Morgan Bailey came to BYU with basketball in the blood -- her uncle is Thurl Bailey -- but lacking at least some experience on the court. Bailey didn't join her first basketball team until she tried out, and made, her ninth grade basketball team.
Bailey, a graduate from Timpanogos High School in Orem, learned the game quickly as she excelled in basketball early on and walked away with a number of awards -- and a scholarship from BYU. Along with being a region MVP, a four-year letterwinner, and being named to the all-state team by both the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune, Bailey also was nominated as a McDonalds All-American. Coach Jeff Judkins saw her play early in her high school career and quickly determined that she had the chance to become a dominant player in the Cougars program.
A redshirt year helped Bailey adjust to the program as well as the life of a college athlete, and she played her first game against Tulsa in the 2011-2012 season. She would play in 25 games that year. In the 2012-2013 season she would increase her role as she earned almost 20 minutes per game as a sophomore and increased her scoring from less than two points per game to almost eight. Her junior year once again saw an increase in almost every category and she became one of the focal points of the Cougars team.
This senior year for Bailey has shown the confidence that the coaching staff has in her, as her minutes have increased and her stats have gone through the roof. Her shooting percentage has increased from 47% to 51%, her free throw shooting has increased to 66%, her rebounding is up by almost four rebounds per game, her assists are up over one assist per game, and her scoring is up by almost eight points per game. Her 18 point, 11 rebound average have really stood out, and talk has begun about Bailey being a potential WNBA draft pick.
Cougar fans that have paid attention to the basketball team over the last few years will miss the leadership and passion Bailey shows on the court, but will be glad to see her succeed at whatever future she pursues after graduation. Her presence on the court will be hard, if not impossible, to replace as she is a top level scorer and reached the 1,000 point mark earlier this year.
Thank you for all the memories and good luck to Morgan Bailey from Cougar fans across the globe!