Evan Bailey has never been to the Lowcountry or seen a College of Charleston men’s basketball game in person.
That didn’t seem to matter as the versatile Bailey, a 6-5 forward from Jackson High School in Massillon, Ohio, verbally committed to play for the College of Charleston beginning next fall.
Bailey projects to play either shooting guard or small forward for the Cougars. Bailey, an excellent student, picked the Cougars over offers from Harvard, Princeton, Cornell, Toledo, Miami (Ohio) and Kent State.
“I think the College of Charleston was the best fit for me,” Bailey said. “I’ve never been down there, but from what I’ve seen on the internet, it looks like a beautiful campus. Everyone I talked to about Charleston had nothing but great things to say about it. I see myself as a shooting guard or small forward, but I’ll play wherever they want me to play.”’
Bailey averaged 20 points and eight rebounds a game as a junior, while shooting better than 90 percent from the free throw line.
“He’s got good size and he can really shoot the ball,” said ESPN recruiting analyst Jeff Goodman. “He’s got range to the three-point line and he’s a very smart player. You can put him out there with any level of players and he’s going to make the guys around him better.”
Jackson High School basketball coach Tim Debevec said Bailey could play early in his collegiate career with the Cougars.
“He plays all five positions for us from point guard to center,” Debevec said. “Evan is a gym rat. You’ve got to kick him out of the gym. He’s a very good shooter and he’s a good all-round player. He wanted to go to the ACC or the Big Ten, but I think he’ll have a chance to play his freshman year down in Charleston.”
Bailey joins Donovan Gilmore, a 6-7 forward from Wesleyan Christian Academy in High Point, N.C., in the Cougars’ 2014-15 recruiting class. The Cougars have one scholarship left to give for the 2014-15 recruiting class.