INDIANAPOLIS — What number of instances have you ever heard the 4 phrases that outlined Baylor basketball over the past 18 years?
The arc of the story, the precise particulars of it, by no means actually mattered when it got here to Scott Drew. Perhaps it was rooted within the whispers of recruiting impropriety early in his profession that by no means amounted to a lot, even when the NCAA went to search for them. Perhaps it was his relentless positivity that bordered at instances on smarm. Perhaps it was just a few embarrassing NCAA Event losses that constructed the narrative, although the actual miracle was that Baylor basketball had been in these sorts of video games to start with.
No matter it was, you heard it for almost 20 years: Scott Drew Can’t Coach.
Let it be known that on Monday night, in a football stadium in the state where he grew up, along with his father and brother — each school basketball coaches — standing and gyrating within the stands for almost the complete 40 minutes, there’s a brand new set of phrases that can ceaselessly outline Baylor Basketball.
Scott Drew is a Nationwide Champion. And by the point the journey was full, within the closing moments of an 86-70 evisceration of No. 1 Gonzaga, any narrative that had beforehand knocked Drew for the work he’d completed at Baylor appeared awfully foolish.
As a result of what had been a season-long collision course to the nationwide championship sport between the 2 finest groups in school basketball become one-way visitors. What began as Gonzaga’s quest for perfection turned a full-scale submission. What appeared like a possible basic as an alternative turned a showcase for the relentlessness, the abounding power and the marvelous talent on which Drew had constructed this staff over the past two years.
The sport was by no means shut, by no means actually aggressive, by no means actually unsure. The perfect staff in school basketball was hidden in plain sight, proper up till a barrage of 3-pointers, defensive deflections and thumping drives to the rim within the opening minutes Monday made it apparent.
Baylor stands now as a nationwide champion for the primary time as a result of in 2003, rising from one of many worst scandals in school sports activities historical past, Drew arrived and made the college consider it may compete with the perfect applications within the nation.
It stands right here as a nationwide champion as a result of Drew, who as soon as chased flashy NBA-bound recruits whereas incomes sideways glances from his opponents within the Massive 12, refocused his recruiting efforts on transfers and multi-year gamers who constructed the muse of an incredible program.
It stands right here as a nationwide champion as a result of Drew, who was lampooned for shedding to Georgia State and Yale in back-to-back NCAA Tournaments, removed his passive zone protection and rebranded this system on an aggressive man-to-man and 40 minutes of in-your-face ball stress.
Drew didn’t simply coach Baylor to a nationwide championship, he constructed a staff of bodily and emotional grown-ups with three guards who may all drive it down your throat, rating off the dribble and shoot the lights out at any given second.
The night time started with speak of potential perfection. However as Baylor confirmed, it wasn’t a couple of win-loss report. It was concerning the elements working collectively when all the things is on the road. By that commonplace, no person was extra good than the staff Scott Drew placed on the ground Monday night time.
Can he coach? No one will ever should ask that query once more.
This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: Baylor’s Scott Drew is national champion, gets last laugh on doubters