When Brendan Bailey takes the court this summer, he'll be greeted by the eyes of high-major college coaches hoping they can lure him to campus. The 6-7 forward is a national top-50 prospect and will be key for Dreamvision as they attempt to advance through the challenging Adidas field.
Bailey didn't actually perform his best on day one; he shot just 3-12 from the field — 1-6 on threes — en route to a quiet 10 points. That said, despite being very thin he ripped down 12 rebounds and played a determined, intelligent defensive game. He's very fluid and has quick feet laterally, and thus he projects as a fine defender for the college level as well.
Meanwhile, though he lacks strength, his excellent balance enables him to hold position through contact. He may get knocked around in the paint, but he still gets his hands on balls because he can maintain contact with the play even when out-muscled by a more physically mature opponent. That's how such a slender player, who isn't elite in terms of explosive athleticism, can haul down 12 rebounds.
His promise, while perhaps a few years from becoming actualized, has brought big-time schools into the recruiting fray.
Bailey himself is a veteran of the recruiting process. He committed to the Sun Devils last fall but reopened his recruitment upon the transition from Herb Sendek to Bobby Hurley.
Arizona was among those on hand this evening checking out his progress, as were Steve Wojciechowski and many others. Bailey said that he'll exercise more patience this time and has no immediate plans to narrow his list.