WACO _ The running joke around the Baylor basketball program the last two-plus years is the lack of assists compiled by guard LaceDarius Dunn.
As a freshman for the Baers two years ago, Dunn distributed just 24 assists in 31 games. Last year, he added another 24 assists in 39 games.
More laughter ensued, so Dunn took it to heart and set out to quiet his critics who claimed he was nothing more than a ball-hog.
"Everybody always kid me about that,'' Dunn said, referring to his lack of assists. "But the coaches and the players always tell me, "Don't worry about that. You're a scorer and you just score the ball.''
Still, Dunn wanted to show everybody he was more than just a one-dimensional player who focused only on getting his own shot.
Dunn said: "Last summer I had my mind focused on going back to my old high school days and getting to the rack when I wanted to get to the rack and shooting three's and just really mixing my game up.''
The results: In 18 games this season, Dunn has dispensed 38 assists. Those are not eye-popping Steve Nash-type numbers, but it's an improvement.
While Dunn's assists total has become Internet fodder, Baylor assistant coach Jerome Tang knows the 6-4 junior has the capacity to distribute the ball with the best of them if that's what the Bears want him to do.
"In high school he played point guard and he distributed the ball, he scored, he did it all,'' Tang said. "But he's done exactly what we've needed him to do, and now he's doing exactly what we've always thought he could do, and that's do all the facets of the game
"And I expect even bigger things from him as we go along.''
_ Dwain Price