Baylor (24-14) will play for its first basketball championship of any kind since 1950 on Thursday night when it faces Penn State (26-11) at 6 p.m. (ESPN) at Madison Square Garden. The last time the Bears won a title? Try the 1950 Southwest Conference title, which they shared. Like the Bears, Penn...[details]
HEADER CURTIS LOUIS JERRELLS Point Guard Baylor University Bears #0 6:01.0-201 Austin, Texas Del Valle High School
OVERVIEW The only player in school history to lead the team in scoring and assists in each of his four seasons at the university, many regard Jerrells as the program's savior in rising from the ashes of one of the school's darkest hours in 2005-06.
Baylor was ordered by the NCAA to play an abbreviated season that year and was almost handed a "death sentence" from college's governing board. In perhaps the most notorious case in college sports history, former Bears basketball coach Dave Bliss and three of his assistants violated NCAA rules and then tried to cover up the violations after Baylor player Patrick Dennehy was murdered by a teammate in 2003.
Lying to the NCAA for rules violations cost Bliss his job at Baylor. An internal Baylor investigation found Bliss paid up to $40,000 in tuition for two players and improperly solicited more than $80,000 from boosters. The probe revealed Bliss and his assistants didn't properly report players' failed drug tests.
Worse, after Baylor player Carlton Dotson shot and killed Dennehy and hid his body, Bliss urged the rest of his players to lie to investigators and tell them Dotson had been selling drugs to pay for school. Bliss' plan was revealed in secret audio tapes made by an assistant coach.
Baylor was given some of the harshest penalties in NCAA history. The Bears were placed on five years probation and stripped of five scholarships over two seasons. Baylor was forced to play an abbreviated schedule during the 2005-06 season (no non-conference games), and the school banned itself from playing in the 2004 NCAA Tournament.
Jerrells was given the option of leaving the university, but decided to stay. He would Finish his stellar Baylor career ranked in the following career categories: wins (tied for first, 64), games played (first, 119), games started (first, 119), minutes played (first, 3,934), minutes per game (tied/fifth, 33.1), points (third, 1,820), 30-point games (tied/fifth, 4), 20-point games (tied/eighth, 26), field goals made (fifth, 601), field goals attempted (third, 1,391), three-point field goals made (tied/second, 217), three-point field goals attempted (third, 607), consecutive games with three-point field goals made (tied/sixth, 18), free throws made (third, 401), free throws attempted (fifth, 544), assists (second, 487), assists per game (sixth, 4.09), steals (second, 159) and steals per game (eighth, 1.34).
At Del Valle High School, Jerrells was rated the state's ninth-best prospect by TexasHoops and seventh-best by TexasRoundball.com. Rivals.com rated him the nation's 19th-best point guard and he received All-American honorable mention from Street & Smith's as a senior. The southpaw started all four seasons for Del Valle, leading the team to a 29-5 record and the 2005 Region IV championship game as senior, as he earned TABC 2005 Class 4A All-State honors.
In his final campaign, Jerrells averaged 20.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists, as he made 48.1 percent of his three-pointers, 84.6 percent of his free throws and recorded two triple-doubles. He was named District 26-4A MVP that year and was a four-time All-District first-team pick.
The two-time All-Region IV choice added 18.1 points and 6.2 assists per game as a junior and guided the team to a share of the district championship as a sophomore.
Jerrells would set the school records for single-game points (47), single-game free throws (27-30), single-season points (688), single-season 3-point percentage (48.1 percent, 52-108) and single-season free throw percentage (84.6 percent, 176-208). He recently became the first player in school history to have his jersey (#0) retired. In addition to basketball, he competed in track and field at Del Valle.
Jerrells took over point guard duties as soon as he arrived on Baylor's campus in 2005-06, starting all 17 games while going on to start every game (119) he played in over the next four seasons. The Freshman All-American and Big 12 Conference All-Freshman Team pick averaged 13.5 points, 4.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game, logging 567 minutes of action.
