LADY BEARS PREVIEW: New year, new look

Lady Bears center Kalani Brown (21) celebrates after the game against the Texas Longhorns during the Women's Big 12 Conference Tournament at Chesapeake Energy Arena.Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports


Baylor won 30 consecutive games last season, but it ended sooner than the Lady Bears wanted when Oregon State defeated them in the Sweet 16.

Now Baylor will take another shot at reaching the Final Four with the nation’s top recruiting class ready to rock. New Lady Bears Honesty Scott-Grayson, NaLyssa Smith, Aquira DeCosta, Queen Egbo and Caitlin Bickle were all ranked among the nation’s top 30 prospects and they’re likely to make an immediate impact.

Smith came up big with 23 points and 13 rebounds in Baylor’s easy exhibition win last week. The whole group of freshmen, plus grad transfer Chloe Jackson are likely to give the Lady Bears new energy this season.

2017-18 RECORD/RESULT: 33-2. Lost to Oregon State in the Sweet 16.


Returners: Juicy Landrum, DiDi Richards, Trinity Oliver, Moon Ursin. Newcomers: Honesty Scott-Grayson, Chloe Jackson. Outlook: Kristy Wallace graduated and Alexis Morris left the team before this season started, causing a void in the backcourt. But Juicy Landrum played valuable minutes last season and Scott-Grayson and Jackson are likely to play major roles in the guard rotation.


Returners: Lauren Cox, Kalani Brown. Newcomers: NaLyssa Smith, Aquira DeCosta, Queen Egbo, Caitlin Bickle. Outlook: Brown and Cox are already big-time college players and the four freshman will give Baylor a fearsome interior game.

BEST NONCONFERENCE GAME: UConn, January 3 in Waco.