despite falling 78-60 against Team USA, Wallace scored 11 points while also contributing three assists and three steals for Australia. Through four games, Wallace posted averages of 11 points and three steals a game while starting every game. Brown says international competition has a different feel to it, most notably the officiating, which she favors. “The refs are different,” Brown told baylorbears.com. “They let us play a little bit more. A lot more contact, which is fine by me.” Sophomore guard Natalie Chou, who appeared in all 37 games for the Lady Bears in her freshman season, was invited to tryouts but did not make the final cut. Chou has experience with Team USA winning a gold and silver medal at the 2014 FIBA U18 World Championship and 2015 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship, respectively.
Courtesy of USA Basketball
EYE ON THE PRIZE Baylor junior center Kalani Brown battles for post position in a tournament game against Canada on Aug. 13. Brown finished with six points as the U.S. won 107-61.
Courtesy of USA Basketball
BREAKTHROUGH Representing Australia, Baylor senior guard Kristy Wallace defends Kelsey Mitchell of the United States on Aug. 12. Wallace finished with 11 points in a 78-60 loss to the U.S.
INJURIES from Page C1 and leadership; something McGuyre sees as imperative to maintaining his team’s success. “We always say the best leaders are the biggest servants,” McGuyre said. “We are training for a National Championship today and the point of power is always in the present and you can’t get stuck in the past. We need mind, body and spirit
to be together as one in the present.” Now that the 2017 season under way and inching closer to the Aug. 25 opener against Florida State, the weight of heavier expectations will be a very real obstacle that Baylor Volleyball must overcome. For the Bears, who return 14 members
from its 2016 squad, including Fanning, Itiola and Jackson, all of whom are healthy, pressure doesn’t seem to be a concern. It’s all about perspective and for Itiola that perspective is always pointing to something beyond herself and beyond the game. “A successful season is for me being mentally
in it and being a servant to my teammates and making sure that I know that if I give my best for the Lord,” Itiola said. “Making sure that in everything I do I give glory to God.” Baylor will host Florida State at 7 p.m. on Aug. 25 in the opening round of the Hampton Inn & Suite Waco North Baylor Invitational.
Monday, August 21, 2017 The Baylor Lariat
