Big news in the East Region, as the top-seeded Baylor Bears will be without one of their best players for the first weekend of NCAA Tournament play.
Per The Field of 68’s Talia Goodman, Baylor will be without leading scorer LJ Cryer this week. Cryer is battling a foot injury that’s kept him sidelined in 11 of the last 12 games. The last time he played was February 16th in a loss at Texas Tech.
Baylor head coach Scott Drew has since confirmed the news.
BREAKING: Baylor’s leading scorer LJ Cryer will be out for the first weekend of the NCAA tournament, source tells @TheFieldOf68.— Talia Goodman (@goodmansport) March 16, 2022
This is a big loss for the Bears. Cryer has averaged 13.5 PPG in 19 games this season.
Scott Drew says Baylor guard LJ Cryer will not be available this weekend.— CJ Moore (@CJMooreHoops) March 16, 2022
The Bears take on 16 seed Norfolk State on Thursday. A win there puts Baylor in Saturday’s game vs. the winner of North Carolina/Marquette.
The fact that Cryer is already ruled out for this week would suggest there’s also a decent chance he misses next week if Baylor advances.
This news comes after Baylor lost junior big man Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua in February to a season-ending knee injury, so the Bears are now without two of their top players entering the Big Dance.
Cryer, a sophomore guard from Texas, is averaging 13.5 points, 1.5 boards and 1.7 assists per game while shooting 47.6% from the field and 46.8% from deep.
The Bears are still dangerous without Cryer, but they’ll have a tough time getting back to the Final Four without him, especially with a potential path of North Carolina, UCLA and either Kentucky or Purdue to get there.