The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

99° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    More than less of Bayless

    UA signee Jerryd Bayless, a St Marys High School senior, weaves into the paint at Tucson Salpointe Cathlic High School Friday. Bayless, ranked as the nations No. 10 overall recruit, recovered from Wednesdays  5-of-22 shooting performance.
    UA signee Jerryd Bayless, a St Mary’s High School senior, weaves into the paint at Tucson Salpointe Cathlic High School Friday. Bayless, ranked as the nation’s No. 10 overall recruit, recovered from Wednesday’s 5-of-22 shooting performance.

    Same city. Different gym, different day, and different results for Jerryd Bayless.

    The UA signee came off a 5-of-22 shooting performance Wednesday in McKale Center to drop 37 points on Tucson Salpointe Catholic High School in a 76-66 St. Mary’s win Friday night at Salpointe.

    Bayless shot 11-of-21 this time around and made six of his 12 3-point attempts, while chipping in with two highlight-reel blocks on the defensive end.

    “”(He was) a lot more focused I think,”” St. Mary’s head coach David Lopez said. “”He wanted to play a good game one way or another.””

    It took Bayless a little while to get going. The 6-foot-3 guard turned the ball over three times, missed a 3-pointer, couldn’t finish an alley-oop dunk, and was hit with a technical foul in the first six and a half minutes of the game.

    For the rest of night, Salpointe could do little to hold down the No. 10 prospect in the class of 2007 ( Bayless made five of his next six shots, four of them 3-pointers, and missed only on a half-court shot at the first quarter buzzer.

    “”Coach was just telling me to keep on shooting and let the game come to me, and that’s what I did (Friday night),”” Bayless said. “”I made some shots, and it was all good from there.””

    After Wednesday’s sloppy performance, one that assistant coach Damin Lopez characterized as the worst shooting day of Bayless’ career, the St. Mary’s star turned off his phone for the next two days. Bayless said he was “”just trying to concentrate and get the win.””

    David Lopez said there was a difference in Bayless’ game Friday. He said Bayless let the game come to him more, used his teammates, and turned the ball over less. After Bayless’ three initial turnovers, he had just one more the rest of the game and zero in the second half.

    “”He’s a leader, and that’s what we try to talk to him about,”” Lopez said. “”You could lead defensively, you can lead rebounding, you can lead other things, not just by your shot. “”That’s the discussion we had with him last time. You don’t lead by your shooting, you lead by everything else. And I think he took that to heart, and he knows that. (He) just (had to) refocus.””

    Though Bayless attempted more than half of his shots from behind the 3-point line, he attacked the basket enough for Salpointe defenders to play on their heels. Bayless attempted 12 free throws, the same amount as he had against Tucson High School two days earlier.

    “”Every game, every time I get the ball they’re going to have help waiting for me,”” Bayless said. “”They might do double teams, they might do a box-(and)-one, whatever the coach designs, so if they’re giving me the 3, I’ll take the 3. If they’re giving me the lane, I’ll take the lane.””

    No. 3 St. Mary’s (5-4) trailed by as much as eight in the first half but rallied back to take a 34-33 halftime lead. The Knights made their run at the start of the second half, outscoring Salpointe (0-5) 15-4 and taking a 12-point lead that they would never relinquish. The Lancers, who were led by 25 points from Chase Adams, didn’t get closer than six points after St. Mary’s initial second-half outburst.

    As the Lancers futilely attempted their comeback, Bayless took over with his slashing ability, scoring on two drives down the middle of the lane and swatting away the second of his blocks.

    “”It gets the crowd excited, and that helps us with momentum game,”” said Bayless, who acknowledged that his eyes lit up when he saw his opponent going up for the layup.

    David Lopez has not seen many bad games from Bayless and expected him to bounce back from Wednesday’s poor performance.

    “”He responds, and that’s why he’s a highly-recruited player,”” Lopez said. “”He’s got charisma and charm and personality, and he knows how to bounce back. He knows the mature things to do, and he doesn’t sulk out there.””

    UA players Jawann McClellan, Nic Wise, J.P. Prince, and Jordan Hill were on hand along with assistant coach Josh Pastner to watch Bayless. McClellan shook hands with Bayless prior to the game, and Bayless said McClellan wished him good luck.

    “”I come down here all the time, and I hang out with them, and them coming out here and supporting me is just great,”” Bayless said. “”Hopefully it’s going to go to next year’s team camaraderie.””

    Pastner, who’s no stranger to high school gyms, liked what he saw from Bayless Friday.

    “”He was great,”” Pastner said. “”Even the other night when his shot was a little bit off, but what (UA head) coach (Lute) Olson says, you can tell his ability to create his own shot, his athleticism, his quickness. He’s very, very special.””

    And 1

    Former UA center and current New York Knick Channing Frye played for Lopez at St. Mary’s. Lopez said the attention Frye received while he was in high school does not come close to the hype surrounding Bayless.

    “”Jerryd right away was coming in his freshman year, his first varsity game against one of the best defensive schools in Arizona and scored 37,”” Lopez said. “”Right away, he was noted, and I never got calls from (Duke head coach) Mike Krzyzewski and (North Carolina head coach) Roy Williams.

    “”Channing was more development and just got better and better and better. He wasn’t even on the radar for a long time. I think Lute saw his upside, so it’s much different and Jerryd is still developing, but he was noticed right away by head coaches.””

    Salpointe students chanted “”overrated”” at Bayless at different points in the game. Bayless, who heard the chant Wednesday in McKale from Tucson High fans, said he is not bothered by the negativity he hears at most road games.

    “”It happens everywhere, it’s been happening since freshman year,”” Bayless said. “”I take it with stride and just go out there and play my game. It doesn’t bother me at all. It’s nothing.””

    More to Discover
    Activate Search