Congratulations Official Baylor University Ring Recipients! The Official Baylor University Ring is a visible symbol of a graduate’s affiliation with other members of the Baylor family and demonstrates, wherever it is worn, a lifelong link with the University. The students listed below are the latest group that were presented with their rings during the Spring ring ceremony in May. Congratulations! AARON ALEXANDER AARON HERNANDEZ ADAM SULAK ADDISON TENORIO ADETOLA OLATUNDE ADORA CHOQUETTE ADRIAN ORTIZ ADRIANNA MARTIN ALANA SANTOS ALEXANDRA SOLIS ALEXIS CASE ALEXYS URESTI ALINA ZIA ALONZO OVALLE ALYCIA CASTLEMAN ALYSSA QUINTANILLA ANDREA OLIVEIRA ANDREA TORRES ANNA CRAIG ANNETTE CHRISTIE ANNIE MATHIS ANTHONY TAYLOR ASHLEE CONTRERAS ASHLEY LAMAR ASHLEY ZAPATA AUSTIN CLARK AVALON STUTZMAN BRANDON NATH BRENNA MCCONNIEL BRENNAN SMITH BRIAN BOWDEN BRIANNA JONES BRIANNA LEWIS BRICE BOREN BRITTANY KAUFFMAN BROCK BARTLEY BRYAN GRANHOLD CAITLYN RUSH CALEB ABERNATHY CALEB BARDIN CALLEIGH SWIFT CALLIE EASLEY CARLY LATHAM CAROL BIANCA CARTER BARKE CASSIDY MCCOY CHAD CARR CHAD RIZENBERGS CHARLOTTE WESTON CHARLZ BISONG CHASE HOOVER CHASE SEPULVADOR CHEN CHEN CHEYANNE EISENMANN CHRISTIAN DIRUGGIERO CHRISTIAN SIMPSON CHRISTIAN SIMPSON CHRISTIE WOODROOF CHRISTINA BURTON CHRISTINA DELGADO CLARISSA REICHERT
CODY FRICKE CODY HUMPHREY CODY ZIMMERMAN CONNOR WALSH CONNOR WOODRUFF COURTNEY BOLIN CRISTIAN ZARATE CRISTINA DE LEON D’ARJAN MAYA DAVID JUVERA DAVIS PAYNE DEIDRE MARTINEZ DESHON JONES DUKE DIZDAR DUSTIN JAOUDE DYLAN BRIDWELL DYLAN KIRBY DYLAN KREIS EDUARDO CERVANTES ELIJAH MARTINEZ ELISABETH JARVIS ELLIOT LEE EMILY CINNAMON EMILY DAVID EMILY KLOTZBACH EMMA FOX ENRIQUE PEREZ ERICA TORRES ERIN HORNE ETHEN MENELEY EZRA ZEPEDA FELICIA AVANT GABRIEL HILBIG GARRETT COX GAVAN HUNT GAVIN RODGER GAVIN VANDERHIDER GENNESIS GONZALEZ GEORGE PATHOS GRACIE DAVIS GREGORY POPE II HANNAH BECKER HANNAH LESTER HANNAH OWEN HEATHER TROTTER HENRY HARRISON HENRY SMITH HOLLY HERALD HUNTER ANDERSON IAN GOMEZ ISSAC ACOSTA JACK PETERSON JACKSON HENRY JACOB CEDILLO JAKE DODDS JAMES CLYNES JAMES EHLINGER JAMES ELIZONDO JAMES LITTLE JAMES SAUL JAMES WADKINS
JAMES WHITEHEAD JAMIE ROBERMAN JAN DODD JASMIN SHEAD JEFFREY WRIGHT JENNA HAMPTON JENNA TEXEIRA JENNIFER FISHER JENNIFER MCCALL JENNY TROILO JESSICA BRAUN JILL ELOLF JIMMY SANDERS JOCELYNE FLORES JOE HEINEMAN JOEY DENAHY JOHN PAYNE JORDAN SMITH JOSEPH JOHNSTON JOSEPH NIECE JOSEPH PROCTOR JOSHUA ROBERTSON JOSHUA WOFFORD JUAN CABRERA JULIE NELSON JULIE SWANK KACEY FILBERT KARINA ROMERO KARLIE DUHE KATHERINE KARTMAN KATHERINE SPITZNAGEL KATHRYN MYERS KATIE MCBEE KATY CHURCHWELL KAYLA KIGGS KAYLIN CAMPBELL KEITH ALLAN KELLY HARRIS KELSEY DOSSER KELSEY KIPP KIRSTEN KLEIN KRISTIN CROFFORD KRISTOFER STOBBE KRYSTIN KIESLING KYLE WILSON LANA MADI LANDON MAGEE LAUREN SANFORD LEON MOQUIN LINDSAY FIRST LOGAN ANDERSON LOISA PEREZ LORENA YZAGUIRRE LUCAS CHIPMAN LUCAS KAY LUCAS MCCUTCHEN LUIS OCHOA LUKE CAMARILLO LYDIA PRINCE MADELINE SULLIVAN MADELYNN LEE
