By Ben Everett | Sports Editor
A successful 2017-18 season for Baylor men’s basketball ended with a tough second-round NIT loss to Mississippi State in the Ferrell Center, but the four seniors from that team are already on track to continue their basketball careers at the professional level.
Center Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. recently signed a contract with Hapoel Jerusalem, a professional team in Israel. The former Big 12 All-Defensive team selection is joining American players such as former West Virginia star Da’Sean Butler and former Oklahoma star TaShawn Thomas on Israel’s premier basketball team.
Hapoel competes in the Israel Premier League as well as the EuroCup, having won Israeli League championships in 2015 and 2017 and the EuroCup in 2004.
A source close to the situation confirmed to the Lariat that the contract is for three years with a team/player opt out clause at the end of each season.
After going undrafted in 2018 NBA Draft, guard Manu Lecomte and forward Nuni Omot each found spots on NBA Summer League rosters to compete for a coveted roster spot with an NBA team.
Lecomte, playing with former teammate Johnathan Motley on the Dallas Mavericks’ squad, put up 7.3 points per game on 67 percent shooting from the field and a scorching 56 percent from three-point range.
Former Baylor men’s basketball student manager Drew Mastin was on hand to watch Lecomte compete in the NBA Las Vegas Summer League. Mastin said he was encouraged by Lecomte’s performance.
“It was good for him to show that he could play at that level,” Mastin said. “He earned more minutes throughout the week as the team started to trust him more. I think they liked his defense and shooting a lot.”
Omot joined the 2018 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors for Summer League play and recorded a modest 3.9 points per game average with three rebounds per game and a 33 percent clip on three-pointers.
Lecomte and Omot have yet to sign professional contracts, but Omot believes in his ability to play in the NBA.
“I know I can help a team or an organization with my ability to shoot and I can defend multiple positions,” Omot told Mercury News. “Wherever I get an opportunity I know I’m going to showcase to the best of my ability what I’m capable of doing and I know I can help a team.”
The fourth senior, forward Terry Maston, recently competed at the NBA G-League Invitational: a camp for players trying to make it into the minor leagues of basketball.
Maston measured in at NBA size with 6-foot-7 with a 6-foot-11 wingspan. In two scrimmages, Maston poured in 15.5 points and 10.5 rebounds while shooting 13-for-23 from the field.