Anticipated announcements about which college to attend are generally reserved for seniors in high school holding special press conferences to finally let everyone know where they are headed.
But even though 2007 guard Jerryd Bayless is only a junior, everything else about him is so advanced, it's only fitting that his personal "D-Day" of sorts will come a year ahead of schedule as he makes his decision public at a 12:30 p.m. press conference Friday inside his St. Mary's HS gymnasium.
Bayless (6-foot-3, 175 lbs.) is the state's most celebrated recruit since Mike Bibby, whom Bayless has become close with over the years thanks to all that the two have in common as elite-level athletes.
Fans of the Arizona basketball program have been following Bayless's remarkable career since he was scoring over 30 points per game at Ingleside Middle School nearly half a dozen years ago.
Thus, they have built him up to near-icon status and a player most fans believe the Wildcats absolutely had to keep in-state and away from national powers Duke and North Carolina, two programs Bayless once considered before settling on Arizona and Texas as finalists.
Over the last three or four years, the Wildcats have had numerous highly-anticipated recruiting press conference announcements to go through, some of which turned out as good news for UA (Mustafa Shakur, Ndudi Ebi, J.P. Prince and, most recently, Chase Budinger), while others went the other way (Shaun Livingston – Duke, Mario Chalmers – Kansas and Marvin Williams – UNC).
The Shakur and Chalmers press conferences were overflowing with anticipation as fans of both schools involved flooded each other's message boards awaiting the official news. Website traffic numbers were at near-record levels for each announcement. However, the Prince ordeal was a little more unorthodox.
Prince had a presser set for 1:30 on Thursday Oct. 7, 2004, but word of his decision leaked the night before and Arizona fans literally stayed up half the night waiting to hear that the 6-foot-6 point guard from Memphis had indeed chosen the Wildcats over nearby Vanderbilt.
As good as the aforementioned three announcements were, though, they don't compare to D-Day JB-Day, mostly because of the hoopla built up about him over the last few years in the state.
Bayless himself has requested as many people who care to attend his press conference to do so.
Again, the event is being held inside the St. Mary's High School gymnasium, located at:
2525 N. 3rd St. (just off of Sheridan) in Phoenix.
GOAZCATS.com will be in attendance and will break the news immediately after Bayless announces his choice, followed by massive coverage and analysis throughout the afternoon and evening.
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