Bayless Has UNC In Top Four

Jerryd Bayless is one of the elite point guards in the Class of 2007 and while he lists North Carolina among his top four schools, it's going to be a difficult battle to bring the Arizona star to Chapel Hill – if Roy Williams & Co. seriously pursue him.

With the Tar Heels getting Tywon Lawson for the Class of 2006, it'll be a tough sell for floor leaders in the Class of 2007.

Bayless, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound rising junior at St. Mary's (Ariz.), said that the Tar Heels are in the mix – along with Arizona, Texas and Kansas. However, it's fairly clear that Lawson's presence could affect Bayless' decision.

"I'm looking at the whole North Carolina situation," Bayless said. "They've been getting a lot of players, so I don't know if it's a good fit for me."

Bayless averaged 20.1 points and 8.1 assists per game as a freshman, but missed much of last season after disclocating his wrist.

He was also expected to miss the postseason, but he came back in the first round and led St. Mary's to the Class 5A title game, where they lost to Mountain View. Bayless will have a busy next six weeks. It'll begin with the Nike Skills Academy and the NBA Players Association Camp later this month. Then he'll attend the Nike All-American Camp, head to Florida for the Team Breakdown event and finish the summer off with the Big Time in Las Vegas.

Bayless is a guy who often gets compared to another Arizona point guard, Mike Bibby, because of their Arizona ties. However, their games really aren't all that similar.

Bayless is more explosive and athletic while Bibby was a better outside shooter at this stage of his career and also had a better understanding of the point guard position.

"Jerryd is so talented," Arizona Magic's Anthony Ray said. "He's so gifted and so competitive. He wants to win so badly and he's always working on his game to get better. He's never satisfied. Even though he's a top 10 player, he wants to be number one."

Bayless is the first to agree that he needed to work on his point guard abilities – and that's exactly what he's focused on of late.

Bayless has a tutor with an impressive resume – as he works with former NBA guard and ex-Phoenix Suns head coach Frank Johnson on a regular basis.

"Two months ago, my weakness was running a team," Bayless said. "I think I've gotten better at that, though. Now I just think I need to work on everything."

Bayless recently returned from the Arizona team camp, where his team, which is now made up of young players, ended up losing to Buena High. The Wildcats are at or near the top of his list of suitors, along with Texas, Kansas and North Carolina. All have offered a scholarship except for North Carolina.

"I'm going to look at the coaching staff, the players who they have coming in and a lot of other factors," Bayless said. "Playing time won't be an issue, though. I don't want anyone to give anything to me. I want to earn my playing time."

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