WACO, Texas (AP) - Kim Mulkey often has to remind herself of the same thing others tend to forget about No. 13 Baylor.
This isn't the same group that won the national championship less than two years ago, no matter how well the Lady Bears (15-3) have played at times since.
"The Baylor uniform, now it means something and you're going to get everybody's best shot, even if it's not the same team," Mulkey said. "Then, you add the fact we are young. I forget that sometimes as a coach."
Eight of Baylor's 11 players were in high school when the Lady Bears won their only national title in 2005. Their only senior starter is 6-foot-1 forward Bernice Mosby, then playing at Florida and now in her only Baylor season after transferring.
Despite its youth and drastic roster shuffling, Baylor is a mainstay in the national rankings, peaking this season at No. 9 for five straight weeks. The Lady Bears have shown flashes of having another championship in them - even if it doesn't come to fruition until they get a little older.
Before losing to No. 7 Oklahoma and No. 17 Texas A&M last week, the first time they lost consecutive Big 12 games since 2003, the Lady Bears had won 12 straight, starting with a November victory against No. 8 LSU.
"After that (2005 championship) game, I didn't think we were going to be the same," said junior guard Angela Tisdale, who has started 48 straight games and is the only regular remaining from the title team. "But each year, we're still up there. We're not having a huge drop-off. It's been pretty good."
Baylor got an early confidence boost by making the finals of the Preseason WNIT in November, beating then-No. 22 BYU before a loss to No. 12 Purdue. Next came the victory over LSU, a Final Four team the past three seasons.
Even in their loss to defending Big 12 champion Oklahoma (14-1), which has won a record 23 straight conference games, the Bears led by 10 points after halftime. Then the more experienced Sooners, with six seniors and an All-American sophomore center, gained control.
"I think a lot of people anticipated that we would kind of have a slow start because we're so young," said Rachel Allison, one of three sophomores who played as freshmen last season. "We got down to business right away. Coach set the tone in practice."
Mulkey has always been demanding, and coaches as hard as she played when she was a feisty pigtailed point guard leading Louisiana Tech to back-to-back national titles and 130 victories over four seasons.
With two new assistant coaches, Mulkey has taken more responsibility in filling the void for a young team missing the leadership of All-American forward Sophia Young.
"You can see her passion for the game is back. She's yelling, she's on the court. You can see a different demeanor in here. It's been good for our team," Tisdale said.