Baylor coach won’t speculate on leading scorer’s playing status after arrest on assault charge

By Schuyler Dixon, AP
Thursday, October 7, 2010

Baylor coach takes wait-and-see approach on Dunn

DALLAS — Baylor coach Scott Drew said Thursday he won’t speculate on whether LaceDarius Dunn will play this season after suspending his star guard over the player’s arrest for allegedly hitting his girlfriend.

Dunn has been banned from all team activities since last week, when police say Dunn’s girlfriend, Lacharlesla Edwards, had her jaw broken in two places during a domestic dispute. Baylor announced the suspension when Dunn was booked on a felony charge of aggravated assault Tuesday in Waco.

Edwards has said Dunn didn’t hit her, and her jaw wasn’t broken. She said she wants the charge dropped and her boyfriend reinstated to the team, which he led in scoring during last year’s run to the NCAA regional finals.

Drew declined comment on Dunn’s case beyond the school’s statement Tuesday that it was cooperating with authorities and gathering information. McLennan County prosecutors won’t discuss their plans for the case.

Drew said he is preparing for the start of practice Oct. 15 without worrying about whether Dunn will join a list of personnel losses that includes Tweety Carter, Josh Lomers and Ekpe Udoh, an athletic power forward who skipped his senior season and was the sixth pick of the NBA draft by Golden State.

“I’m not going to speculate on any of that because there’s no reason to,” said Drew, who was in Dallas to announce Baylor’s inclusion in a December doubleheader at American Airlines Center, home of the Dallas Mavericks. “That’s why we have a process set in place and we wait, and at that point, we’ll see what happens.”

Dunn was a second-team All-Big 12 pick while averaging 19.6 points and 4.8 rebounds last season when Baylor set a school record with 28 victories and got within one win of making its first NCAA Final Four appearance in 60 years. He needs 451 points, or about 14 per game in a typical regular season, to surpass Terry Teagle as Baylor’s career scoring leader.

The Bears open the regular season Nov. 12 against Grambling.

“One thing about coaching is you know things are never consistent and you always have to be ready for adjustment and change,” Drew said.

Drew used that optimism and enthusiasm to bring Baylor back from the depths of a scandal sparked by the shooting death of a player by one of his teammates. He might use those traits to navigate the uncertainty brought on by Dunn’s status.

“Life’s too short to look at the negatives,” Drew said. “Our coaching staff in general is a very positive coaching staff. Our team has a positive attitude, and that’s why it’s fun going to practice every day.”

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