MADISON LOHR MAGHAN BUCHANAN MARC ABULOL MARCOS GUZMAN MARISSA GARCIA MATTHEW GRAFF MATTHEW LAUTNER MATTHEW LOPEZ MATTHEW OLIVER MATTHEW OWEN MATTHEW ROSA MATTHEW WILLIAMS MAYRA FRANCO MEGAN DAVIS MEGAN MCALLISTER MEGAN MCCASLAND MELANIE DAMME MELISSA JOHNSON MELISSA LOUNSBURY MERRICK LUCAS MICAELA ANDERSON MICHAEL GONZALES MICHAEL HERNANDEZ MICHAEL LYONS MICHAEL SKARKE MICHAEL WADE MICHAELA EASON MICHELLE CARO MJACOB MORGAN MOLLY HENNESSY MONIQUE WILLIAMS MORGAN WESEMANN NARAH RAMIREZ NATALIE GARCIA NATHAN AGNEW NATHAN KHAODEVANEPHENG NATHAN LING NICHOLAS COKER NICHOLAS COX NICHOLAS FAZZINO NICOLE MCDANIEL NOAH GARCIA PABLO GONZALEZ PAOLA GUEVARA PASCUAL MUÑOZ PATRICK HALL PATRICK JAECKLE PATRICK LAWRENCE PRESTON PAUL PRESTON STANDERFER PRISCILA SUASTEGUI RACHEL HANSEN RACHEL MURPHY RACHEL RISK RAPHAEL RAGANIT REBECCA MACNAIR REBECCA MUNROE REBECCA PEREZ REBECCA RAMDASS REED NELSON REED RIGHTMER
RICARDO ACEVES RICHARD CORLEY RICHARD MIRANDA ROBERT HIGNOJOS RYAN BOYETTE RYAN FINLEY RYAN SNITZER RYAN WEAVER SAGE ANDRESS SAMANTHA BAYLISS SAMANTHA HERMAN SARAH HOLEVINSKI SAVANNA TAYLOR SCOTT BANCALE SERGIO ALCANTAR SHANIYA WARD SHANNON MARTIN SHAUNA MORGAN SHAYNA BETTINGER SHIHAO ZHOU SKYLAR CONTE SPENCER PIRNIK STEPHEN BULEY STEPHEN HUMENESKY STEPHEN RAHIMIAN STHEPEN MARTONE SYDNEY CRAVIN TANNER VOLPE TARA MYERS TAYLOR BRADSHAW TAYLOR NESBIT TAYLOR VASEK THOMAS COKER THOMAS GRAUNKE THOMAS MIX TIFFENEE NAGY TIMOTHY LEE TIMOTHY ROGERS TRAVIS BALL TRAVIS GROSSCOPE TREVOR ARMSTRONG TREY CAMBERE TY TAMLYN TYLER COX TYLER HOFFMAN TYLER NEUFER TYLER WATSON VALERIA RIVERA VALERIE HERNANDEZ VICENTE CHAVEZ VICTORIA ADAMS VICTORIA ELLISON VICTORIA RICHESON WARREN HUGHES WESLEY HILL WILL GOBER WILLIAM BOREN WILLIAM GOODRICH
“God Bless Baylor and all who wear her ring.” FALL RING WEEK Any student with 75+ semester hours is eligible to take part in the Official Baylor University Ring tradition. Order now to ensure ceremony delivery and special presentation. Only the Official Baylor Rings purchased during Ring Week will be presented at the ceremony.
Monday, September 25 - Thursday, September 28 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Bill Daniel Student Center For more information go to balfour.com/baylor or call 1-866-225-3687. ©Balfour 1970–2017, all rights reserved.
