WACO — Baylor forward Royce O’Neale and the Baylor Bears find themselves in the middle of a rough patch after a 66-64 home loss to West Virginia on Tuesday.
The Bears (13-7, 1-6 Big 12) have lost five in a row and six of their last seven since conference play opened.
O’Neale came to Baylor after a season at the University of Denver. The former Harker Heights standout is averaging 5.9 points, 3.6 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game this season.
O’Neale recently talked about his season at Baylor, recent games and his time as a Knight.
What do you think you guys have to do to turn things around?
I think we pretty much just need that one win, and after that one win we’ll turn around that. We’re starting to know what we have to do, now go do it.
Do you think that loss to Texas Tech sent you guys spiraling?
It’s just a little hump that we’ve got to get over right now.
You had a hard fall against Texas while fighting for a rebound, did that affect you the rest of the game?
I wouldn’t say that. That happens. It’s basketball so you’re going to take some hard falls. But other than that, just play through it.
What was the atmosphere in the locker room like after the loss to Texas?
We were just pretty much having a conversation with one another about the things we could help out on the team and turn the season around.
You and Cory Jefferson are both from the Killeen area. Is that something you guys talk a lot about?
We don’t talk a lot about it. We go back and check out the high school games every now and then when we go back. Being from the same town is pretty good.
Do you guys talk some trash whenever Killeen and Harker Heights play against each other?
Yeah we do. We remember past games that we played. He is older than me, so I didn’t get a chance to play against him. So he brings up that they beat us, but I also bring up that we beat them when I was playing.
Killeen has two players on the BU starting lineup. Does that say a lot about the quality of basketball in the area?
I would say yeah. All the kids look up to us, and they use us as inspiration. Just keep working hard and just go after it.
Was it pretty easy for you to fit in with the guys here at Baylor and develop chemistry?
Yeah, it was kind of easy. We played a lot of open gym when I first got here, especially during the summer.
We always hang out with each other since we live right next to each other, so we pretty much build chemistry based off that.
What is your favorite memory of playing for Heights?
The game I scored 39 points and almost making it to the state tournament (in 2011). We were (in the regional quarterfinal).
How were you introduced to the game of basketball?
When I was little, I had a Fisher-Price goal.
Since I was five, I always had a basketball in my hand. I really got good over the years, so I just stuck with it.
Were you a jump shooter on the Fisher-Price goal or did you take it to the hole?
When I was that age, I was more of a throw it down player. Over the years, I developed my game and just shot more.
What are the goals you want to attain at Baylor?
Make the NCAA Tournament and hopefully win the championship.