The Ferrell Center feels nothing like it did when the men played, and not only because Baylor wins by 35. It's that the Lady Bears carry so little baggage compared with the men; there are no one-and-done questions, no recruiting snipes. Starr has returned for the nightcap with his wife, Alice, and now that the TV cameras are gone he fully indulges his role as the hood ornament of the Baylor sports limousine. He emerges grinning from the student section in a black block party T-shirt; in Waco at least, it's not at all odd to see that Ken Starr with the fluorescent words LET'S PARTY! across his back.
Griner, too, seems unburdened, considering the focus she faces. The reigning defensive player of the year, she sails about campus on a long-board, crashes and picks herself up, paints her face at football games. Even with a cross-of-nails tattoo on her back and another tat that says LAUGH NOW, CRY LATER ("Just the meaning of, like, my life," she says), she's fully at ease in her own skin, a junior in no hurry to leave. "As long as you're comfortable," she says, "who cares what everybody else says?"
As if to prove the point, when the game ends Griner jogs over to the Baylor cheerleaders and, facing the dwindling crowd, kicks her long legs up high next to the smaller girls five, six, seven times. She reaches out to high-five fans, grabs a pair of pom-poms and shakes them. It's as good a way as any to send all ghosts, good or bad, packing. With this team, here and now, they have no place.