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Monday, August 21, 2017 The Baylor Lariat
Monday, August 21, 2017 The Baylor Lariat
Rhule focused on long term success
QB from Page C1
Baylor football prepares for 2017 season under new leadership of Matt Rhule NATHAN KEIL Sports Editor Head coach Matt Rhule hopes that a change in culture will breed success on and off the football field. Head football coach Matt Rhule was introduced on Dec. 7 as the long-term solution for Baylor football following a tumultuous eight months for not only the program, but also for the university. In that time, Rhule has been doing everything in his power not to run from the past, but to acknowledge it and try to steer the program and university towards a brighter future. “We’re not running from the past, we’re learning from it,” Rhule said at Big 12 Media Day on July 19. “Whether it’s [President] Dr. Livingstone or [Athletic Director] Mack Rhodes, we are truly committed to getting the wrongs of the past corrected into a bright new future.” As Rhule and the Bears are in the middle of camp and practices leading up to their Sept. 2 opener against Liberty University, Rhule still faces a number of important questions about the season that acting head coach Jim Grobe didn’t have to deal with in 2016. In 2016, Grobe had senior quarterback Seth Russell taking all the snaps under center and from the shotgun position. Rule has three players fighting for the spot: sophomore Zach Smith, who started the final four games for the Bears last season, senior Arizona transfer Anu Solomon and freshman Charlie Brewer, an Austin product that Rhule recruited himself once he arrived in Waco. But for Rhule and the coaching staff, especially co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Glenn Thomas, competition is good for the team and it forces everyone involved to be at their best each day. “It keeps everybody on their toes,” Thomas said. “You can’t have a day where you’re not your sharpest, where you’re not studying, where you’re not out early preparing.” Regardless of who earns the starting spot, the offense is going to look different than it has in the past, with some games favoring the running game and others looking to exploit matchups through the passing game. Smith, who is hoping that his four-game audition last season and his work during spring practice and camp will get him the nod, says that even though the offensive attack will be more balanced than in past seasons, it is still dynamic and capable of lighting up the scoreboard. “We’re a balanced team and we can do a lot of stuff,” Smith said. “We have athleticism to do a lot of things. We can spread it out, we can pound the ball and I’m just excited to see where we go.” Rhule will need to surround his quarterback with playmakers both in the backfield and on the perimeter. Offensive coordinator Jeff Nixon said that it might not be one guy getting all the carries, but it’ll be running back by committee. Sophomore JaMychal Hasty will be the starter after Rhule confirmed a shoulder injury to junior Terence Williams that could keep him on the sidelines until Big 12 play. Williams led the team in rushing a year ago with 1,048 yards and 11 touchdowns. Even with Williams out, Hasty is certainly capable of carrying the load, rushing for 623 yards and three touchdowns in 2016. On the outside at the receiver position, Rhule has to replace the top two targets from last season: KD Cannon and Ishmael Zamora who both bolted early for the NFL. Junior Chris Platt and sophomores Blake Lynch and Pooh Stricklin all return after combining for nine touchdowns in 2016, but Rhule will look to sophomores Tony Nicholson, who saw most of his playing time returning kicks and Denzel Mims to contribute to the receiving corps as well.
PAR Austin sophomore Cooper Dossey watches his ball as it sails over a sandbank during a match.
Jessica Hubble | Lariat Photographer
GETTING READY Baylor football had one of its last practices of the summer Wednesday. Senior tight end Ishmail Wainright tackles senior linebacker Eric Ogor during practice as senior safety Chance Waz swoops in to help.
Not only is the offensive scheme changing under Rhule, but so is the defense. However, Rhule and defensive coordinator Phil Snow have some of the cornerstone pieces returning in senior defensive end K.J. Smith, as well as fellow seniors outside linebacker Taylor Young and strong safety Davion Hall. The scheme is new but Young is embracing every detail of it. “It’s a more detailed scheme,” Young said. “Every check has five different checks. Other offenses are going to have to scheme on us instead of us scheming on them because we have so many different defenses.”
Changes in scheme are to be expected when an entirely new coaching staff is in place. With change comes a learning curve, and that change can sometimes come at the expense of wins on Saturdays. However, Rhule is not going light on his expectations of the program. He expects to win but he also expects the men who suit up in the green and gold each Saturday to leave with more than just championships. “In terms of the football program, we’re trying to build a program, not a team. We’re building a culture, not an attitude. We’re building young men of character,” Rhule said. “Success is winning
football games and winning championships. It’s also graduating our young men and making sure they know what it means to be a man when they leave.” The culture may be changing and the atmosphere slightly different, but it is still football and that has Hasty and the Bears ready to get back to work. “Everyone is excited. You can feel the atmosphere,” Hasty said. “It’s going to be an exciting season. I’m looking forward to it.” Baylor will open at 6 p.m. Sept. 2 against Liberty University at McLane Stadium.
