Baylor men

BU’s Johnathan Motley visits with fans on Thursday in Tulsa. With Baylor making its fourth straight NCAA tournament appearance, many of the veterans are old hands in the postseason.

Matthew Minard/Baylor Marketing & Communications

TULSA, Okla. — Baylor senior guard Ish Wainright has seen forward Johnathan Motley grow from a skinny freshman out of Houston North Shore High School to an All-American basketball player.

To Wainright, Motley is more than just a basketball player. He’s bigger than life.

“He’s just a monster, Godzilla, King Kong, and that doesn’t even compare,” Wainright said.

As he listened to Wainright’s hyperbole during Thursday’s interview session, Motley just sheepishly shook his head.

With Baylor making its fourth straight NCAA tournament appearance, many of the veterans are old hands in the postseason.

Not fourth-year junior guard Manu Lecomte. After transferring from Miami, Lecomte had to sit out last season, but is anxious to play in his first NCAA tournament Friday against New Mexico State.

“It’s all new to me,” Lecomte said. “I know there’s a lot of motivation even though this is the team’s fourth straight time (in the NCAA tournament). We know what we’ve got to do. New Mexico State is a good team and we’ve got to bring our A game.”

New Mexico State hasn’t officially won an NCAA tournament game since 1970 when it knocked off St. Bonaventure, 79-73, during its run to the Final Four.

The Aggies had to vacate three NCAA tournament wins from 1991-93 due to NCAA rules violations.

This will be the Aggies’ sixth NCAA tournament appearance in the last eight years. They’ve gone 0-5 since 2010 including a 75-56 loss to Kansas in 2015.

New Mexico State junior forward Jemerrio Jones is excited about his first NCAA tournament appearance after transferring from Hill College.

Jones has been productive all season as he’s averaging 9.9 points and 8.5 rebounds while shooting 50.6 percent from the field.

“We were winners in JUCO but this is a bigger stage and we’re going to play a good team too,” Jones said. “That’s better for us. We finally get some exposure. It’s on us now.”

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