LaceDarius Dunn led Baylor to a school-record 28 victories and a run to the regional final of the NCAA tournament last season.
After missing the Bears’ first three games, he’ll try to pick up where he left off when he makes his 2010-11 debut.
Dunn is expected to return from his suspension Monday night when No. 12 Baylor hosts Lipscomb.
Dunn was originally suspended after his October arrest following a domestic dispute with his girlfriend. But the woman disputed police’s accounts, saying Dunn didn’t hit her and her jaw wasn’t broken, and the guard was allowed to continue practicing.
Besides missing the Bears’ first three games, Dunn also was out for a preseason scrimmage and an exhibition game.
“It’s going to be good to have him back,” coach Scott Drew said after a 63-49 win over Jackson State on Thursday improved Baylor to 3-0.
The Bears had little trouble even without Dunn, who averaged 19.6 points and 4.8 rebounds last season en route to second-team All-Big 12 honors. Quincy Acy is averaging 17.7 points and 9.7 rebounds while freshman Perry Jones is averaging 14.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots.
“I think it’s good that other people can step up,” Jones said after posting 20 points, eight rebounds and three steals Thursday. “I think that causes a lot of problems for the opposing teams because they just can’t stick to one or two guys. It’s multiple guys that can score the ball and I think that’s going to be an advantage for us.”
The Bears did continue struggling with turnovers, finishing with a season-high 26. They averaged 13.6 last season but are recording 23.7 per game in 2010-11. Sophomore A.J. Walton has 13 in the last two contests.
“Obviously turnovers is an area where we will have to get better in,” Drew said. “Yes, we are working on that in practice. Yes, the players know that, but I know LaceDarius Dunn will help with that too.”
Drew and Baylor are unlikely to overlook their next opponent, which gave another ranked team a scare earlier this month.
Lipscomb (2-1) opened the season Nov. 12 with an 80-66 loss at then-No. 8 North Carolina. The Bisons, who are the defending Atlantic Sun Conference champions, stayed close until the Tar Heels pulled away in the final minutes.
Lipscomb bounced back with a win over Stillman College last Monday and then a 104-101 overtime victory against Austin Peay on Thursday.
The Bisons shot 52.5 percent and were led by Adnan Hodzic, who scored 33 points on 12-of-15 shooting and added 16 rebounds.
“I thought he was a monster in the paint,” coach Scott Sanderson told Lipscomb’s official athletics website. “He got to the free throw line and made his free throws. He had some major rebounds in traffic. He seemed like he played better as the night went on and we needed every basket.”
Hodzic, a senior from Bosnia and the reigning Atlantic Sun player of the year, is averaging 22.0 points and 10.0 rebounds.
Baylor has won 18 consecutive home games against unranked opponents since a 66-62 loss to Nebraska on March 7, 2009.