Jessica Hubble | Lariat Photographer
Baylor golf looking for championship COLLIN BRYANT Sports Writer Baylor men’s golf program is poised to excel once again. Golf is a game with ups and downs. One minute you can be planning a mental victory, the next, you’re trying to figure out how you blew an outright lead. The Baylor men’s golf team returned to the National Championship for back-to-back years this past season, collapsing in its final match that would have solidified a bid into the Semifinals against the University of Illinois. While ultimately falling short, its run to the NCAA Quarterfinal match against Oklahoma still culminated into the best finish in school history. Headed by Mark McGraw, the team’s third-year head coach, the program has taken off, signing and bringing various players that have fit the system nicely. Sophomore Cooper Dossey, who was slated to play at Texas A&M, made a huge impact this past season, being named a third team All American. Dossey isn’t the only one who nicely contributed to the team last season. Others, such as junior Braden Bailey and senior Matthew Perrine, made equally big impacts, being named to the Honorable Mention AllAmerican team. Though young, the Bears’ starting five appear to be a good balance of experience and young talent. Dossey, who recorded a season stroke average of 71.19, had the third-lowest scoring average in school history. Bailey had a stroke average of 71.70 and played 16 of 37 rounds at par or better. Perinne, since transferring from Auburn following his freshman year, has been a consistent top five player at a stroke average of 71.35. While the team was extremely successful last season, it is looking to improve on its Championships woes. The team tumbled into the clubhouse on the back nine of the quarterfinal, leading at all five spots against Big 12 powerhouse Oklahoma, who ultimately won the coveted title. Oklahoma gained momentum down the stretch and outlasted the Bears. Oklahoma head coach Ryan Hybl said it was his team’s tenacity and holistic approach that made the difference. “Our guys are fighters, they’re grinders. That’s Oklahoma golf,”Hybl said. Oklahoma’s difficult victory over the Bears seemed to propel them to their ultimate championship victory, defeating both Illinois and the defending champion Oregon Ducks. McGraw, who is familiar with
the sometimes-treacherous style of match play, managed to return to the championships for the fifth time in nine years. “We didn’t get the result we wanted and that’s disappointing,” McGraw said. While McGraw mirrored the disappointment of the team, the Bears are resilient and will be looking to take home the trophy this season. Since McGraw took over, Baylor has improved each year, inching closer and closer to the title that every Division One program starts its year hoping to play for and win. Baylor’s success and recruiting class has not only shown McGraw to be a coach people want to play for, but also a guy who can bring the best out of good players. McGraw recently announced Baylor’s upcoming schedule, taking the Bears all over the country, with a pit stop across the border. Baylor will participate in events in Illinois, Arizona, Minnesota, Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma and Los Cabos, Mexico. McGraw and his squad are hoping to return to the National Championship for a third consecutive season, a feat that has never been accomplished at Baylor University. They hope to repeat their 2014 success at the Gopher invitational where they claimed the title. The Bears will then head to the Fighting Illini Invitational at Olympia Fields Country Club, where they will hope to clutch the trophy for the first time. Next, they will head to Alabama, where their best finish is once again a top three. To round out their fall schedule, they will host an event at Royal Oaks Country Club, where they hope to defend home turf against a competitive field. Baylor will play six events during the spring semester to help it prepare for April’s Big 12 Championship at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Bears will also hope to start their championship run during regional qualifying in Texas, Ohio, Florida, California, Oklahoma or North Carolina in March. With McGraw adding a few talented Texas natives, Mark Reppe and Ryan Grider, to his squad, Baylor plans on being poised for anything that comes its way. “I am excited about Ryan and Mark joining the program,” McGraw said in an official press release on Baylorbears.com. “Both have been competitive on a state and national level. More importantly, they are great kids, who will represent Baylor in a very positive way. They believe in what we are building here.”
