Baylor has had a surplus of NBA worthy big men the past several year- Ekpe Udoh, Perry Jones, Quincy Acy, Quincy Miller. And freshman Isaiah Austin and junior Cory Jefferson could be the latest to land in the NBA next year. And beyond that, it will only be a matter of time before reserve power forward Rico Gathers is in the NBA as well.
At 6'8", Gathers is a tad bit undersized for an NBA power forward, but what he lacks in size, he makes up with in strength. He is a chiseled 260 pounds of muscle, looking nothing like his age (just turned 19 years old) would suggest as a freshman.
Gathers has played 20+ minutes just three times this season, but twice in Baylor's last three games. Rico Gathers has responded big time with his increased minutes and scouts are taking note. In fact, in all three occasions where Gathers logged 20+ minutes, he has logged his only double-digit rebounding games of the year.
Even at just 6'8", Gathers utilizes his strength as well as any frontcourt player in the country. He is posting an offensive rebounding rate of 18.7, leading the Big 12 Conference and 7th best amongst all players.
If Gathers can continue to rebound at an extremely high rate and show steady development in his offensive game (0 games of 10+ points, shooting just 46.3 from the floor), he could find himself to be the latest Baylor Bear in the NBA.