Big 12 Basketball: Perry Jones' Decision Gives Baylor Bears Huge Boost

Mike HendersonCorrespondent IIApril 11, 2011

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The blue chips are starting to fall.

Fortunately for the Baylor Bears, one fell their way.

Perry Jones, who almost certainly would have been a top-10 pick in this year's NBA Draft, has decided to return to Baylor for his sophomore season.

To say that this is a surprise is an understatement.

Jones, suspended for Baylor's last game of the season for receiving improper benefits, faces a five-game suspension to start the season as well.

Given the way that this whole situation was handled and the fact that his draft stock is so high this year, Jones' announcement could put an entirely different spin on the outlook for Baylor next season.

Joining Jones in Baylor's frontcourt will be senior Quincy Acy, J'mison Morgan, Anthony Jones and prized recruit Quincy Miller.

Another top recruit, Deuce Bello, will be joined in the backcourt by veteran A.J. Walton, sophomore Stargell Love and junior college recruit Pierre Jackson. Transfers Brady Heaslip (Boston College), eligible at the start of the season, and Gary Franklin (California), eligible in December, will provide even more depth.

While point guard play remains an issue, the Bears are suddenly much further ahead than they were yesterday.

Perry Jones averaged just under 14 points per game and shot 56 percent from the field, despite not being a central figure in the Baylor offense.

In Jones, Miller and Acy, Baylor has one of, if not the most, athletic front lines in all of college basketball.

Now it's up to Scott Drew to figure out a way for all of them to play together and be productive. If he can do this, the Big 12 might have another team to boast about come March.