Baylor MBB Signs James Akinjo and Dale Bonner

James Akinjo and Dale Bonner

The 2021 National Champion Baylor Men’s Basketball team is losing quite a few of their immensely talented athletes and even with the No. 1 recruiting class in the country joining the Bears, it was imperative that head coach Scott Drew find eager and capable replacements this offseason. Baylor had the best 3 point shooting percentage in the country with 6 players shooting over 40% and 2 others at 39.5%. The Bears’ average 3 point percentage this past season was 41.3% (299-724) and the next highest team percentage was 40.39% (185-458) from South Dakota State. Losing National Defensive Player of the Year Davion Mitchell, Big 12 Player of the Year Jared Butler, and All-Big 12 Second and Third Team pick MaCio Teague to the 2021 NBA Draft will undoubtedly hurt Baylor in upcoming seasons, so Coach Drew’s recruitment of transfers is unsurprising. The Bears over the past week signed All-Pac 12 G James Akinjo and G Dale Bonner to scholarships. Coach Drew’s five most impactful players last season were all transfers, so it will be exciting to see how he develops Akinjo and Bonner at the stage they’re currently in. Akinjo is coming (going? Why do I write like I’m currently in Texas?) to Waco from Arizona after his third year of eligibility. He played his first two years at Georgetown before transferring to the Wildcats and then to Baylor for this upcoming season and with two years left. According to Baylor Athletics’ Jerry Hill (papa), Akinjo earned “All-Pac 12 First Team honors after leading the Wildcats to a 17-9 record. He ranked second in the Pac-12 in assists per game (5.4), 11th in points per game (15.6), seventh in 3-point percentage (.408), fifth in 3-pointers made per game (2.0), fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.35), ninth in free throw percentage (.819), seventh in steals per game (1.4) and third in minutes per game (34.9).” When he was at Georgetown, Akinjo was named “2019 Big East Freshman of the Year and selected to the Big East All-Freshman Team.” Bonner just signed with Baylor yesterday from Fairmont State where he just completed his second season. In his Baylor Athletics’ article, Bonner “led Fairmont State in scoring in both seasons, averaging 17.8 points per game in 30 games as a freshman in 2019-20 and 21.2 points per game in 20 games as a sophomore in 2020-21.” Bonner led the team in assists and shot 40.4% (84-208) of his 3s. Although the Bears lost a lot of irreplaceable talent, they’re gaining some incredible athletes!

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