As a sophomore, Jerrells was a Big 12 All-Tournament team choice. He again paced the Bears with averages of 15.0 points and 3.8 assists per game. He also totaled 33 steals, blocked 11 shots and grabbed 146 rebounds (4.7 rpg) in 31 contests. The Sporting News named him the most underrated player in the conference.
In 2007-08, Jerrells garnered All-Big 12 Conference first-team honors and was an All-American fourth-team pick by Yahoo.com. The USBWA All-District VII and NABC All-District IX choice started all 32 games, shooting .750 from the foul line and .426 from the field, as he averaged 15.3 points per game. He tallied 111 rebounds (3.5 rpg), handed out 121 assists (3.8 apg) and was credited with 42 steals (1.3 spg), as he totaled just 68 turnovers.
The 2009 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award finalist was an All-Big 12 second-team pick, as he added All-District honors as a senior in 2008-09. His 635 points scored is the third-highest season total in school history, as he averaged 16.3 points per game. He was also credited with 192 assists (4.9 apg), the second-best season total by a Bears player. His 165 free throws made (214 attempts, 77.1 percent) placed third on the school annual record list while his 60 steals tied for sixth.
2008-09 SEASON Named to the 2009 NIT All-Tournament Team and was a Lowe's Senior CLASS Award finalist...Third-team All-Big 12 Conference pick by the league's coaches, Rivals.com and Associated Press, adding second-team honors from the Waco Tribune-Herald... USBWA All-District VII and NABC All-District VII second-team selection...Scored 635 points (16.3 ppg), the third-highest total in school history, as he made 197 of 461 field goals (42.7 percent), 76 of 207 three-pointers (36.7 percent) and 165 of 214 free throws (77.1 percent)...Had 177 rebounds (4.5 rpg), 192 assists (second-best season total by a Bear, 4.1 apg) and 119 turnovers...His 60 steals (1.5 spg) tied for sixth on the school's annual record chart... Also blocked 12 shots (0.3 bpg)...Scored in double figures 35 times, going over 20 points in nine of those contests...Registered four double-double (assists/points) performances.
2007-08 SEASON Consensus first-team All-Big 12 Conference selection (coaches, Associated Press, Kansas City Star, Dallas Morning News, Waco Tribune-Herald)...Led the team with 997 minutes played, 490 points (15.3 ppg) and 42 assists (1.3 apg)...Shot 42.6 percent from the field (165 of 387), 33.3 percent from three-point territory (55 of 165) and 75.0 percent from the foul line (105 of 140)...Snatched 111 rebounds (3.5 rpg) while coming up with 68 turnovers, six blocked shots and 33 steals (1.1 spg)...Scored in double figures in 24 of 32 games, including eight 20-point performances...Named Paradise Jam MVP, averaging 17.7 points and 7.0 rebounds in wins over Wichita State, Notre Dame and Winthrop...Chosen Big 12 Player of the Week for 11/19/07, after averaging 20 points and 7.5 rebounds in two wins at Paradise Jam.
2006-07 SEASON Started all 31 games as sophomore, as he was named an All-Big 12 Conference honorable mention by the league's coaches and media...Also chosen to the 2007 Big 12 Championship All-Tournament team...Led the team in points scored (485 total, 15.0 ppg), assists (118, 3.8 apg) and minutes (1,019 total, 32.9 mpg)...Ranked 13th in the league in scoring and seventh in assists...Scored in double-digits in each of his final 14 games (25 of season's 31 games)...Ranked second on team with 4.7 rebounds per game (146), as he shot an impressive 88.9 percent on free throws in the final three minutes of regulation and overtime (67.6 percent overall, 94 of 139)...Added 33 steals (1.1 spg), 11 blocked shots and 85 turnovers.
