April 27, 2006

Bailey holding a trio of offers

Baton Rouge (La.) Bellaire forward Elgin Bailey says there is a secret to his success.

He trains in a damp Bayou gym with no air conditioning. And he's in there a lot.

"I haven't slept in it yet, but I've been in there a lot," he said. "I'm in the gym probably three hours a day. I usually spend about an hour on my handles, about an hour on my jumper and about an hour on my post moves."

His time spent in the humid gyms of Louisiana is starting to pay off. Bailey raised a lot of eyebrows with his play at the Kingwood Classic and the Boo Williams Invitational with the California Hoops.

The barrel-chested four man is solid out to 15 feet with his jumper but it is his ball-handling, speed and stamina that is much improved since he made an initial blip on the recruiting radar last summer at the ABCD camp.

Bailey missed a good part of his junior season to injury but was able to sneak in the last three games of the year. The injury motivated him to hit the gym in the spring, he said.

The injury didn't slow his recruitment. Bailey said he is holding offers from USC, Miami and Oklahoma State. Tennessee and Florida are interested, too, he said. Since the Kingwood, UNC, Illinois and Michigan have all inquired.

The schools that have offered are tops on his list for the moment, Bailey said.

"I watched USC on TV this year and they are pretty good. I like what they are doing there. My friend Ryan Francis goes there," Bailey said. "I watched Miami whenever they came on and they were pretty good. I didn't get to see Oklahoma State very much though but I know Kenny Cooper pretty good."

Bailey said he is just looking for an opportunity.

"I think I can turn things around wherever I go. I want to come in and do my role and do a little more than that," Bailey said. "I feel like I can help out inside and rebound and play on both ends of the floor."

There is one problem with college ball though. There is air conditioning in the gyms.

"I don't know what I'd do about that," Bailey said with a laugh. "I'd have to see how I play in the gym before I commit."

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