18 years ago, Scott Drew took the most challenging job in college basketball

No exaggeration

He overcame scandal, probation, recruiting penalties, and even murder to win Baylor’s first national title

Here’s the crazy story you probably haven’t heard:
1/ *insane* backstory

•In ‘03, Carlton Dotson murdered Baylor teammate Patrick Dennehy

•Dave Bliss, the head coach, was paying multiple players’ tuitions

•Bliss blamed Dennehy, who’d been killed by a teammate, for everything

Bliss was fired, and punishments poured in...
2/ punishments

•reduced scholarships
•reduced official recruiting visits
•1 season non-conference ban
•10 season probation
•10 year show cause penalty on Bliss for “despicable behavior”

Scott Drew walked into this situation expecting to win a title
3/ back to ball

Baylor sucked

From ‘03-‘07, the Bears won a total of 36 games, or ~7 games per year

But, with recruiting restrictions ending, Drew got his recruits and started to win some games
4/ slowly but surely

‘08: 21-9, 4th in the Big 12

‘10: Beat in-state power Texas 3 straight times, 2nd in the Big 12, lost to Duke in Elite 8

‘12: Rise to #3 in the country, 3rd in Big 12

But then the Bears hit a wall
5/ upsets

‘13: Miss March Madness

‘15: Lose to 14-seed Georgia State in Round of 64

‘16: Lose to 12-seed Yale in Round of 64

Then, in the ‘19-‘20 season, Baylor was back. A sure fire 1 or 2-seed. A true contender

Enter, Covid-19
6/ what now

The best season in Baylor history (26-4, #4 in the country) is cancelled

College basketball, and the world, grind to a halt

Drew vows the Bears will be as good or better in 2021, but nobody knows if the season will happen
7/ kryptonite

Happen it does and Baylor dominates early, ranked #2 behind Gonzaga

Again, Covid-19 strikes

Drew tests positive. Baylor misses 21 days and, in their return, suffer their 1st loss to Kansas

Drew calls Covid-19 protocols Baylor’s “kryptonite”
8/ bounce back

Despite losing to Oklahoma State in the Big 12 tourney, Baylor enters the NCAA tourney as a 1-seed for the first time in school history

Baylor cruises to the Final Four

But upsets abound and Gonzaga is crushing everybody. Baylor flies under the radar
9/ battle for Texas

Baylor dominates 2-seed Houston 78-59

But again Gonzaga steals the spotlight, beating UCLA on a Jalen Suggs buzzer-beater

The Zags are talked about as the best team ever

Baylor enters the natty a 5-point underdog...
10/ natty

Drew draws up the perfect gameplan and his squad executes to perfection

Baylor doesn’t trail the entire game

18 years after taking the toughest job in college basketball, Scott Drew led Baylor to its first men’s national title

11/ obligatory plug

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