2005-06 SEASON Named to CollegeInsider.com's Freshman All-American team and was a consensus Big 12 Conference All-Freshman team honoree (by the league coaches, Associated Press, Dallas Morning News and Waco Tribune-Herald)...Started every game and put together an outstanding true freshman season during Baylor's abbreviated 17-game campaign...Led the team in scoring (230 total, 13.5 ppg), assists (56, 3.3 apg), steals (24, 1.4 spg) and minutes played (567) on the season...Ranked among the conference leaders in scoring average (14th), average assists (11th), average steals (15th), three-pointers per game (13th) and average minutes played (33.35 per game, 10th)..His 13.5-point scoring average ranks sixth on the school's all-time freshman list and his 33.35 average minutes ranks fourth all-time among Big 12 freshmen and third all-time on Baylor's freshman list... His 3.29 assists average ranks seventh on the school's freshman chart.
CAREER NOTES Holds the school career records for games played (119) and started, most victories by a Bear (64), most minutes played (3,934) and the single-season record for most minutes played (1,351 in 2008-09)...Ranks third in school annals in scoring with 1,820 points, topped by Terry Teagle (2,189; 1979-82) and Micheal Williams (1,854; 1985-88)...Made 601 field goals (1,391 attempts, 43.2 percent), which rank behind Teagle (876) and Brian Skinner (673, 1994-98) in school history...Connected on 217 three-point tries (607 attempts, 35.7 percent), tying Roddrick Miller (1994-98) for second on the school career record chart behind Aundre Branch (267, 1991-95)...His 76 three-pointers in 2008-09 are good for sixth on Baylor's single-season record list...Made 401 free throws (544 attempts, 73.7 percent), ranking behind Williams (488) and Teagle (437) on the school's all-time record book...His 165 free throws made as a senior are the third-best season total by a Bear...Handed out 487 assists (4.1 apg), the second-highest career total in school annals, topped by Nelson Haggerty (699, 1991-95)...His 192 assists in 2008-09 are surpassed only by Haggerty's 284 in 1994-95 on Baylor's single-season record chart...Collected 159 steals (1.3 spg), good for second in school annals behind Williams (282)...His 60 steals in 2008-09 tied for sixth on Baylor's annual record list...Charged with 321 turnovers, second-highest in Bears history (record holder is Williams with 345), as Jerrells' 119 turnovers as a senior also placed second on the school annual record list, topped by Vinnie Johnson (159 in 1978-79)...In 2007-08, Jerrells was the first Baylor player to earn NABC All-District IX honors since Lawrence Roberts in 2002-03...Is the only player in school history to lead the team in scoring and assists four times in a career...Became the second player in Baylor history with 1,000 points, 400 assists and 100 steals in a career.
HIGH SCHOOL Attended Del Valle (Austin, Texas), starting all four seasons for head coach Marvin Hall...Regarded as the state's ninth-best prospect by TexasHoops and the seventh-best by TexasRoundball.com...Rivals.com rated him the nation's 19th-best point guard and he received All-American honorable mention from Street & Smith's as a senior...The southpaw started led the team to a 29-5 record and the 2005 Region IV championship game as senior, as he earned TABC 2005 Class 4A All-State honors...In his final campaign, Jerrells averaged 20.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists, as he made 48.1 percent of his three-pointers, 84.6 percent of his free throws and recorded two triple-doubles...Named District 26-4A MVP that year and was a four-time All-District first-team pick...The two-time All-Region IV choice added 18.1 points and 6.2 assists per game as a junior and guided the team to a share of the district championship as a sophomore...Set the school records for single-game points (47), single-game free throws (27-30), single-season points (688), single-season 3-point percentage (48.1 percent, 52-108) and single-season free throw percentage (84.6 percent, 176-208)... Recently became the first player in school history to have his jersey (No. 0) retired...Also competed in track and field at Del Valle.
INJURY REPORT No injuries reported.
PERSONAL Speech Communications major...Son of Melissa Wallace and Curtis Jerrells...Born Curtis Louis Jerrells on 2/05/87 in Austin, Texas.
