By DJ Ramirez | Sports Editor
Coming off a strong opening game on Tuesday, No. 2 ranked Baylor women’s basketball looks to take on Grambling State Friday night at the Ferrell Center.
The national championship is not the only honor being celebrated by the Lady Bears as associate head coach Bill Brock will be missing Friday night’s matchup to be inducted into the Grayson College Athletics Hall of Fame.
Brock is in his 17th season alongside Kim Mulkey after leading Grayson’s women’s basketball team through 10 conference championships, two NJCAA national tournament runs (including a third-place finish in 2000) and a 371-50 record over 13 seasons. He will be honored alongside Texas Tech head baseball coach Tim Tadlock as the institution’s first two inductees.
Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey said she was very happy for Brock.
“When you can have stability in a program and a coaching staff it’s why you have a successful program. Coach Brock, he and Jennifer [Roberts] and Johnny [Derrick] were my first hires here at Baylor,” Mulkey said. “And for him to step away from being a head coach to help us build this program speaks about his unselfishness. He put his ego aside to come and be a part of something that’s bigger really than any of us now.”
Grambling State is coming off a tough 72-65 home loss to Florida. But the Lady Tigers were consistent in their shots against the Gators, shooting 10 treys on Tuesday, which was twice as many as Florida.
“Grambling is a team that usually spreads the floor on you, shoots a lot of threes…Prepare yourself for more zone defense,” Mulkey said. “I think we did some things good the other night in our game and hopefully we’ll do a better job in the second half than we did. We kind of got stagnant and I just thought offensively we stood around a lot in that second half in attacking that zone.”
Graduate transfer Erin DeGrate says Baylor’s defense is a lot different from what she was used to playing in her two previous seasons at Texas Tech.
“At Tech we played the zone. Here it’s man,” DeGrate said. “Here we have to get up and guard, actually guard somebody and not just running around.”
The Lady Bears started this year where they left off last season, getting a win in a big part by playing good defense. Baylor led New Hampshire in its opener 23-0 after one quarter, and 51-3 at the half, setting a team and Big 12 record. Defense will continue to be major point of emphasis for the Lady Bears, especially since the departure of Kalani Brown. Sophomore forward NaLyssa Smith said that the continuous defensive practice has helped her improve.
“We work on defense every day in practice so I feel like just drilling it into my head… I know I’ve got to improve on it if I’m going to play on the floor. so just doing it every day in practice I just feel like it’s improving day by day,” Smith said.
Baylor will host Grambling State at 6 p.m. Friday at the Ferrell Center.