Scott Drew: Doing More with Less

Long said to be just an accumulator of talent, and someone that just rolls the ball out and lets his athletes play, Scott Drew is given little credit for his coaching ability. But is his recruiting ability overstated?

It is called the Scott Drew Factor. That is what message board minions, lazy journalists, and people who don't know any better than to just parrot what they hear on twitter call it. That "factor" is Scott Drew's ability to take a team laden with NBA talent and turn it into crap or something like that. Personally, I have never seen that "factor". Last I checked, the refs didn't take a few points off of the scoreboard after the game was over because Scott Drew was coach (though I am sure some opponents would wish that would happen).

Yes, Scott Drew is known as an excellent recruiter, and you won't get much argument from me. He has recruited some excellent talent to a program with its only basketball success in the last 50 years occurred under his watch. He has brought in future NBA players like Perry Jones, Quincy Acy and Quincy Miller. He has brought in 5-star recruits like Lacedarius Dunn and Isaiah Austin. He has made Waco not only relevant in the college basketball landscape, but important. Three Sweet Sixteen appearances in 5 years, including two in the Elite Eight, have brought great credit and respect to Baylor basketball.

But, does Scott Drew deserve the reputation of a coach that just recruits great players and just lucks into wins? To answer that, we need to find out the talent that Scott Drew has brought to Waco. Here is a list of ALL of the athletes Drew has signed and made onto campus, so some players that have committed to the Bears are not listed.

Baylor Signees
Year Player Position Stars
2004 Aaron Bruce SG 1
2004 Mamadou Diene C 1
2004 Kevis Shipman SG 2
2004 Roscoe Biggers PG 3
2004 Patrick Fields SF 2
2005 Jari Vanttaja PF 3
2005 Kevin Rogers PF 4
2005 Henry Dugat SG 4
2005 Curtis Jerrells PG 3
2006 Djibrial Thiam SG 3
2006 Josh Lomers C 4
2006 Demond Carter PG 4
2007 Delbert Simpson C 3
2007 Fred Ellis SF 3
2007 Lacedarius Dunn SG 5
2008 Quincy Acy PF 3
2008 Anthony Jones SF 4
2009 Dragan Sekelja C 1
2009 Nolan Dennis SG 4
2009 Givon Crump SF 3
2009 AJ Walton PG 3
2009 Cory Jefferson C 3
2010 Stargell Love PG 3
2010 Perry Jones C 5
2011 Pierre Jackson PG 1
2011 Duece Bello SF 4
2011 Quincy Miller PF 5
2012 Taurean Waller-Prince PF 1
2012 Ricardo Gathers PF 4
2012 Chad Rykhoek C 3
2012 L.J. Rose PG 4
2012 Isaiah Austin C 5
2013 Kenny Chery PG 1
2013 Allerik Freeman SG 4
2013 Ishmail Wainright SF 4
2013 Jonathan Motley PF 3
2014 Kobie Eubanks SG 4
2014 Lester Medford PG 1
2014 Deng Deng PF 1
2014 Terry Maston PF 3
2014 Damiyne Durham SG 3
Average 3.05

There are a lot of great names on that list, and some excellent classes. Some players that were not in the database and some junior college players who received no stars were given a "1" star to help offset the average. Great players such as Aaron Bruce, Pierre Jackson and Kenny Chery were some of those players. Even including them, the average star ranking is just 3.05. So the average ranking over the 11 year period from 2004 to 2014 is just over 3 stars.

In comparison to Baylor, I ran the rankings of two of the Bears biggest adversaries in the Big 12; Kansas and Texas. The Bears recruit against these two schools quite a bit, and have won and lost some huge battles over the past few years. Over the same period, Kansas' average ranking for one of their commits is 4.04, nearly an entire star grade higher than Baylor's. Texas also has a higher ranking at 3.74 stars.

That gives us some of the picture, but not all of it. The Bears have had some of their best success with "0" star guys, as well as 5-star studs. So, let's take out the lower rated guys, and just look at the major stars of the class. How many four and five star recruits did Baylor, Kansas and Texas get over the past 11 years?

Scott Drew and Baylor signed 16 recruits that were four or five star caliber. Over that 11 year period, that is 1.45 recruits per season. Texas signed 27 over the same period, so they average 2.45 four or five star recruits per signing class. That means, every single season, Texas should have 1 additional signee that is a Top 100 caliber player. Kansas blew both Baylor and Texas out of the water, signing 34 four or five star recruits, which equals out to 3.09 per year.

Over a four year period, the Jayhawks should have 4-6 more players that were Top 100 caliber on their bench than Baylor does. Texas should have 2-4. Of course, this does not count for attrition, or a player leaving for the NBA early, but the point still stands. Kansas has almost an entire starting lineup of Top-100 caliber recruits more than the Bears do on average.

So the Bears have the least amount of 4 or 5 star recruits, and their average recruit is ranked lower than both UT and Kansas. Over the past 7 years, pretty much after Drew had rebuilt the Bears into a respectable program, they have had 170 wins. That includes 4 trips to the NCAA tournament, two Elite Eight appearances, and 1 Sweet 16. You could also include an NIT championship and an NIT Runner-Up if you wanted too.

Kansas in those 7 years has accumulated a remarkable 222 wins, including a national championship among their 7 trips to the NCAA tournament. The Jayhawks have had just 2 seasons under 30 wins, 2008-09 and 2013-14, in that stretch. It doesn't need to be said, but Kansas is the marquee program in the Big 12 (winning the conference title every year during that stretch) and are the bar that every program needs to meet to be the best.

Texas meanwhile has totaled just 166 wins, and has been to a single Elite Eight (in 2007-08) and has not reached the Sweet 16 in that time frame. They have made 6 of the 7 NCAA tournaments, but failed to win a single game in 3 of those.

Overall, the Bears have done a very good job of winning with the talent they have accumulated. They do not have Top 10 talent most years, and have won without the star NBA players that both Kansas and Texas has featured in this time frame. Yet, Scott Drew is known as a net-negative effect on his team, rather than the master of one of the most shocking rebuilding jobs in sports history and a man that is in charge of a very good program right now.

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