When Eric Reveno took over the University of Portland program in 2006, he scrounged together a recruiting class made up of under the radar type players. In fact, that is how the first few recruiting classes were made up. Guys like Nik Ravio, TJ Campbell, Luke Sikma, Kramer Knutson, Robin Smuelders, Jared Stohl, and many others were all overlooked by some before finding success at Portland. Their success led to more recognition for the program, and all of a sudden Portland was in the conversation for higher profile recruits. The first “big get”, and arguably the biggest recruit ever to sign with Portland was Kevin Bailey.
It’s pretty crazy how fast four years can go by, but alas it has, and that means the Pilots will be without Bailey, a player that they have relied on heavily over the past four seasons. Bailey has been either the leading or second leading scoring each and every year he has worn the purple. Bailey was truly at his best when the pace picked up. He gave the Pilots an added dimension of athleticism they hadn’t had before he arrived. Bailey could pull up, and rise above his defender, or make a move to the basket and that versatility really made him difficult to guard.
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Over the past few seasons, Bailey was used as the emergency valve when the shot clock was running out. I can’t even count the number of times that he took a tough shot, off balance, defender in his face, with no time to pass; he would rise above his defender and somehow get the ball to go through the net.
I’m not sure where Bailey will end up playing, but he will be playing at some level next season. He is too talented to not get a look from some team, whether that be the D-League or overseas. We will miss Kevin in a Pilot uniform, and wish him the best in whatever is next.