Scott Drew is the most underrated coach in college basketball

Profile Picture: Nick Roush

January 16th, 2020

In a wildly inconsistent college basketball season, Scott Drew and the Baylor Bears might be the closest thing to a sure thing.

The son of longtime Valparaiso coach Homer Drew and the older brother of Bryce Drew (the former Vanderbilt head coach), Scott Drew has never been praised as a basketball mastermind during his 17-year stint in Waco. An excellent recruiter, pundits and peers have often questioned why he never did more with all of that talent. Drew heard the noise.

“I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me,” Drew told Jeff Goodman earlier this year. “We’re all human.”

The Bears have been a model of consistency under Drew

Baylor is one of just six Power Five programs that has won 18 games or more in each of the last 12 seasons. The criticism steams from the Bears' inability to advance in March. They've made the Sweet 16 just four times and the Eight Eight twice in that time period. Those numbers may grow this year.

Baylor turned heads by beating Kansas

Baylor is currently projected to be a No. 1 seed by ESPN’s Joe Lunardi. The second-ranked team in America just went on the road and beat the Kansas Jayhawks (and three officials) at Allen Fieldhouse. That win came three days after the Bears traveled to Lubbock and took down Texas Tech.

Baylor also boasts wins over Villanova, Arizona, and Butler. Nobody has a better NCAA Tournament résumé than Baylor.

The Bears are getting by without top talent

This year’s team is debunking all of the Scott Drew myths by defeating good teams in close games without top talent.

Jared Butler, the team’s leading scorer (16.7 points per game), was not a top 75 recruit. The only other Bear averaging in double figures, MaCio Teague, is a UNC-Asheville transfer. The scoring is spread evenly throughout the team, while the defense grinds out wins.

Baylor has been stingy on D

Baylor is currently ranked third in the KenPom ratings and fourth in adjusted defensive efficiency. Opponents are scoring only 58.1 points a game, which ranks sixth in the country. The Bears are one of the 10 best teams in the country at defending two-point shots and are forcing just a hair less than 16 turnovers a game.

Some would say Scott Drew has a good team. Good teams win. Great teams cover. Currently 9-5 against the spread, the Bears have covered in three straight games. They are are well on their way to becoming a great team, if Drew can keep them locked in defensively when postseason play begins. Selection Sunday is less than 60 days away.

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