Baylor MBB Troika Collect 2023 Preseason All-Big 12 Honors

Baylor MBB trio collect preseason honors

Last year the Baylor Men’s Basketball squad had a trio of athletes earning preseason All-Big 12 accolades (remember our dearly departed Gs Adam Flagler, Keyonte George, and LJ Cryer?), and the same tradition continues as a 2023-24 troika collect preseason honors for themselves as well! The conference’s head coaches all vote on the All-Big 12 teams with each coach forbidden from voting for their own athlete. This season’s trio features two fresh and one familiar face who collect a spot on the preseason teams: freshman G Ja’Kobe Walter, senior G RayJ Dennis, and senior F Jalen Bridges with all three making it on the 2023-24 All-Big 12 Preseason Honorable Mention list. Walter was also named Preseason Big 12 Freshman of the Year as the Bears’ third consecutive preseason freshman of the year pick following former G Keyonte George (2022-23) and F Kendall Brown (2021-22). According to Baylor Athletics’ Jerry Hill (papa), “The Bears and Kansas Jayhawks are the only teams in league history to have the preseason conference freshman of the year in three consecutive seasons. BU is the first team in Big 12 history to have three straight solo honorees, as KU’s Cliff Alexander shared the award with Texas’ Myles Turner in 2014-15.”

Walter, as one of the trio vouching to collect preseason honors, is only the sixth McDonald’s All-American in Baylor Men’s Basketball history, leading the Link Academy Lions to a 24-1 record in the 2022-23 season. In Bridges’ one and only season with the Bears so far, he made 125 of 247 field goals (50.6%), 36 of 111 3s (32.4%), and 63 of 81 free throws (77.8%) with 192 boards, 35 assists, 35 blocks, 30 steals, and 349 points for an average of 10.3 points per game. Bridges also made a Big 12 Championship record 7 of 8 made 3s (87.5%) in the Big 12 Championship quarterfinals. Dennis transferred from Toledo after last season where he was named unanimous MAC player of the Year averaging 19.5 points and 5.8 assists per game. Papa Jerry Hill also notes that Dennis “scored in double figures in all 35 games to finish second in school history with 683 points, while his 202 assists were third-most in Toledo history.”