While Baylor is ranked No. 12 in both preseason polls, they are getting surprisingly long odds (35:1) to win the national title.
The Bears return the Big 12 preseason player of the year, Perry Jones III, a 6'11 forward who would have went in the top 3 of the NBA Draft, as well as a core of players -- forwards Quincy Acy and Anthony Jones and guard A.J. Walton -- from 2009's Elite Eight team.
But recruiting is the biggest reason why Scott Drew has brought the national spotlight to Waco, and this year is no different, as he has added future NBA lottery pick Quincy Miller, national top 50 player Deuce Bello and junior college All-American PG Pierre Jackson to the team.
Baylor was sunk last season by inconsistent and selfish play in the back-court, so the departure of leading scorer LaceDarius Dunn might be a case of addition by subtraction.
With a front-court as talented as any in the country, the Bears could be one of the biggest surprises of the 2011 season.
And when you consider that the Texas Longhorns, who are returning only two players from last season's rotation, are 28:1 at Bodog to win the national title, Baylor's odds certainly are interesting.