Sports Briefs

December 18, 2012

Baylor again leads Big 12 in graduation rate

For the sixth time in the Big 12 Conference's 16-year history, Baylor student-athletes produced the league's top overall graduation rate when the latest numbers were released in October.

Baylor's 2012 federal rate of 71 percent tied Texas for the conference's top spot, marking the ninth time the Bears have finished either first or second in the Big 12. BU graduated a league-high 87 percent of its female student-athletes, and its baseball, men's basketball and women's volleyball programs tallied the top marks among Big 12 schools in their respective sports.

Along with the federal graduation rates, the NCAA also released its Graduation Success Rate (GSR) scores. Baylor produced league-leading GSR scores in seven sports: men's golf, men's tennis, women's track and field/cross country, women's soccer, softball, women's volleyball and baseball. Overall, BU placed fourth in the Big 12.

Lady Bears begin national title defense

In October, Associated Press voters made the defending national champion Baylor Lady Bears the first Big 12 women's basketball team ever to start consecutive seasons at No. 1.

Head coach Kim Mulkey's squad returned all five starters from last year's team that went 40-0, including All-Americans Odyssey Sims and Destiny Williams and consensus national player of the year Brittney Griner.

Sims suffered a hamstring injury early in a two-point loss to No. 4 Stanford in November that caused her to miss the next four games. At press time, Baylor was 8-1 and ranked third in both polls.

Men's basketball opens as Big 12's consensus No. 2 team

In preseason voting, Big 12 coaches picked head coach Scott Drew's men's basketball team to finish second in the conference behind last year's national runner-up Kansas -- the Bears' best-ever preseason projection.

For the third straight year, Baylor was ranked in both preseason polls (18th coaches, 19th AP). Senior guard Pierre Jackson joined Griner in being named Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year, giving Baylor a sweep of both Big 12 honors for the second straight year -- a first in conference history.

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