Baylor Men’s Basketball is on an enormous offseason recruiting high, accepting transfers Jalen Bridges, Caleb Lohner, and Dantwan Grimes and adding commitments from Miro Little and now Ja’Kobe Walter—all thanks to the recruiting power of the staff with an emphasis on Director of Recruiting Operations Jason Smith (who just so happens to be my BFF Lo’s husband and also my friend)!
Bridges announced his commitment to the Bears on Twitter and the end of April after visiting Waco. He entered the transfer portal in March following the closure of the Mountaineers’ season. A skilled forward, Bridges was also considering Ohio State, Alabama, and Michigan as he’s been heavily recruited by many college programs over the past month. Standing at 6’7, Bridges averaged 8.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.7 blocks over the span of last season’s 33 games. He averaged 42.8% of field goals and 32.5% of 3s.
Lohner is another transfer joining the Bears, this time from soon-to-be Big 12 challenger BYU. His announcement came on April 22 after only entering the transfer portal three days prior on April 19! The former Cougar forward stands at 6’8 and 235 pounds with two years spent in Utah. Over the past year, Lohner averaged 7 points and 6.4 rebounds with 7 blocks and 15 steals. He shot 42.2% of field goals and 21.3% of 3s.
As if the Bears don’t already have depth at the G position, Dantwan Grimes is an exciting addition to the roster! Coach Drew doesn’t shy away from drafting experienced athletes of different backgrounds to the Baylor program with Grimes as the most recent JUCO product since fellow G Dale Bonner joined the mix. Grimes previously spent two years at Kilgore College standing at 6’2 and 190 pounds. Hailing from Ocala, Florida, Grimes is a graduate of Vanguard High School. In his second and final season playing for Kilgore, Grimes averaged 14.1 points, 4.1 boards, and 3.2 assists over 34 games as a starter. He shot 38.7% of field goals, 35.8% of 3s, and 81.3% of free throws.
In the middle of April, Baylor earned the commitment of absolute star PG Miro Little from Finland! Little currently sits at 6-foot-4 and 185-pounds and is attending Helsinki Basketball Academy in Finland. As the first commit in the Bears’ 2023 class, Little will certainly add the PG link Baylor needs moving forward. He chose Baylor over Villanova and Indiana because he said, “Everything felt just right, the staff, the program, the way they play and their record of developing guards.”
Five-star SG Ja’Kobe Walter chose the Bears over schools like Kansas, Texas, Auburn, and Alabama. The 6-foot-5 athlete is ranked 17th in the ESPN 100 for 2023 and he’s been listed as the second best player in Texas. With only seven games under his belt this year, Ja’Kobe averaged 22.9 points and 4.4 rebounds with almost 37% of his 3-point shooting. When asked why he chose Baylor over other program alternatives, Ja’Kobe said “The winning history under coach (Scott) Drew and who he has put in the league. He is a super high-energy guy. I have never seen him have a bad day. I like the way he builds confidence in his players.” Baylor certainly won’t be at a loss for impeccable guards in the coming years!