Texan Noah Shelby pursued by KU, others in Big 12

Noah Shelby, a 6-foot-2, 160-pound junior point guard from Greenhill School in Addison, Texas, has received a basketball scholarship offer from Kansas, he announced on Twitter.

Shelby, who is ranked No. 140 in the recruiting Class of 2022 by Rivals.com, also has fielded offers from Baylor, Texas, TCU, Oklahoma State, SMU, Texas A&M, Arizona State, Arkansas, A,uburn, California, Georgetown, Memphis, Minnesota, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt.

“I am extremely grateful for the offer,” Shelby told JayhawkSlant.com. “They (KU coaches) have been watching me for a while. I will definitely try to set a visit up as soon as the coronavirus clears up a little bit.”

Playing for Drive Nation EYBL, Shelby earned first-team all-tournament honors at a recent Circuit League event in Texas.

“Making the All-Tournament list in both Circuit League sessions, the 2022 guard was on top of his game again,” an unnamed scout from theseasonticket.com wrote of Shelby. “In averaging 20.7 points per game, Shelby’s scoring outbursts of 29 and 23 points helped push Drive Nation to overtime wins over fellow Nike EYBL teams Reform Sports Training (Team Thad) and LivOn-Fleur De Lis respectively. Against LivOn, he hit the game-tying three-pointer as the buzzer sounded to send the game to OT. His ability to handle lead guard duties and consistently nail perimeter shots will continue to result in Power 5 interest for the 4-star guard. Expect more offers to roll in.”

Shelby was happy to receive the KU offer.

“I have always been a Kansas fan since I was a kid, so it’s cool hearing from them as a recruit,” he told 247sports.com. “I have always liked Kansas with what they do with their guards. They develop them over time and they put them in a good position to get them into the League (NBA).”

Shelby, who played for St. Mark’s School in Dallas last season, said he is looking for “a family-feel in the locker room, being able to play early and often, be able to play my game and play in the pick and roll, stuff like that.”

KU, Kentucky leading for Bailey?

Kansas and Kentucky may be the two schools to beat in the recruiting battle for Amari Bailey, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound junior combo guard from Sierra Canyon High School in Chatsworth, California.

Bailey, the No. 6-rated player in the recruiting Class of 2022 according to Rivals.com, has a list of KU, UK, UCLA, USC, DePaul, Alabama and others. In the past, he committed to both DePaul and UCLA, only to reopen his recruitment twice.

“As of right now, Kentucky and Kansas have been recruiting me the hardest,” Bailey told ESPN’s Paul Biancardi on High School Happenings podcast. “I talk to Kansas every day, if not every other day, and Kentucky has been right behind Kansas.”

Bailey said he’s looking for specific things from a school.

“Definitely my relationship with the coaching staff and not picking a school for the name but actually watching them and seeing if I fit in that system,” Bailey said on the podcast. “Do I want to live wherever I’m playing for however long I have to be there? All that plays a role.

“I know some guys that have committed to a school just because of a name. Their mental health was crazy because they didn’t want to live there. They didn’t like how some things were going on in the program. I am just taking my time, actually seeing what the best fit for Amari is,” he noted.

Bailey’s father, Aaron, played wide receiver at Louisville and for the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts.

Lance Smith of scorebooklive.com wrote this of Bailey:

“He’s already a very steady passer and ball-handler. With his athleticism, he’s hard to keep up with in space and dangerous attacking the rim. He has effortless bounce off either foot and glides in the air like few others can, finishing over or around just about anybody with impressive consistency. When going up for a layup, he routinely takes off a good distance from the basket, throwing off rim protectors and giving himself the option to maneuver substantially in mid-air.

“While shooting from the perimeter is one of Bailey’s weaknesses, his jumper is in solid shape for a rising junior. He’s accustomed to firing from both mid-range and three, and he usually holds his own. His form is solid and consistent, he requires very little effort to launch from deep, and he can also naturally elevate quite a bit before his release. While Bailey’s jumper is what needs to improve the most for him to make it in the NBA, it is not a big question mark.

“Combining the physical tools with his defensive commitment and intuition, Bailey may be the best defensive guard prospect in the class of 2022.. He has all the makings of a foundational defensive piece of an NBA backcourt.”

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Gary Bedore covers all aspects of Kansas basketball for The Star — the current team as well as former players and coaches and recruiting. He attended KU and was born and raised in Chicago, as well as Lisle, Ill.

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