By Denis Gorman
Dwayne Bacon is a wanted man.
And, in this case, that is a very good thing.
Bacon, a 6-foot-6, 205-pound small forward out of IMG Academy is entering his junior year with offers from across the Division I landscape. No less than 20 D-I schools have already made offers to Bacon including Baylor, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, the University of Miami, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Marquette, Texas and Cincinnati.
He has also drawn interest from Michigan, Murray State, South Florida and Tennessee.
So, yeah, he’s sought after. But having schools fight over him is not enough for Bacon. Instead, he wants to be a difference maker immediately.
“Playing time,” said Bacon, when asked by 247Sports what he deemed the most important aspect in choosing a school. Bacon, who has not gone on any visits, thinks he will be a starter or a sixth man as a freshman.
But as he noted, he has “two years [of prep eligibility remaining],” before going “to college.” And he isn’t even thinking about a career in the NBA.
“I’m not sure yet,” Bacon said. “Only time will tell.”
What he is thinking about is a strong junior year as an individual and for the team. Last year he averaged 23 points, seven rebounds and three steals for McKeel Academy of Technology, who finished 21-7. Bacon also played on the AAU circuit for the Showtime Ballers.
“I want to be a lockdown player,” Bacon said. “We’re [thinking] National [Championship].”
As the cliché goes, champions are made when no one is watching. Off-seasons of effort and sacrifice pay off once the regular campaign begins.
So, for Bacon, he spent the summer playing “a lot of basketball; went to some camps,” including a recent Five-Star Basketball Camp, joining the likes of famous alumni such as Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Grant Hill and Tim Duncan – all of whom have donned Five-Star’s infamous orange t-shirt. It was there that he was matched up against a mirror image, Lake Worth (Fla.) Christian Academy’s Jeantal Cylla.
“Jean. Probably Jean. Yeah,” Bacon said when asked who the toughest matchup was for him. “We’re kind of like the same player.”
Along with measuring himself against some of the best prep players in the country, Bacon used the camp to work on skills he said, including perimeter shooting.
Should he and IMG Academy have two more strong years, Dwayne Bacon could be America’s Most Wanted Player.