Missouri, Kansas State, Baylor are three teams you need to know. The tree teams have gained so much love and respect in the latest College Basketball Associate pre-season polls.
In the ESPN.Com latest Pre-Season top 25. The Baylor Bears are ranked number four followed by Kansas State at five, and The Missouri Tigers coming in at number 14! And to think where these three teams were before? Your about to learn.
The Baylor Bears, Congrats! The Bears are running wild in Waco. In the early 2000 season, the Baylor Bear mens basketball teams were very close to not having a mens basketball team. The men's basketball program was troubled by scandal in 2003. Patrick Dennehy a player for the team, was murdered by a former player teammate when then coach Dave Bliss was forced to resign amidst allegations that he had made improper financial payments to players and planned to cover his actions by characterizing Dennehy as a drug dealer. The school placed itself on probation, limited itself to 7 scholarships for two years and imposed a post-season ban for one year. Additionally, the NCAA further punished the team by inforcing a non-conference ban for the 2005-2006 season and extending the probationary period during which the school would have limited recruiting privileges. After that had all occured, fans thought baylor was doomed. But not untill Coach Scott Drew took over. Drew took over a program left in a shambles as a result of the scandal. Besides losing most of its top players, the program was put on probation until 2010, and had paid scholarships and paid recruiting visits reduced until 2007. Post season play was also cancelled for the 2003-2004 season, and only conference games were permitted for the 2005-2006 season. With these handicaps, Drew led the Bears to an 8-21 record in the 2003-2004 season, 9-19 in the 2004-2005 season, and 4-13 in the conference-only 2005-2006 season. After thier third straight 20 win season Drew in currently a hero in Waco. Now going into his 8th season as the Bears coach, he is looking up and should be named one of the best coaches in this decade for what he's done. Now the bears are locked into a top 4 ranking and ready to roll.
The Missouri tigers, like the bears have also came a long way. After Back to Back to Back NCAA tournament appearances in the early 2000's. Missouri recruited a kid by the name of Ricky Clemons. After one year in a Missouri uniform, Clemons was put into jail for assulting his girlfriend and recieving money while attending the Unniversity of Missouri and later put on probation until June 12, 2005, after pleading guilty to charges of false imprisonment and third-degree domestic assault in a January 2003 incident involving former girlfriend, Jessica Bunge. She accused Clemons of choking her and holding her against her will at his apartment in Columbia. In 2005 Snyder resigned as the Missouris mens basketball coach. His resignation led to a prolonged controversy over the actions of Athletic Director Mike Alden's handling of the dismissal due to giving money to other players. Than Missouri fans didnt know if they would be a program again. Untill Mike Anderson was hired at Missouri. After two years of a rough Missouri coaching career, Anderson showed Missouri fans exactly what he promised. Taking Missouri to a 31-7 years, winning the Big 12 tournament title and reaching the NCAA Elite Eight. Now with the tigers impressive 2010 recruiting the tigers have reached their way up to #14 in the ESPN pre-season polls. The best in 10 years.
Kansas State has also came a ways. After the program damage the former coach Jim woolridge left, Kansas State fans were left in fright. Wondering who would come a long and turn this prgram around? Than came Bob Huggins, who left after one year of taking the Kansas State mens basketball team to their first NCAA tournament in 5 years. Than came the wild man of Frnak Martin and it did not take him long to establish the Kansas State program. After one year of leading the wildcat team to the NIT, Martin took the cats back to the tournament, except this time it would not be a let down. The NCAA Tourmament where the cats were knocked out in the Elite Eight. After pulling in one of the top classes, Kansas State is back into the Top 5 in a long time.
Big 12 fans should be glad to see Baylor basketball turned back around from what it use to be. The bears are running wild in Waco. To see Missouri as well, when they use to be in so much pain. Seeing these two teams improve from where they were is good to see. Along with what Martin is doing at Kansas State. Its neat to see Kansas State, Baylor, Missouri all back in the top 25. Instead of the same ole Kansas, Texas,Oklahoma State, Texas A&M. Seeing new teams in their is a great eye and hope that they excite some Big 12 Basketball this year, which I belive they will!