Big 12: Perry Jones III

Briles loving Baylor's hoops success

March, 20, 2012
WACO, Texas -- Baylor's football team enjoyed its second 10-win season in school history, but it also boasts two basketball teams in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, too, after a pair of wins over the weekend.

Add all that up, and Baylor's got an athletic director in contention for the Sports Business Journal's Athletic Director of the Year, too.

It's a banner year in Waco.

"I don’t know how you say Day of the Bear, what is it, 'Dia De Oso?' But how do you say year? That’s what we need to learn how to say," Briles joked before Monday's practice.

Aņo de la Oso indeed. This has been the Year of the Bear in college sports. The Bears are in the beginning stages of getting fundraising for a new stadium they hope opens in 2014 and couldn't ask for a better team.

It's not every year you have a reigning Heisman winner roaming campus. Before December, it wasn't any year.

But it's March, and Briles is enjoying the ride the hoops teams are taking the Baylor community on for the last week and beyond.

Coach Kim Mulkey and superstar Brittney Griner has the Lady Bears undefeated and the favorites to win their first national title since 2005.

The men's team advanced to a second consecutive Sweet 16 and played in the Big 12 Championship game last week, boasting a star of their own in Perry Jones III who'll be a likely lottery pick in this summer's NBA Draft.

"It’s amazing. They’re doing an outstanding job. Both teams look focused and energized. It’s terrific," he said. "It’s been a lot of fun, we’ve got to keep it going."

Is Briles watching?

"Shoot, yeah," he said. "We’ve all got the same first name, and that’s Baylor. So, we’re all just happy for what’s going on. It’s great for our university and great for the individual programs that are playing ball."

These are new days at Baylor

December, 1, 2011
Grantland's Derek Haas went to Baylor and is a Baylor fan. It's ... well, it's been a rough run in Bear Country for quite some time.

Not anymore.

The Bears' trio of coaches -- Art Briles, Scott Drew and Kim Mulkey -- have finally paired with a trio of players -- Robert Griffin III, Perry Jones III and Brittney Griner -- and ushered in a new era of Baylor athletics.

Haas can finally be proud to be a Baylor fan.
When you turned on ESPN or cracked Sports Illustrated, you would flinch like a battered spouse. Locked in the basement of the Big 12 South, Baylor became the school other teams clamored to schedule for our homecoming. Teams would hang half-a-hundred on us and it would hurt their rankings. We were Boo Radley, except none of the neighborhood kids were scared to run on to our porch. ...

No one told them they had to remain the Big 12’s doormat. No one told them recruits wouldn’t come to Waco, Texas. No one told them Baylor was the perennial punch line to a stale joke.

Or maybe they did. These three just refused to laugh.

Good stuff from a voice inside a fanbase that's riding high entering Saturday's game against Texas. Check out the full story.