NEW YORK – Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades has been thrilled by both the Baylor men’s and women’s success in the NCAA tournament.
It’s been especially important to the athletic program after all the negative publicity Baylor has received amid the sexual assault scandal that’s followed the football program.
“This has been good medicine for everybody,” Rhoades said. “It’s been good for the fans, the institution, the athletics department. It rallies people together and has really helped rally the Baylor community together. It’s special being here. This building has an unbelievable history when you think of the greats that have played here.”
Not only did Rhoades attend Baylor’s Sweet 16 game against South Carolina at Madison Square Garden, football coach Matt Rhule also made the trip to his old East Coast turf. Rhule coached at Temple before arriving at Baylor in December.
“There are a lot of different reasons we hired Matt,” Rhoades said. “He’s not just fully invested in football but all the athletic programs.”
When asked if he’s concerned about the NCAA getting more involved in the issues surrounding the football program, Rhoades said: “I don’t know if I have deeper concerns. We’ve been extremely cooperative with the NCAA. We’re still in the time frame where we’re learning more. But we’ve been extremely transparent and will continue to be.
“It will lead us to where it will lead us. We’ll get through it and we’ll get over it. Baylor has had really great moments in the past but I really believe the best days are ahead.”
Bears drop to 10-7 in tourney under Scott Drew
With its 70-50 loss to South Carolina, Baylor dropped to 10-7 in seven NCAA tournament appearances under Scott Drew.
Friday night’s 20-point loss was the most lopsided in NCAA tournament history for the Bears.
The Bears have lost four of their last six NCAA tournament games beginning with a 69-52 loss to Wisconsin in the 2014 Sweet 16. Baylor dropped a 57-56 decision to Georgia State in the opening round of the 2015 NCAA tournament followed by a 79-75 loss Yale in the first game of last year’s tournament.
The Bears knocked off New Mexico State and USC in the first two games of this year’s NCAA tournament last weekend in Tulsa.
“I’m disappointed that we couldn’t have played a better game, but a lot of the credit goes to South Carolina,” Drew said. “I thought Coach (Frank) Martin did a great job prepping his guys and they really made it tough for us to score.”
Motley not speaking on NBA future
Baylor forward Johnathan Motley didn’t answer questions on his future following the loss to South Carolina.
Motley, who made All-American as a junior, is projected to be a first-round pick in the NBA draft if he chooses to forgo his senior year.
Motley averaged 17.9 points and 9.9 rebounds this season.