BOYS BASKETBALL: WL Western's Bailey a real force to be reckoned with in the post |
WIXOM - Everywhere he’s played, at every level, Walled Lake Western boys hoops star Marcus Bailey has found himself a home in the paint.
That's because he’s always been, no matter what age, an overpowering post presence on the hardwood, plying his trade with ferocious intensity and machine-like efficiency.
So it doesn’t come as a surprise to those who know him that Bailey has become one of Oakland County's most dominant forwards since entering Western's starting line-up as a sophomore last year.
In 2013, he averaged 12 points and 10 boards per outing.
Bailey didn’t wait long to make an imprint on this season, recording a double-double of 10 points and 19 rebounds on opening night last month to help propel the Warriors to a key “program win” over Birmingham Detroit Country Day.
He went for glitzy double-doubles of 18 points and 10 rebounds and 17 points and 16 rebounds, respectively, in Western's pair of appearances at the Motor City Roundball Classic last week (a win over Southfield and a loss to Southfield Christian).
To make a long story short, the menacing junior power forward has made a seamless transition onto the varsity level.
“It hasn’t been that hard” he said of acclimating to varsity competition . “Growing up, I was always the biggest kid on the teams I played on so the coach would always put me in the post. Because of that, it’s a natural position for me.”
During the fall, Bailey was a member of Western's football team that finished 9-2 and grabbed a KLAA North championship, playing wide receiver and tight end.
His head coach on the basketball floor Ra’Redding Murray said that the type of hard-nosed performances Bailey has put together for his team early on this season is exactly what he expected to see entering this year.
“He’s one of the toughest kids I’ve ever coached, honestly,” he said. “He’s a fierce competitor, he’s a leader in the locker room and he’s just an all-around great kid and he’s a heck of a football player too and you’ll get to see more of it next year when he’s a senior because he’s a great athlete.”
Murray also added that Bailey has worked on becoming a more complete player, which includes improving his jump shot to go along with his abilities near the rim.
"His shooting has gotten much better and while he doesn’t take a lot of jump shots, he can really shoot the ball,” he said. “He was already a fierce rebounder and good defender and he can block shots, but now he can go to the line and hit his free throws and he can knock down shots too.”
Going forward this season, Bailey said that the expectations are lofty for him and his teammates as they look to chase down a KLAA North Division title and potentially make a deep run in the playoffs this season.
“Expectations couldn't be any higher,” he said. “We know each other’s games from front to back and now we’re ready to do big things.”
Bailey and the Warriors are currently 3-2.Tweet