2016 top-100 wing Brendan Bailey committed to Marquette on Tuesday. Bailey, a 6-foot-7, 190-pound native of American Fork, Utah, choose Marquette over offers from the likes of Michigan, Gonzaga, San Diego State, UConn, and hometown Utah. Bailey originally committed to Arizona State in 2014 but reopened his recruitment when Herb Sendek was fired by the Sun Devils. This coaching change is what also lead assistant coach Stan Johnson to leave Arizona State for Marquette, where he became the lead recruiter for Bailey. Bailey spoke with Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and had this to say about his recruitment:
“[Wojo] flew out to have home visits a bunch of times — I can’t even remember how many times he flew from Milwaukee to come visit me here. That’s a big commitment to fly that long to see a player that many times. Also, just the kind of things he would say to me about how bad he really wants me and how he would push me and get everything he can out of me to become the best player I can be. Just motivational things like that and just the effort he took to come see me and show how much he wants me to be a part of this team.”
Bailey joins Steven’s Point native Sam Hauser as the second member of Coach Wojo’s 2016 class. That gives the Golden Eagles two consensus top 100 wings in their 2016 class, though Bailey is a member of that class in name only. Bailey has previously commented that he will take the two year mission required of him as a member of the LDS faith right after high school. This effectively makes him a member of the class of 2018. Bailey will likely sign his National Letter of Intent in the spring, effectively binding him to Marquette until he arrives on campus as a freshman in 2018. Per NCAA rules, Bailey’s scholarship will not be counted against Marquette until 2018 (assuming Bailey’s mission doesn’t end early).
Bailey is the son of former Utah Jazz great Thurl Bailey. The senior Bailey was a national champion with the NC State Wolfpack and a top ten draft pick in 1983. He was also 6-foot-11, so his son may not stay 6-7 over the next few years. Brendan’s main asset is his shot. He has a very quick release and can hit shots all over the gym. He has good ball control and regularly uses a step back move to get off shots in the mid range. He has a very long frame that makes him an exceptional defender. His main area of improvement is his ability to finish at the rim. Brendan is very thin and will need some time with Todd Smith to get Big East ready. Fortunately, he will be starting as a twenty year old freshman. Two extra years of maturity, both physical and mental, will be a huge asset for Marquette.
Bailey’s commitment still leaves one scholarship for the 2016 class. Two scholarships if Henry Ellenson were to declare for the draft. Wojo will likely turn his focus to Junior College standout Darrlyn Willis to fill the last spot on the roster. Willis is taking an official visit to Marquette this weekend. Markus Howard and Xavier Tillman remain top priorities for Wojo in the 2017 class.