October 20, 2021
Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Media Day Press Conference
SCOTT DREW: All the Big 12 coaches are excited to be back here. Can't wait for the tournament. Won't be long. We'll have fans. Things are getting back to normal.
As far as for our team and the upcoming season, I know there's been a lot of talk about the Big 12 in the future. The league is as good as it's ever been since 2014. KenPom analytics has had us the No. 1 league in the country. Last year 70% of our teams went to post-season. I know there's a lot of pride in the coaches, the programs, to have basketball be as successful as it has been.
A big thank you to Bob Bowlsby in the Big 12 for continuing the future of the league. You look at the incoming teams. KenPom ran the same simulation, and with the four teams coming in, we'd still be the No. 1 ranked basketball conference.
The Big 12, just like each and every year, every night, is a war. You become a much better coach going against the great coaches in this league.
As far as the upcoming season, excited about the new players that we've added. At the same time last year we had I call it a starting rotation. We had some depth. With that a lot of those guys that have come back, now they have opportunities to expand their roles. That's real exciting to see them have that opportunity.
Q. Every year you get up there and talk about how tough the Big 12 is. You're defending national champions, and you're picked third. Talk about expectations in this conference.
SCOTT DREW: I think you look at the last three Final Fours, we've had a Big 12 team a part of it. Again, most teams in the NCAA tournament since 2014.
Personally coaches always are trying to have goals, things they'd love to accomplish. One thing I'd love for our conference to accomplish is to have three teams in the Final Four at one time. Our league has never done that. It takes some luck to have that accomplished, but this is another year where that's a possibility.
A lot of teams will have that opportunity. Hopefully at the end of the year at some point we can have that accomplished.
Q. Obviously you lost four great players from last season. Which guys have stepped up for the leadership role?
SCOTT DREW: Great question.
Davion and Jared have been doing great. MaCio, Mark was in summer league. Now Mark is with the Chiefs. I asked him if he wanted to come back to Media Day today. People joked he was part of Baylor basketball for like 15 years. I just figured he would show up (smiling).
Anyway, it's allowed people like Flo Thamba, Matt Mayer, Adam Flagler, Jon, Everyday Jon we call him, to have opportunities to now move into those roles.
In practice it's extremely competitive. We have good depth. We have good talent. But it's exciting also to see those guys have a chance to now become the leaders that the past group was.
I tell you this time of year most coaches all tell you the same thing. They like their team, they like their guys. Have you your first scrimmage. About half the coaches say we like our guys, we like our team. The other half, we got to get a lot better.
We know it's going to be transition this year because we had basically for the last two years the same team. Now our coaching staff, there's a lot of things we've had to go over that we didn't have to go over last year.
Q. What are your thoughts on expansion? What are the teams that are coming in bring to the league moving forward?
SCOTT DREW: Well, definitely it's four schools with tradition. When you join the Big 12, I think they're just going to get stronger.
Basketball-wise, BYU has great fan support, great following, has been very successful on the court.
Houston, Coach Sampson, know him from when we first got into the Big 12, a great coach. He's done a tremendous job with that program. They were a Final Four team last year.
Cincinnati, great tradition and history. Obviously doing really well in football this year. That's another school that Coach Huggins helped bring them to where they're at today.
Then Central Florida, Coach Dawkins does a great job. That program is just going to continue to get better and better.
It's exciting for the Big 12. We're back to 12 teams again. But I know this is my 19th season in the Big 12, there's a lot of pride and accomplishment just what we've accomplished as far as programs being as consistent since 2014 as we've been. To me the next step, again, would be just to get three teams. We've had two teams in the Final Four together. To have three teams.
Again, the nation can see just what great basketball the Big 12 has.
Q. A lot of discussion about all the changes in the league with realignment. What does it mean to the league that there's four guys, you being one of them, that have been at their schools for at least 10 years?
SCOTT DREW: I think consistency in knowing what your league has been about is important because you can take those successes and pass it on to the new people. You want to make sure that you keep doing the right things.
The new people, new blood, give you different ideas, different excitement. Hopefully we just continue to get better and better with the additions.
Thank you very much. For the record, Dr. Pepper was founded in Waco, Texas (smiling).
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports