Blake On The Road: Update On Corey Bailey

Several division one schools are taking a look at Corey Bailey...reporter Russ Blake has the details from the state of Kansas

COFFEYVILLE, Kan. -- While Butler County C.C. is glad to have Randy Smithson back as its head coach, Smithson is probably equally grateful for the return of Corey Bailey to the Grizzly program.

A sturdy 6-4, 210-pound forward from Tampa, Fla., the 24-year-old Bailey actually left Butler County after one semester last year. In fact, just after he had a bit of a coming out party at the 2004 Jayhawk Shootout, Bailey was out of Butler and back in the Sunshine State.

Bailey and former Butler County Head Coach Dennis Helms (now back at Odessa JC in Texas) had some sort of falling out last year, precipitating Bailey's departure from the El Dorado, Kan., school.

"Corey wanted to come back here after the coaching change," explained Butler County Asst. Coach Mike Bargen. "So he came back here for summer school and worked hard to get eligible for this season."

Bailey was a tour de force for Butler County at the Jayhawk Shootout. He pumped in 29 points and snatched down eight rebounds in a Sunday victory over Highland C.C. A day earlier, he collected 22 points and five rebounds to pace a victory over Johnson County C.C.

Because of his strong upper body and good athleticism, Bailey is able to consistently finish plays in traffic and along the baseline. But he showed an improved stroke from the perimeter against Johnson County, nailing four of eight shots beyond the arc.

In the two Grizzly victories, Bailey shot an impressive 23 of 34 from the field, a robust 68 percent.

"Corey spent a lot of time on his jump shot this summer, and he has a chance to be a great shooter," Bargen said. "It's just a matter of hours in the gym."

"He's gone from a post player to a shooter," Bargen added. "And now he's working to do more things off the dribble."

Due to his size and potential to create mismatches, Bailey is a player with the potential to do serious damage at the low to mid major level. His fine play, however, has caused a bit of a spike in his recruitment.

Bargen said that Minnesota, Kansas State and Creighton are among the programs who have inquired about Bailey, who will likely need summer school to graduate.

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