Motley, Brown, & Jones earn AP All-American Honors

Photo credit: Penelope Shirey

By Nathan Keil | Sports Writer

The Final Four is just a few days away. Neither Baylor men’s nor women’s basketball advanced to play this weekend but that has not taken away from the successful seasons that both teams had.

The Lady Bears finished the season 33-4 overall and claimed another Big 12 regular season title and advanced to the Elite Eight before falling to the No. 2 seed Mississippi State in an overtime thriller, 94-85 on Sunday.

The men finished 27-8 and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen before falling to South Carolina, the eventual winner of the East Region bracket.

On Monday, junior forward Jonathan Motley was named to the Associated Press’ All-America second team.

Motley was a key focal point for head coach Scott Drew’s offensive system this season. The Houston native led the team in both scoring and rebounds at 17 and nine respectively.

Motley also became the fourth person in program history to record 30 points and grab 20 rebounds in the same game when he scored 32 points and had 20 rebounds in a 74-64 win over Texas on Jan. 17.

Texas head coach Shaka Smart described how difficult it was to guard Motley and how he has improved so much in just a short amount of time.

“Motley’s really good. The thing that he keeps getting better with is his motor. That’s how he got a lot of those rebounds,” Smart said after his team’s 10-point loss to the Bears. “He just stayed with them, kept fighting, went after them. Anytime you get 30 and 20, I don’t care where it is or who you are, you just don’t see that very often.”

This type of praise was not uncommon for Motley throughout the season as Big 12 coaches voted him as an All-Big 12 First Team selection as well.

Joining Motely on the AP All-American second team is Gonzaga redshirt junior guard Nigel Williams-Goss, Duke sophomore guard Luke Kennard, Kentucky freshman guard Malik Monk and Oregon junior forward Dillon Brooks.

Motley has not yet announced whether he will return for his senior season or forgo and enter June’s NBA draft.

The Lady Bears earned recognition on Monday as well.

Redshirt senior guard Alexis Jones and sophomore post Kalani Brown were named AP All-America Honorable Mention selections.

Photo credit: Baylor Athletics

Jones’ senior campaign was hampered at times by injury, as she missed seven games due to a sore knee. She still scored 13 points per game and averaged nearly five assists and five rebounds per game as well.

She earned All-Big 12 First Team selection and recorded only the sixth triple double in program history when she scored 24 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out 10 assists in a 92-58 win against Oklahoma on Jan. 29.

Oklahoma head coach Sherri Cole had nothing but praise for Jones following her performance against the Sooners, something that Cole said had become habit for Jones against her team.

“She’s fantastic,” Cole said following Jones’ triple-double performance. “I feel like we were her coming out party in her first year here at Baylor. She has been tremendous every time we’ve played them. She understands big games and rises to the challenge.”

Photo credit: Baylor Athletics

Brown was the leading scorer for the Lady Bears this season. She averaged 15 points and eight rebounds per contest. She was also extremely efficient and accurate shooting the basketball, shooting at a 68 percent clip for the season.

Brown notched her career-high 35 points in a 70-67 win over Texas on Feb. 20. Texas head coach Karen Aston said it’s hard to draw up an answer to counter Brown’s immense talent.

“She got exactly where she wanted most of the evening, and she was tremendous,” Aston said about Brown’s career-high 35 points. “She’s a tremendous talent.”

Brown joined Jones on the All-Big 12 First Team as well as the All-Big 12 Defensive Team.