Off night for Bayless in Tucson

Fans packed the McKale Center for a glimpse of the future, but left a tad disappointed. Future Wildcat Jerryd Bayless and his St. Mary's Knights came to the UA campus. Bayless scored 23 points but struggled shooting and left on the wrong side of a 66-61 loss against Tucson High.

Several thousand fans filled the lower portion of McKale, most there to get a look at the 5-star recruit who will be playing for the Wildcats next season. While Bayless did show off his great athleticism and dunking ability, he struggled to find his outside shot.

"It was a tough game," Bayless said. "It was a good experience and all, but we lost. I just didn't shoot the ball as well as I usually do."

Bayless was just 5-22 from the field, connecting on just one of 10 three point shots. He never found a rhythm from behind the arc, his lone three coming from off a 25-footer late in the game.

He was most effective attacking the hoop. He had two transition dunks and added two more lay-ins. More importantly he went to the line repeatedly and sunk his free throws. All told he was 12-12 from the stripe.

Bayless is usually a pretty good shooter from behind the arc, but he never got into a rhythm. In hindsight he should have attacked the hoop even more, but the Badgers did a good job keeping him out of the lane and denying him the ball.

"The ball felt good but it just wasn't falling," Bayless said. "I got the shots that get every game with two people in my face, but it wasn't falling."

Unofficially he dished out just three assists, but he would have been closer to 10 if his teammates could have finished under the basket or knocked down a few more shots.

St. Mary's actually led most of the way but Tucson High went on a run midway through the fourth quarter and led by as many as seven in the final minutes. Bayless hit his lone three to cut it to four, but the Knights could not get any closer.

"That was pretty bad," Bayless admitted. "It was just one of those games. I have to put a smile on my face and bounce back from it."

Bayless will get another chance at impressing Tucsonans. His St. Mary's team will play in Tucson against Salpointe. If you want to see him play, get their early as the Salpointe gym is not huge and the interest should be high.

Notes:

*The entire Wildcat coaching staff watched from the stands as did most of the current players. Jordan Hill, David Bagga and Nic Wise watched from the first row, while the rest of the team watched from various parts of the arena.


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