your sharpest, where you’re not studying, where you’re not out early preparing.” Tension and animosity are expected in competition for a job, but Thomas says all three potential quarterbacks are supportive of each other. “They’re doing well,” Thomas said. “[I’m] extremely proud of them both on and off the field. They’re very supportive of each other. I couldn’t ask for anything more.” Solomon, a graduate transfer from Arizona and native of Kalihi, Hawaii, started three straight years for the Wildcats, totaling 6,922 passing yards and 49 touchdowns. After suffering a knee injury that shortened his season to five games in 2016, Solomon says he is completely healed and ready to compete for the Bears. “I’m very comfortable,” Solomon said. “I feel like Anu Solomon. I’m healed. I’m 100 percent. I’m ready to go.” With three years of playing experience in the PAC-12 conference, Solomon brings veteran leadership and a different perspective to the table. Smith said Solomon’s presence has been helpful to the younger quarterbacks. “I think it helps a lot,” Smith said. “He’s got a lot of wisdom, he’s a great guy and he’s been in a lot of different situations. He’s going to push me and Charlie [Brewer] to be the best quarterbacks we can be.” Smith started the last four games for the Bears in 2016, following an injury to starter Seth Russell. Smith also led the Bears to a 31-12 victory over Boise State in the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl. However, last season, Baylor ran an entirely different offense than the one planned for this season. Smith said the changes to head coach Matt Rhule’s pro-style offense was tough at first, but repetition has helped to get it down. “It was quite the adjustment coming in in the spring,” Smith said. “But now that I’ve got spring under my belt, it’s just kind of rehashing some things that I already learned. I think I’m learning it pretty well.” Meanwhile, Brewer comes in as a true freshman competing right away with the experienced Smith and Solomon. Solomon says Brewer’s talent isn’t in question; he just needs time to develop. “He’s very talented,” Solomon said. “There are a few things he’s getting confused with, but there are going to be some hiccups as a freshman. He’s doing great, though. He looks a lot better than I did as a freshman.” To help ease the process of transitioning to the college level, Brewer arrived in January to assimilate himself with the campus, its practice facilities and to go through spring training with the team. Brewer says being able to learn the playbook in spring helped him immensely. “It helped a lot,” Brewer said. “To get in here learn the playbook with the new staff, get in the weight room with the guys. Getting to go through spring camp and carry what we learned in the offseason to now.” Rather than having each quarterback play with a set group of offensive players, each one has been rotating in with the starters, backups and third strings. Thomas says they want to keep the competition fluid so that each potential candidate gets to practice with the starters. “We’ve been really fluid with the substitution,” Thomas said. “They’ve been receptive of that and I think each of them is striving in their own way.” Thomas says the most important things he’s looking for in a starting quarterback are the ability make plays and read the defense. “At the end of the day you have to make plays,” Thomas said. “Leading the offense, converting, recognize what’s happening and taking what the defense gives you.” Baylor opens the season at 6 p.m. Sept. 9 at McLane Stadium against Liberty University.
from Page C1 Spain for two years after going undrafted in 2015. O’Neale will join Udoh on the Jazz after signing his first NBA contract, a 3-year, $3.8 million deal. Udoh says he is looking forward to playing with O’Neale in Utah and hopes to help him improve his game. “He’s a tough-nosed kid, ready to work, and I’m excited that we’ve got two Baylor Bears on the same team,” Udoh told Deseret News. “I know he’s going to be ready. It’s a great opportunity for him. Now we’ve just got to continue to get better. That’s really the key in the NBA.” The trio joins Taurean Prince of the Atlanta Hawks and Quincy Acy of the Brooklyn Nets as former Baylor stars currently in the NBA.
