Baylor's formula of helped carry the Bears to the 2021 national title, and the program appears to be doubling down on that plan moving forward. Former Georgetown and Arizona guard James Akinjo, a first-team All-Pac-12 performer this season, announced Friday that he is transferring to Baylor.
Akinjo led Arizona in scoring at 15.6 points per game on 40.8% 3-point shooting as a junior in the 2020-21 season while also handing out a team-best 5.4 assists per game. The former four-star prospect was a top-100 recruit in the Class of 2018, according to the 247Sports Composite.
He was the Big East Freshman of the Year at Georgetown in the 2018-19 season before deciding to transfer seven games into his sophomore season as the fall semester concluded. Akinjo received a waiver for immediate eligibility last fall that enabled him to play in Arizona's games during the fall semester this past season.
Because Akinjo received that clearance for immediate eligibility as a mid-year transfer last season, it's not clear when he might be eligible at Baylor. The NCAA is clearing the way for players to receive immediate eligibility the first time they transfer. But since Akinjo already received immediate eligibility last season, he may need a waiver at Baylor.
Regardless of when he suits up for the Bears, Akinjo figures to be a force in the Big 12. At 6-foot-1 and with a slender frame, he's struggled to score inside the arc at times during his college career, but he's a dynamic playmaker who is a proven outside shooter and distributor.
Baylor relied heavily upon Auburn transfer Davion Mitchell, UNC Asheville transfer MaCio Teague and Presbyterian transfer Adam Flagler in the backcourt during its run to the national championship this year. The Final Four's Most Outstanding Player, Jared Butler, also came to Baylor from Auburn, although he never suited up for the Tigers.
Akinjo will merely be the latest in that lineage of star transfer guards to suit up for coach Scott Drew, who has become a savant of identifying good fits on the transfer market.