The Baylor University Bears men’s basketball program has had an inconsistent history, enjoying years of national success and decades of mediocrity. The Bears actually went nearly 40 years in between NCAA Tournament appearances from 1950 to 1988, though the team was not without its standout players. Among the best NBA players from Baylor University are a handful of stars from the school’s tournament drought including Vinnie “The Microwave” Johnson and All-Defensive player Michael Williams.
A longtime combo guard with the Celtics and the Hornets, David Wesley is one of the all-time best NBA players from Baylor University. Wesley played 14 NBA seasons, spending the majority of his time with the Celtics and Hornets, along with a few seasons with the Nets, Rockets, and Cavs. He went undrafted, but signed on with the Nets in 1993. In 1994, he joined the Celtics where he became a starting point guard. He had his career year in Boston in 1996-97 when he averaged 16.8 points, 7.3 assists, and 2.2 steals per game. He went on to play both guard positions with the Hornets, scoring 7,670 points in eight seasons with the team to become the franchise’s second leading scorer. He scored a total of 11,842 points for his career.
Two-time NBA Champion Vinnie Johnson played 13 seasons as one of the best NBA players from Baylor University. With the Bears, Johnson averaged 24.1 points per game for his two collegiate seasons and set the school record for points in a game with 50 in a 1979 game against TCU. He was a first round pick by the Sonics, but spent the majority of his career with the Pistons, scoring more than 10,000 points in ten seasons with the franchise. He served as a sixth man on the Pistons’ 1989 and 1990 title winners, averaging 12 points, three rebounds, and three assists in those two seasons.
An All-Defensive point guard who played in the pros in the 1990s, retired point guard Michael Williams was one of the best NBA players from Baylor University. Williams racked up 1,855 points in four years with the Bears, the second highest total in team history. He spent four full years as a starter in the NBA, ranking among the league leaders in assists and steals twice each. With the Pacers from 1990 to 1992, he posted averages of 13.2 points, 6.5 assists, and 2.5 steals per game. In the next two seasons with the Wolves, had 14.4 points, 8.0 assists, and 1.3 steals.
Small forward Terry Teagle had a solid career from 1983 to 1993 as one of the top NBA Players from Baylor University. Teagle is the Bears’ all-time leader in points with 2,189 in his four years of NCAA competition. He became a first round pick by the Houston Rockets in 1982, averaging double-figures in scoring as a part-time starter in his rookie season. He played 11 NBA seasons in total with his best basketball coming in Golden State. He averaged 13.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per game in six seasons with the Warriors, topping out at 16.1 points per game in 1989-90.
Journeyman big man Brian Skinner has been active in the NBA for the last 12 seasons as the most recent Baylor graduate to play in the league. Skinner was a big-time shot-blocker at Baylor and he has swatted more than 500 shots so far in his NBA career. He been on seven teams, mostly as a backup, but he has spent some time as a starter. His career year came with Milwaukee in 2003-04 as he averaged 10.5 points and 7.3 rebounds.
All-Centennial Basketball Team Unveiled. The Official Site of Baylor Athletics.
NBA & ABA Players Who Attended Baylor University. Basketball-Reference.com