Monday, August 21, 2017 The Baylor Lariat
Langeliers shines in Cape Cod summer league NATHAN KEIL Sports Editor Sophomore Catcher Shea Langeliers is already one of the best in the country. That isn’t good enough for him. In order to continue to develop as a player, he had to venture to the top summer baseball league in the country, the Cape Cod Baseball League. As a freshman, he played a crucial role in helping lead Baylor back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012, while earning both Big-12 Second Team and Freshman All-American honors. Langeliers found himself near the top in all offensive categories for head coach Steve Rodriguez and the Bears. He finished second in average at .313, second in home runs with 10 and RBIs with 38, but led the team in hits and runs with 66 and 43 respectively, all while adjusting to Division I arms and managing the Baylor pitching staff. For Rodriguez and his teammates, the amount of success he had on the field it didn’t come as a shock. In fact, they expected it from him. “You never really know what’s going to happen when you get freshmen in here. Sometimes they really blossom and flourish like Shea did and sometimes it takes a year or two to adjust to Big 12 baseball,” Rodriguez said. “Shea did a phenomenal job adjusting quickly. I think everyone knew right away once we saw him work out that he was going to be something special.” Langeliers said he has always held himself to the highest standard when it comes to performance, but it isn’t his numbers that signify his success but the leadership surrounding him that helped him get comfortable at the plate and behind the plate for the Bears. “I knew it would be tough but I had high expectations for myself. I expected to do well, but wasn’t sure how well I would do. I was just trying to help the team win,” Langeliers said. “It was an awesome freshman year at Baylor being a part of that team. We had a lot of guys that took us younger guys under their wing. They were always watching over us, leading the way.”
Courtesy of Kerry Sheehan-Delany
SWINGING FOR THE FENCES Sophomore catcher Shea Langeliers takes a swing in a Cape Cod Baseball League game against the Harwich Mariners
But one great freshman season at Baylor wasn’t enough for Langeliers. Instead of sitting back and admiring his growing list of accolades, he trusted the development process that assistant coach Jon Strauss had been working on since the fall by accepting a roster spot with the Chatham Anglers of the Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL). The CCBL is one of the premier amateur baseball leagues in the country, providing some of the NCAA’s finest baseball players the opportunity to compete against one another in a 44-game regular season followed by three separate playoff series over the course of the summer. Cape Cod has helped to produce more than 297 current players in the Major Leagues as well as numerous Hall of Famers in its 132 seasons of competition, according to its official website. Langeliers hopes to be a name that gets added to that list over time. In order to do so, it meant making the most of the experience and embracing the challenges that follow competing at such a high level, including understanding where he needs to improve and not being afraid to be a vocal leader on the diamond.
“The competition is tough. You’re playing the best guys every night. From a hitting standpoint, it’s been pretty mentally tough but I’ve been learning a lot and trying to get better every day,” Langeliers said. “For me, I’ve needed to get to know my pitchers and not be afraid to get on some of the guys. Pitchers will listen
to me more than they will some of the coaches and I feel like I’ve been doing better and getting more comfortable doing so. I need to know how to control the pitching staff and how to control the situation when they’re missing the zone.” Similar to his start in the spring, Langeliers jumped out to a fast start this summer for the Anglers, collecting hits in each of his first nine games, including a two-home-run, five-RBI performance in an 8-5 loss to the Hyannis Harbor Hawks on Jun. 25 en route to a Cape Cod AllStar Selection. In 34 games for the Anglers, Langeliers hit .234 with 30 hits in 128 at bats, including eight doubles, two triples, and six home runs while driving in 21 runs. With the high level of competition and the slightly more laid-back approach to summer ball, Langeliers has had the opportunity to continue to improve his already fine-tuned game. For him, it has been able to use and hit all sides of the field. “The coaches said I could probably use the whole field more, so I started working on hitting the ball to the right side,” Langeliers said. “I’ve been working on it and feel like I’ve been doing better and using it more comfortably. According to his spray chart, a
tool used to measure and account for where each player hits the ball during of their at bats, Langeliers’ hard work has paid off, as five of his 30 hits have been to right or right center field, including two home runs. After adding a successful summer league season to his resume, the expectations will be higher on him as he enters his sophomore season at Baylor. Being able to manage them is something that Rodriguez knows he has to do. “The biggest thing for him is to not try to outdo what he did last year,” Rodriguez said. “You just to make sure you’re continuing to be a good baseball player and learning some of the smaller things.” As Langeliers returns for his sophomore campaign, it once again isn’t about the numbers, but about the leadership of the guys on the team, and this year, that means him. “It’s been great seeing the best pitching there is. When I get back, I’ll be comfortable in the box because I’ve been there and done that and I can just go out there and hit,” Langeliers said. “But having struggled here and having to mature mentally, when I come back and I see others struggling, I want to help pick other guys up.”
