Baylor basketball coach Scott Drew has overcame tremendous odds to get the program where it is today. No, not the current five game losing streak, but to the point where they actually matter. Drew has resurrected Baylor form the Dave Bliss/Patrick Dennehy scandal to three NCAA Tournament appearances including two berths in the Elite Eight and a NIT title.
Drew inherited a program in 2003 that had made only four NCAA tournaments ever and had just been rocked by a scandal rooted in the fact that one player murdered another. The penalties -- among them scholarship losses and a postseason ban -- were so severe that non-league games weren't even allowed one year, meaning this was the mess of all messes, and lots of people thought Drew was dumb to leave Valpo to take the Baylor job.
That's all good, but with the talent Drew has procured in Waco over the years fans and media expect much more. Definitely more than a current 1-6 mark in the Big 12 including Tuesday night's loss to West Virginia, a team that has struggled since joining the Big 12.
Drew had the Bears near the top 10 with a 12-1 record entering Big 12 Conference play – having only lost to Syracuse and beaten Kentucky and Colorado. Suddenly, this team is second to last in the league standings. Baylor has lost six of its past seven games and five in a row. Six Big 12 teams have NCAA tourney-worthy résumés, but coach Scott Drew's group isn't one of them. This is past the panic button.
I'm not saying that Drew can't coach, but maybe he's just not the guy to lead the Bears to greater heights. He recruits his tail off and gets top high school players to come to Waco, which is an achievement in itself. But I'm starting to get the opinion that Drew can't coach the talent. The Bears have the players to win big, but all too often they disappoint and don't perform up to their ability.
I don't know if the team has tuned Drew out, but maybe it's time for him to go. For all the good Drew has done for the program, he's seen as nothing but an amasser of talent who recruits as many McDonald's All-Americans and NBA Draft picks as possible without any regard for team basketball.
Whether you like Drew or not, you must give the man credit. He is responsible for perhaps the most remarkable rebuilding job in college basketball history, the young, vibrant head coach at Baylor has transformed a scandal-ridden program into a Big 12 powerhouse since taking over in Waco in 2003.
But for Baylor to take the program to another level Drew may have to leave, because it's looking like this current edition of the Baylor Bears has plateaued and the season has flatlined.