Sam Webb: When did it get serious… when did Brendan decide that Michigan is a place he really wanted to look at?
Sindi Bailey: “It was a little slow at first because (Coach Beilein) couldn’t come and watch Brendan until July because he had missed the April live period. But he had a bunch of film on him and I think had done a little bit of work on what kind of player he was prior to July. It got really serious the first of July when he first got a chance to see Brendan. That’s when he wanted to set up a home visit and he started talking about an official visit. So Michigan was probably at the bottom when he narrowed his schools to five. The five schools are Michigan Marquette, Gonzaga, San Diego State, and the University of Utah. He cut his schools after the live period in July. (Michigan was) the one question mark school. Brendan really liked Michigan, but he just didn’t know as much about them.”
Sam Webb: Impressions of Michigan… what stood out to you guys the most as parents?
Sindi Bailey: “I think the thing that was most impressive for us as parents was probably first the academics that the University has. Second it was the relationship that Brendan had developed with Beilein. Brendan is a relationship kind of guy. He needs to go to a place where he is comfortable and he has a relationship with the coach where it just feels right to him. Beilein had that instantly, whereas it has taken some other coaches a lot longer to get to that point. The first time Coach Beilen came out for the home visit it was like instantly the two of them just hit it off. So I think it was the relationships as well as the academics of the school that were the most impressive to us.”
“We spent most of the time with Coach Beilein. He has kind of taken the initiative to recruit Brendan. He is the only one that we’ve spent any time with. The phone conversations have all been through Coach Beilein. It’s a little bit different. It’s different than any of the other schools that are recruiting him. It has been a little bit unique. But he has been awesome. He has been sooo good.”
Sam Webb: As far as the atmosphere goes… the spectacle that is a game day in Ann Arbor… did that impress you guys?
Sindi Bailey: “Oh it was really impressive. He has gone to lots of Utah games. He has gone to NFL games, but it’s just a totally different atmosphere when you’re at Michigan in the Big House with all the students… yeah it was very impressive. I think he was in a little bit of shock. (Laughter)
Sam Webb: So how did the Michigan visit compare to the other visits you guys have been on?
Sindi Bailey: “You know when you go on these visits they’re all very similar. They all go through the academic part, they tour the campus, they meet with the staff… so you do similar things at all of the visits. But I think the difference between them comes with how your relationships develop with the staff and the guys on the team. And Michigan was instantly (good). As soon as the first night was over when we got to spend some time with everybody and Brendan got the chance to spend some time with the guys I think it instantly became one of the top visits. And then it just got better as it went on. He has had some really good visits. He still hasn’t been to Gonzaga. Gonzaga is this next weekend, but he has been to Marquette, he has been to San Diego State, and Utah… he is up there all the time. His visits to San Diego State and Marquette were awesome as well. He just didn’t know what to expect going into Michigan because he knew less about them than he did the other schools. Gonzaga has been recruiting him since eighth grade. San Diego State has been on him since the day he decommitted from Arizona State, so he knows them really well. One of the assistants from Marquette was at Arizona State when Brendan was committed at Arizona State. And as soon as he was fired at Arizona State he took the job at Marquette….and it was the assistant coach that had been recruiting him at Arizona State. So (Brendan) really has a really nice relationship with him as well. So he has got these relationships that he has developed over the last couple of years, whereas the Michigan relationship been just over the last five months. But it was one that developed faster than any of the others. It instantly felt really comfortable to him as soon as he was able to spend some time with everybody there.”
Sam Webb: You know Brendan better than anyone. Aside from relationships what are going to be the most significant factors in his choice?
Sindi Bailey: “You know I think probably the biggest thing for Brendan will be where he feels comfortable and where he feels he can come in and play right away. Michigan is unique because he won’t come in until 2018 because he is going to serve a LDS Mission right after high school. So Brendan is going to graduate from high school in March and he’ll leave on his Mission for two years. So he won’t come into school until 2018, and in the 2018 season I think Michigan has five scholarships. They have a bunch of kids leaving that year, which gives him a nice opportunity to come in right away and get some playing time.”
Sam Webb: I think I know the answer to the following question since Brendan will be leaving home for his Mission, but will distance from home be a factor in his collegiate choice?
Sindi Bailey: “He could be in some foreign land for two years… we have no idea. So distance isn’t really (a factor) for him. For me it’s gonna suck because (his father firmer NBA power forward Thurl Bailey) and I are going to have to travel halfway across the country to watch him play (laughter), but whatever is comfortable for him we’ll support him 100%. I don’t care what part of the country it’s in.”
Sam Webb: So does he have a timeline for making a decision and what will that process entail?
Sindi Bailey: “We’ve got the official to Gonzaga next weekend and then shortly after that he’ll make his decision… so within the next two weeks he will decide for sure where he’ll be. The decision will be me and Thurl and Brendan all sitting down together and going over all the pros and cons and where he feels most comfortable and all of that. We’ll help him out, but it will ultimately come down to him. He’ll make the decision. We’ll just be there to help him with whatever information he needs. We’ll tell him what we think and what we think will probably be best, but ultimately it will come down to him.
“But he is ready. He doesn’t love the recruiting process. He is really quiet, he is really reserved, and he doesn’t like all of the phone calls and the text messages. He would rather it be done, but he knows he really likes Gonzaga, so he knows he has to get all of his visits in and go through the process. But he is ready to be done. He is tired of everything that comes with being recruited, and he is ready. I think he has got all of the information really. Gonzaga and Michigan were the final two that he needed to really look at. I think after next week he should have everything he needs to make a decision.”