November 9, 2012

Baylor Blitz: Ready to move?

Hammad ready to switch?
Baylor's coaching staff is still trying to secure more help on both the offensive and defensive lines.

So it wasn't that much of a surprise to see Irving offensive lineman Rami Hammad sitting in the stands for Baylor's game against Kansas. Five months after committing to Oklahoma State, Hammad said he is still seriously considering Baylor.

In fact, Hammad, the three star recruit rated 28th at his position, said he is looking at Baylor, Ole Miss and Texas Tech. He also said he's been in touch with LSU and Michigan coaches who told them if one of their offensive line commits go elsewhere, he would be considered for an offer.

"I'm reconsidering all of my options,'' Hammad said. "When I committed to Oklahoma State, it was really a tie with them. But now, I like them even more. Going down there and visiting, I just got a feel for the place. It's more about their academics than education. After football, the degree is what matters.''

Hammad said he speaks with Baylor assistant Randy Clements "three times per week" and said that some family help gave him a better sense of what Baylor offers academically.

"I'm probably going to take official visits to Ole Miss, Baylor and Tech because they're back in the picture,'' Hammad said.
Hammad said he plans on re-taking his ACT in several weeks.

Bossi breaks down Baylor hoops class
Editor's Note: Rivals national basketball analyst Eric Bossi gave his synopsis of the upcoming fall signing class for the Bears. National signing day is Wednesday, Nov. 14.

Baylor fans ought to be getting use to the recruiting success of Scott Drew and his staff. On Thursday, the Bears kept doing what they have been doing on the recruiting trail since their arrival in town when they landed four-star big man Dominic Woodson.

A 6-foot-9 and big bodied low post scorer, Woodson played ball some in the Round Rock area before moving on to Vermont Academy and ultimately Huntington (W.V.) Prep where he's playing his senior season. While he'll have to be careful to watch his weight in college, Woodson does something you don't see too often with today's high schoolers and that's score with his back to the basket.He uses spin moves, soft touch off the glass and clever fakes to score around the rim. A good shooter, he can also step out and shoot the ball with some range in pick and pop situations.

The other two guys in Baylor's recruiting class, Ishmail Wainright and Johnathan Motley, aren't too shabby themselves. Let's take a look at each of them.

Wainright is a man's man on the floor. The 6-foot-5 native of Kansas City who transferred to Rockville (Md.) Montrose Christian as a junior is one of the most versatile players in the class of 2013. He's also as good a pound for pound defender as there is. Built like a tight end, Wainright has outstanding quickness and his crazy length (7-foot-3 wingspan) combined with his overall athleticism allow him to play big. Guys who can defend little guys out on the perimeter or sink back to be quality interior defenders against bigger guys aren't exactly a dime a dozen. Offensively, Wainright is more of an opportunistic scorer. He'll get some offensive rebounds, finish in transition and make some drives but he's very patient, doesn't force anything and is also an outstanding passer.

Finally Motley may currently be the lowest rated of the bunch, but the home grown Texan may also have the most room for growth. A slender combo forward, the 6-foot-8 Motley really came into his own at the end of the summer. What he can really do well is shoot the ball. He particularly likes to wear out jumpers from either elbow and is at his best from 12-17 feet with range that extends to the three point line. He runs the floor well, is a decent force as a shot blocker and will go chase rebounds out of his area. He'll need to get stronger and become more of an off the dribble threat but he looks to be a good fit for the Bears.

Big 12 Weekend
A look at the upcoming weekend action involving the Big 12 along with their TV listings. All times are Central. All rankings are BCS.

Kansas (1-8, 0-6) at No. 22 Texas Tech (6-3, 3-3)
11:00 a.m. Saturday, Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock (FSN)
What to Watch:
The Red Raiders need to bounce back from the disappointing home loss to Texas last week. They should against a Kansas team, which has allowed 52, 56 and 41 points on the road in Big 12 games. Tech's running game has really slowed down in the second half of the season. It's now eighth in the Big 12 in yards per game at 144.9.

Iowa State (5-4, 2-4) at No. 17 Texas (7-2, 4-2)
11:00 a.m. Saturday, Darrell K. Royal-Memorial Stadium, Austin (LHN)
What to Watch:
With the passing of the legendary Darrell Royal, there will be heavy hearts in Austin. But the Longhorns can't let that be an excuse. David Ash recovered a benching at Kansas to lead his team to a win at Texas Tech. Iowa State is expected to stick with Steele Jantz at quarterback. The Cyclones are one win away from gaining bowl eligibility.

Baylor (4-4, 1-4) at No.12 Oklahoma (6-2, 4-1)
2:30 p.m. Saturday, Owen Field, Norman, OK. (FSN)
What to Watch:
The Bears snapped a four-game losing streak with their win against Kansas. But now they have a greater challenge in Norman. The Sooners have lost twice at home this season - Kansas State and Notre Dame - but are explosive enough to where Baylor's offense must eliminate turnovers in order to stay in this.

West Virginia (5-3, 2-3) at Oklahoma State (5-3, 3-2)
2:30 p.m. Saturday, Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK (ABC)
What to Watch:
The Cowboys are hoping quarterback Wes Lunt (apparent concussion like symptoms) will be ready to go. Running back Joseph Randle has been a great asset to the offense. He leads the conference in rushing at 116.8 yards per game. The Mountaineers are on a three-game losing streak. Quarterback Geno Smith has thrown three interceptions in his last two games.

No. 2 Kansas State (9-0, 6-0) at TCU (6-3, 3-3)
6:00 p.m. Saturday, Amon Carter Stadium, Fort Worth (FOX)
What to Watch:
Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein will play, according to coach Bill Snyder. He suffered what appeared to be a concussion against Oklahoma State. TCU coach Gary Patterson said he should have better depth with OL Blaise Foltz (ankle), RB Matthew Tucker (high ankle sprain) and WR Brandon Carter (ankle) all closer to 100 percent than those three have been at any point of the season.

Big 12 Power Rankings
Each week, unveils its weekly power rankings. Agree or disagree, these make for great water cooler talk.
1. Kansas State - Pssst…Collin Klein leads the Big 12 in passing efficiency
2. Oklahoma - Sooners seeking revenge after the 2011 upset loss to Baylor
3. Texas - Have the Longhorns found their defense?
4. Texas Tech - Defense has recorded only 12 sacks
5. Oklahoma State - The QB shuffling has become a weekly episode
6. TCU - Horned Frogs can derail Kansas State's national championship hopes
7. West Virginia - On the brink of a total collapse
8. Iowa State - Cyclones are 5-of-9 on fourth down this year
9. Baylor - Defense played well last week
10. Kansas - Big 12 opponents averaging 20.3 points in Lawrence, 49.7 away from Lawrence

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