LJ Cryer’s Path to Waco | How Baylor Was Built

LJ Cryer, 6-1, 185, G, Fr. (Katy, Texas)
Committed: June 11, 2019

When Jaden Ivey committed to Purdue, Cryer was sick to his stomach.

“After I went to Purdue on a visit, I wanted to commit,” Cryer recalled. “Then I took some time to decide, talked it over with my parents and next thing you know, Purdue took Jaden Ivey. It’s OK. Everything worked out.”

Cryer scored 3,488 points in his high school career at Morton Ranch in Katy, and switched from the Basketball University adidas team to the more high-profile Houston Hoops — the same program that produced his favorite player, Carsen Edwards, a couple of years earlier (that’s where his love for Purdue came in).

It ultimately came down to Baylor, Houston, LSU and Purdue. He has family in Louisiana, and his mother attended LSU, but he scratched the Tigers from consideration with all the NCAA issues involving head coach Will Wade. His parents wanted him to leave Houston and experience college life a little further away, so that left Baylor and Purdue.

Boilermakers head coach Matt Painter took Ivey — and the rest was history.

The crazy thing is that Cryer really didn’t enjoy the attention that came with the recruiting process. Scott Drew and his staff are known for their aggressiveness, and there were times when Cryer wouldn’t answer calls and texts.

“He’s a focused kid,” Baylor assistant Jerome Tang said. “All he does is hoop. He didn’t really like the recruiting process.”

“Even though they could tell I was annoyed with the process,” Cryer added. “They still called … and kept calling.”

“God led me here,” Cryer said. “It wasn’t a bad fit. I love the energy all the coaches have. Baylor has been there from day one and now I’m on one of the best teams in the country.”

Cryer is next in line once Jared Butler, Davion Mitchell and MaCio Teague depart. He’s in a limited role this season as a freshman, averaging 13.3 minutes per game. But he’s making the most of his time on the floor, averaging 4.9 points per game and making 43 percent of his 3s.

“It was a great decision,” he said. “I didn’t think Jared and MaCio would be here this year. I came in with the intent to play a lot as a freshman and obviously that hasn’t been the case. But it’s been great to learn from two future NBA players. It doesn’t get better than that.”