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Ace Bailey & Dylan Harper together again at USA Basketball U19 training camp



USA basketball
Jul 31, 2021; Saitama, Japan; United States of America players look on after scoring against Czech Republic during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Saitama Super Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers commit Ace Bailey and priority target Dylan Harper are both participating at the USA Basketball U19 training camp in Colorado Springs, Colorado. There are 35 players at camp this week with a 12 member team set to be selected for the 2023 FIBA U19 Men’s World Cup. The event takes place from June 24 to July 2 in Debrecen, Hungary.

The competition to make the team is fierce as the player pool is split between rising college sophomores as well as top recruits in both the 2023 and 2024 recruiting classes. Both Bailey and Harper competed at the junior minicamp in Houston during the Final Four. It helped led them to earn prestigious invite to training camp. This will mark the third time the duo have been on the court together in recent months. The first time was when Harper flew down to Atlanta to play with Bailey and his AAU team in April.

Just last week, 247 Sports moved Harper to No. 1 overall in its 2024 recruiting rankings. Bailey was moved up to No. 2. In regard to 247 Sports composite rankings which includes multiple services, the pair is ranked No. 2 and No. 3 nationally.

While Rutgers fans continue to dream of the possibility of both players at the RAC for the 2024-2025 season, Bailey has made it very public he is doing everything he can to make that a reality. It would be great news if both can ultimately make the U19 national team this month. Playing internationally for their country would be a positive developmental step for their careers. It would also give them the opportunity to represent their country on the world stage. And it would also give them more opportunity to play together and grow their bond.

Coaches from Kansas, Duke and Rutgers were at the U19 training camp on Sunday night to watch Harper. Assistant coach Brandin Knight and Steve Pikiell are there for RU. In addition, Harper has also listed Indiana and Auburn along with those three schools in his final five. A public announcement of his decision is expected this summer. I recently broke down one aspect of Harper’s game, his elite mindset, in a video that includes recent film from his play on the EYBL circuit.

Bailey’s ceiling is as high as ever as he continues to develop his game as well as physically. He was mentioned as one of three standouts at training camp on Sunday. His ceiling as a player continues to rise. Along with No. 85 big man Lathan Sommerville, Rutgers’ 2024 recruiting class is ranked No. 7 nationally. On Tuesday, 4-star wing Bryce Dortch is announcing his decision which is between Rutgers, Virginia Tech and Temple. Dortch recently visited Steve Pikiell’s program and is ranked No. 108 nationally. He would be a great addition for RU. The dream scenario is then adding Harper and giving Pikiell a program changing recruiting class in 2024.

Hopefully it all comes to fruition with each recruit making it official during the early signing period in November. While Rutgers has suffered recent hits to its current roster with Cam Spencer and Paul Mulcahy entering the transfer portal, adding to and solidifying the 2024 class with an elite haul would be a tremendous response. Having Bailey and Harper together once again this week competing for the national team is another positive in the recruitment of both players. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: With the group cut from 35 to 18 on Monday afternoon, Ace Bailey was cut after missing time with an illness. Dylan Harper was one of six high school players to make the cut.

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  1. thevinman

    June 12, 2023 at 12:32 pm

    Wow!! Can dreams really come true?

  2. RUinChiTown

    June 12, 2023 at 2:07 pm

    Harper & Bailey at RU…a fantasy come true!

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