Hoops Prep Star visits Ole Miss

Tirrell Baines (SF, Patterson Prep, NC) - Tirrell is in the midst of getting prepared for the national Final 4 tournament but had time to take in his first official visit over the weekend.

"I went to Ole Miss this weekend," added Tirrell Baines.

The Rebels were playing for the SEC West championship and Baines came away impressed.

"It was great. The crowd really got into it. They support their team very well. I would love to play for them. Some of their fans were coming up to me and telling me how much they would love to have me there. That was kind of neat. And I love their staff. Coach K (Andy Kennedy), what got me about him was when there was 10 seconds left in the game, he waived his hands and got the crowd into it. I have never seen that before. That got to me. He would be a lot of fun to play for."

What did Baines and the Ole Miss staff talk about during the trip?

"We had a good conversation. I enjoyed talking to them. They asked me how I liked it and if I could see myself in that program. I told them that I could because everybody has fun down there. They like to have fun on and off the court. I just liked the atmosphere around that program."

What stood out the most during Tirrell's official visit?

"The game, it was a great game and their style of play. I loved it. They love to get up and down the court. They play at a fast pace. That is the way I play. I also enjoyed their campus and all of the students. I felt like I fit in well with their staff, players, and just the everyday students. They have a good environment down there."

The two time Charleston signee has five schools at the top of his list.

"I am getting recruited by Wake Forest, Illinois, Baylor, Ole Miss, St. Johns, and like 8 other schools. But my top 5 are Ole Miss, Illinois, Rutgers, St. John, and Wake Forest."

Any offers?

"Ole Miss, Providence, and Baylor have offered me. When Charleston's head coach got fired, that pretty much eliminated them."

Where will Baines visit next?

"I am going to wait until after the season is over before I decide. We are headed to the Final 4 this weekend and face Notre Dame Prep. We are pretty excited about that. But as to the schools I will visit, I am in talks with Illinois, Baylor, and Wake Forest about going over there for a visit. Wake Forest is really coming after me pretty hard now."

Who is coming after Tirrell the hardest?

"Ole Miss is and then I would say Illinois and Wake Forest."

Tirrell is originally from Laurence (S.C.) but failed to qualify out of high school. He ended up signing with Patterson Prep school in North Carolina and has had a great experience.

"I can not say enough about this staff here. We have something really special going on. We really believe we are going to win it all this year."

How Bailey ended up at Patterson is another story.

"I transferred to Prince Avenue Prep my junior year. I committed to Charleston, and they wanted me to transfer to Patterson when Coach Herrin was still at Charleston. I came back to Patterson for the '06/'07 after I failed to qualify."

What has all of this taught Tirrell?

"To make my grades, to put it bluntly. I have an 850 on my SAT right now, and I need a 900. I feel confident I will get it down this time around. But this year has been a better year for me. I am getting better looks than Charleston. I have had a solid season. Recruiting is going well. Everything else is going good."

Bailey is averaging 13 points and 10 rebounds this year but there is another stat that stands out the most.

"I have had a double/double in every game this year."

What are his strengths?

"I can pass the ball, shoot the mid range jumper, and I am always active. The only thing I really need to work on is my ball handling skills. They are good, but I need to keep improving."

Bailey is not a bad shooter as he is averaging 68% from the free throw line and 58% overall from the field.

"I can score, but I like doing the little things like diving for loose balls, blocking out, making a big steal. I have real quick hands and a 42" vertical. They say I play above the rim. My main goal is to get 15 rebounds every game. I know I can score, but the main thing is to get to 15 (rebounds)."

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