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LJ Cryer status: Will Baylor guard play in the 2022 NCAA men’s basketball tournament?

The Bears backcourt takes a blow heading into the NCAA Tournament

Baylor v West Virginia
LJ Cryer of the Baylor Bears dribbles the ball during a college basketball game against the West Virginia Mountaineers at the WVU Coliseum on January 18, 2022 in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The Baylor Bears will be without guard LJ Cryer for the first weekend of the tournament, per head coach Scott Drew. Cryer is averaging 13.5 points for the Bears, who are hoping to defend their national title from a season ago. We’ll see if this injury impacts how oddsmakers and fans are viewing the Bears for the first weekend of the tournament.

As the No. 1 seed in the East region, the Bears should be able to get past their first hurdle with no issues. The real challenge comes in the round of 32, with either the North Carolina Tar Heels or Marquette Golden Eagles waiting. Without Cryer, both opponents suddenly become dangerous for the Bears.

Look for James Akinjo, Adam Flagler and Kendall Brown to take on bigger roles with Cryer out. Baylor has a surplus of guards in their rotation, so there’s enough strength in numbers to collectively make up for Cryer’s loss.