Zach Loveday’s Path to Waco | How Baylor Was Built

Zach Loveday, 7-0, 215, PF, Fr., (Gallipolis, Ohio)
Committed: Sept. 25, 2019

Loveday has played sparingly this season as a freshman, but the Baylor staff loves his potential.

After spending two seasons at Gallia Academy, the skilled small-town big man transferred to Huntington Prep in West Virginia. That’s where he really grew mentally, playing with high-level players such as Isaiah Cottrell, Jaemyn Brakefield and Quinn Slazinski.

“It toughened me up,” Loveday told me.

Loveday’s first offer came from Purdue in the summer prior to his sophomore season. He had Big East offers from Marquette and Xavier, a Michigan offer from John Beilein before he left for the NBA, and other offers from Ohio State and Indiana in the Big Ten.

“He was going to Michigan, and there was really no reason for us to even bother recruiting him,” Baylor assistant John Jakus said. “We had no shot … until Beilein left for Cleveland and the NBA.”

“It started out very informal, very aloof,” Loveday said of Baylor’s recruiting. “They had a very laid-back approach. Then when I visited for the first time my junior year, I loved it.”

Loveday ultimately picked between Louisville, Baylor and Ohio State. His first visit was to U of L’s Chris Mack, who had recruited him when he was at Xavier, then came Baylor on his second trip to Waco. Ohio State was supposed to host Loveday until they took another big man first. The impending NCAA investigation into Louisville was a factor, as was the fact that he felt he could play more of a stretch big man role for Scott Drew.

Loveday has logged 51 minutes this season and only gotten into eight games, but he has no regrets about choosing Baylor.

“I think I made the right decision. No doubt,” Loveday said. “It’s been awesome here. I’m learning so much from the older guys.”