We head out to San Diego, California for our latest player spotlight, as there is a sophomore who is having a strong season for the Saints of St. Augustine. 2026 6’2 Jaden Bailes has been a name rising through the ranks with his play this season, as he has elevated his play from last year to today, leading the Saints to an impressive 21-3 overall record. St. Augustine has surprised some with its success, including in a few recent tournaments. Bailes has been one of the leaders on the court, and he has been catching the attention of college coaches as well, adding his first offer to the table.

We spoke to Bailes about the season, more about breaking down his game, and his thoughts on earning his first offer.

Phenom: How has everything been going this season so far?
Bailes: I feel like the season has been going well. I think many people thought it would be a down year for us, but we shocked people by finishing third at Tark and third in the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic tournament. Personally, I am grateful to have been selected for the all-tournament teams in both so it has been great to see all the late nights, two days, and long hours in the gym paying off. Also, I’m getting more attention from D1 colleges and just received my first D1 offer from UCSD.

Phenom: How would you best describe your game and how you like to operate?
Bailes: I would say first and foremost, I am a threat beyond the 3-point line in catch-and-shoot situations. I create my shot off the dribble and get to the basket to create for my teammates. I would also say I am a versatile defender. I like to operate in the mid-range and 3-point area.

Phenom: How has your game developed over the last year in your eyes? What has been your focus?
Bailes: My main focus has been to tighten up my handle and to be more efficient with my shot selection. I feel like when I master that, it will take my game to a different level.

Phenom: Though early, how has recruitment been going in your eyes?
Bailes: Recruitment has been going well. After going to Tark and the Holiday Classic, many more college coaches have contacted me. After picking up my first offer, I feel like I’ve been on many more people’s radars.

Phenom: What is it like to get that first offer? What are your thoughts on the program early on?
Bailes: It was a great moment for me and my family. Something I’ve been working towards my whole life. I’ve been in contact with the coaching staff for a while now and I really like them. I feel like it is a great place where I can grow long term and I also love their campus.

Phenom: What schools have been showing interest your way that you know of?
Bailes: UCSB, San Diego State, Boise State, Butler, Montana, Cal State Fullerton, Penn, UCF, and Cal Baptist.