Jessica Hubble | Lariat Photographer
Monday, August 21, 2017 The Baylor Lariat
Sports Take: High expectations for Matt Rhule era COLLIN BRYANT Sports Writer Canadian actress Mary Pickford once said, “Failure is not falling down, it is not getting up again.” While Pickford was not an athlete, the meaning behind the quote remains true. Even more true for Baylor football, which was less than ideal last season. The program, since its glorious run with Robert Griffin III in 2011, has been consistently plagued with flaws regarding Title IX. These Issues have taken a toll on the image and success of the program, supported by the declining trend in the record of the Bears. Baylor football has seen its beloved coach Art Briles fired and replaced by interim head coach Jim Grobe who was seemingly brought in as a temporary fix. Now, the new coach from Temple University, Matt Rhule, is extremely ambitious and positive of the direction this program is going in. Finally, a fresh take and fresh face who has not made promises of taking the program to the Promised Land, but has made very clear that his aspirations are to eventually take this team to the College Football Playoff. Walking in to a difficult situation, Rhule, like many of the other new football personnel, seem to be excited and ready to attack everything they have walked into. Baylor had a less than stellar season in 2016, barely keeping their record above .500. With a record of 7-6, they managed to cap off a rocky middle of the season with a 31-12 victory over Boise State in the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl. With the No. 39 ranked recruiting class, many people are skeptical of Baylor’s upcoming season. The Bears managed to have many games last year that in theory they seemed to have in the bag, only to be stunningly disappointed by the opposing team. Starting with its first loss to Texas, 35-34 in the final seconds, Baylor seemed to have its bubble popped and was brought back down to the reality of its very shaky state. After this loss, like pulling the wrong block out of a Jenga stack, everything came crashing down. The Bears lost five straight games to TCU, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Texas Tech and West Virginia. Many are afraid that the rebuilding Bears will get off to a quick start against less than allstar teams like previously done in the past era of the program, only to crumble when they get to conference play.
However, Coach Rhule is not hiding behind any mask regarding mistakes the program has made. “That which we don’t acknowledge, we’re doomed to repeat,” Rhule said at Big 12 Media Day in July. “So, at the end of the day, I don’t know everything that happened, but I just know something happened that was wrong.” Rhule has not tried to sugarcoat anything during his transition, acknowledging the fact that there truly were issues in the program that needed to be addressed. He merely has asked for the fair opportunity his predecessors received, while trying to bring back a team that was once considered a top contender not so long ago. The questions everyone seems to be asking are, what are the real expectations for Baylor this season? Based upon all the skepticism and another coaching change, is Baylor a Big 12 or national contender? Can Matt Rhule really turn things around? Personally, I think he can. Rhule is a young and hungry coach with the reins to a rebuilding oriented team, who verbally has accepted the challenge. Will we win the Big 12 or College Football Playoff championship? That remains to be seen, but at bare minimum I believe we will improve our team and conference record, culminating with a bowl win, as we did last year in the midst of a troubled season. Everyone is extremely excited to see if this program can not only return to its recent glory, but if it can push further and bring home not only a Big 12 championship, but a College Football Playoff championship as well. One thing everyone should remember, regardless of their opinion is every team starts 0-0, and every team has an opportunity to rise from the ashes.
LIVE RADIO The Lariat will once again be broadcasting live radio play-by-play. Listen in to Thomas Mott and Jakob Brandenburg as they call Baylor football games this fall. Ways to listen live:
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The award-winning radio show and podcast returns to airwaves beginning tonight at 6:30 p.m. Join Thomas Mott and Jakob Brandenburg every Monday night as they take a closer look at the Baylor quarterback battle, the NFC East division in the NFL and the Ezekiel Elliott Suspension and what that means for the Cowboys this season. Listeners can tweet in your questions to @realthomasmott and @jpbburg77.
Monday, August 21, 2017 The Baylor Lariat
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