The Magic of 2016-17 Baylor Men’s Basketball

There have been great Baylor basketball players in history (Quincy Acy, Ekpe Udoh, Isaiah Austin, Kenny Cherry, Pierre Jackson, Cory Jefferson, etc.), but no team has been quiet as phenomenal as this year’s group. When Rico Gathers and Taurean Prince graduated, I wondered how well this team would feat in the upcoming year. Rico’s presence on the court was dominating and Taurean’s 3-point shot unlike any other. I knew Ish Wainright and Johnathan Motley would instantly contribute, but the cohesiveness of the team was a questionable point. Fortunately, I was convinced by the team’s performance on their first game of the 2016-17 season. The starters- Manu Lecomte, Johnathan Motley, Ish Wainright, Jo Lual-Acuil and Al Freeman- performed with such chemistry and grace that I instantly forgot about any previous team. Even during their 20-sum odd halftime deficit against Louisville, I convinced my mom to remain calm because they would come back. Similarly, I had never seen such an admirable team effort at Kansas despite the officiating and harsh environment. This team is special. Maybe it’s Manu, Al, King, Nuni or Jake’s 3-pointers, Jo’s blocks, Mot’s dunks, Chuck’s layups, Terry’s reliability in the paint or the future of the freshmen, but this team is magical Witnessing their greatness on the court every week is like ripping open a gift on Christmas morning. Every and-1, every buzzer beater, every shot made is Disneyland. The NCAA tourney will be inspiring because of this team. If you’re not watching them make history, you’re missing out.