After starting the season 6-0 and snagging the Battle 4 Atlantis Championship, junior forward Johnathan Motley received the Big 12 Conference Player of the Week title on Monday for the second time in his career.
The Houston native continues Baylor’s streak of now having a Big 12 Player of the Week for six-straight seasons.
Motley was also named MVP in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, as he averaged 20 points and eight rebounds per game. This extended into the Bears defeating VCU, No. 24 Michigan State, and No. 10 Louisville.
“I am thankful for my teammates for getting me in the right positions to score,” Motley said. “I couldn’t do it by myself. It takes a team to win. We played harder than them and we got the W.”
Sophomore guard King McClure said after the win in the Bahamas that it is because of the team leaders that they were able to succeed.
“We’ve been in situations like this, and because of the great leadership we have in Ishmail Wainright and Johnathan Motley, and all the upper classmen, they said ‘We got this! We’re gonna chip away 5-points at a time, 5-points at a time,'” McClure sais. “That’s what we did, we started chipping away, and we started to believe in ourselves.”
The Bears trailed at half time in each game they played, but fought and came back in the second half of each game.
“Well we’ve been a second half team all tournament, but that one took it to extreme,” said head coach Scott Drew. “That’s why it always takes a team to win a tournament. We said we believed in our bench and they really came through and gave us a huge lift tonight.”
After coming back from a 22-point deficit and defeating No. 10 Louisville in a 66-63 game for the championship, the Baylor Bears are now ranked 9th in the NCAA AP Poll and 11th in the Coaches Poll.
Motley and the Bears will be back in action at 8 p.m. tonight at the Ferrell Center as they take on Sam Houston State.