SCOUTING REPORT Positives: Lacks great height, but is a solidly-built point guard with good strength and excellent leaping ability (37-inch vertical jump)...Best when playing and leading an up-tempo attack, as he has explosive court quickness and is very decisive with the ball in his hands, showing the ability to create his shot or that for others...His suddenness with the way he moves up the court is evident with the success he had executing the pick-&-roll...Even though he might not be the biggest guard on the floor, he has a strong drive to the basket, doing a nice job of drawing contact while finishing around the basket (ranks third in school history with 401 free throws made)...Needs to play with less aggression, as he will go through long stretches where he will force his shot just for the sake of getting the ball in play, but was hampered a bit when he played half-court activity and seems more unselfish with the ball when executing the fast break (will look for others more often)...Does a nice job of weaving through traffic, as he keeps a tight handle on the ball (was very turnover prone though, but most came when he tried to force the issue playing the half-court game and does stagnate the offense when he over-dribbles)...The southpaw shooter shows good creativity in spacing and has the ability to shoot and pass from his weak side...Gets too enamored with his perimeter shooting when he should be driving to the basket, but has valid NBA three-point range...Has the long wingspan and timing to create turnovers when he attacks the passing lane (second in school history with 159 steals)... Has very good body control, which allows him to take shots when a bit off-balanced...Has very good elevation and fluid release form executing his jumpers...On the dish-&-drive plays, he shows the basketball IQ to draw out the defense and then flip the ball to an open teammate charging to the rim...Assertive floor general with a strong work ethic and good leadership skills...Shows good court vision and quick hands to fire out his passes...Gets up and down the court quickly and strives in a fast-break attack...Has very good speed to play the point and shows good maturity on the court, doing a nice job of feeding his teammates and did pass the ball around often, even though he had a high amount of turnovers as a senior...Has improved his ability to make proper reads, especially when working the half-court game...Aggressive in-your-face type of defender who shows a strong drive to the basket in attempts to gain penetration...Likes to kick the ball out to his wings often, and when they are covered he has shown improved confidence in his ability to drive the lanes as a senior...Shows a quick first step to the basket and has an explosive burst when slashing to the hoop...Also demonstrates good accuracy firing off passes in a crowd...Has the confidence in his ability to step back off the dribble and put up his shot...Likes to play in the up tempo game and does a good job of pushing the ball down the court...Plays with his head on a swivel and is known for his one-bounce passes between a pair of defenders to his open man...Has enough savvy to draw fouls and finish around the basket (just needs to utilize his inside game more than his perimeter shooting)...Does a nice job of delivering the timely pass to his teammates coming off screens.
Negatives: For all of his ability to push the ball up the court, he will get in a rhythm where he is more concerned about creating his own shot, forgetting his point guard duties as the team's facilitator (does this usually when he feels his team needs him to take on the offensive load and deliver a spectacular play)...Does not show a good desire to defend when working inside (much rather take on a perimeter shooter than play pressure defense)...Decent passer, but tries to get too creative waiting for the perfect shot, resulting in him over-dribbling, allowing defenders to have good success creating turnovers when he's in the passing lane...Sometimes thinks he's a power forward and will simply try to drive through traffic when he should be looking for a better scoring opportunity with an open teammate...Has a high release, but there is a very noticeable hitch to it, which lets defenders get into position to contest his jumper...Must be more assertive getting the ball to his post men rather than simply stepping back and firing off bricks from the perimeter (just a 33.1 percent three-point shooter - more accuracy issues than range problems, though).
Compares To: KYLE LOWRY, Houston -- The southpaw has blazing speed and simply flies past defenders to get to the basket in an instant coming off the dribble, but does get a bit reckless with the ball on the floor. He is constantly looking for that "perfect shot," which results in him over-dribbling and that leads to his high turnover rate. He is a good slasher, but when he gets bounced out, he will just park at the perimeter. He's really a shooting guard trapped in a point guard's body and his indifference to playing defense is a big concern.