Amari Bailey's moment has arrived. How far will it take him and UCLA?
Published in Basketball
His ethos can be found under his right bicep, in large black letters.
"No Vanity," the tattoo reads.
It would be so easy to indulge in just a little now.
Amari Bailey is no longer an up-and-coming college basketball star. He's here.
With every slick move to the basket, every defensive stop, every pass that finds a teammate in the perfect spot, the UCLA freshman guard is elevating an already formidable team into a potentially unstoppable force at just the right time.
He's become so invaluable that his coach lamented not getting him the ball more during the Bruins' 68-63 victory over Northwestern in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
"What did Amari have?" Mick Cronin said afterward, scanning the box score for the point tally. "Fourteen. I was hoping for 18. But it's my fault he didn't get enough shots. Still working on figuring that one out."
Fortunately for the Bruins, Bailey is more than capable of getting his own shot. He spun around Northwestern's Boo Buie for a fastbreak layup, nailed a jumper at the end of the shot clock and buried a three-pointer to give his team its largest lead of the game.
Along the way, he showed that UCLA's offense no longer consists of Jaime Jaquez Jr., Tyger Campbell and whatever scraps the team can find.
"Give Amari Bailey credit," Northwestern coach Chris Collins said. "Thought he really stepped up and gave 'em great production as a third scorer."
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