Zach Bare Optimistic During July Recruiting Period

Photo by Matt Hazlett, February 16, 2014, Catonsville, Md.  St. Paul's Zach Bare, left, puts up a shot over Boy's Latin's Devin Shewell.  St. Paul's hoops

Photo by Matt Hazlett, February 16, 2014, Catonsville, Md. St. Paul’s Zach Bare, left, puts up a shot over Boy’s Latin’s Devin Shewell. St. Paul’s hoops

While the July live periods can be a thrilling time for many, as they see their recruiting stocks rise and welcome offers from tons of new schools, there are still several players every year that continue to fly a bit under the radar during their final summers on the circuit.

Count Zach Bare (St. Paul’s, Md. ’16) as a member of the latter category.

The 6-foot-1 scoring point guard from the DMV area has a few Division I schools tracking him right now, but still finds himself without any offers. At this point, Division II Wheeling Jesuit and St. Mary’s College of Maryland (D-III) are the only schools heavily involved in his recruitment.

Many might be discouraged, but Bare remains upbeat as his passion for the game shines through both on and off the court.

“Yeah it’s a little frustrating, but I know I’ve got to get better,” he said of the current state of his recruitment. “I’m just out here playing what I love, so it’s fine.”

At the Division I level, Bare noted interest from New Jersey Institute of Technology as well as several Patriot and Ivy League programs, citing Colgate, Penn, and Brown as specific schools that had been in touch. Now in the midst of the all-important live periods, his last chance to play in front of D-I coaches and potentially earn his first offer, Bare is focused on showing off the improvements he has made to his game in recent months.

“I need to be more intense defensively and stay in front of my man better. I think that’s the main thing,” he said. “I think I’ve played really well so far. I’m pretty confident, I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better in the last couple months since [college coaches] last saw me in April, so I feel pretty good.”

Bare is coming off a season in which he led St. Paul’s to a 17-10 record, averaging 21 points per game and carrying the Crusaders to the semifinals of the highly competitive Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association.

He has the look of a prototypical Patriot or Ivy League point guard, and boasts the requisite grades to play for such schools. In fact, academics will be a determining factor in where Bare ultimately chooses to play at the next level.

“I’m definitely looking for a good academic school,” he said. “Just somewhere where I fit, whether it’s D-I, D-II, D-III, anywhere. Just good academics and somewhere I fit well.”

Thus far, Bare is off to a strong start at Hoop Group Elite. Although his team dropped its first game at Elite Team Camp, he bounced back strong, exploding for 31 points in a consolation bracket win over All Hallows (N.Y.). He will be back at Albright for Elite Session 2 next week before finishing out the summer with his Maryland 3D AAU squad.

“It’s been great so far,” Bare said of his Hoop Group experience. “We’re playing really good teams, and next I’m week I’m looking forward to the really great competition that I know will be there.”

If he can follow up his performance with St. Paul’s at Elite 2, in front of the bevy of high-academic D-I coaches that will surely be watching, Bare should not be flying under the radar for much longer.

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