Baylor Scheierman wants to be a pro.
That’s why Scheierman, an Aurora native, entered the NBA draft on March 24 and why he entered the transfer portal Monday afternoon. If the Scheierman showcase at South Dakota State — where he averaged 16.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 4.5 assists last season — are enough to land him an NBA gig, he’ll stay in the draft. If not, he’ll choose a new school that will help him get drafted next summer.
A bigger one with more exposure. Scheierman wants to play on national television every night—like the pros.
“I want to put myself in the best position to improve my pro aspirations,” Scheierman told The World-Herald on Tuesday. “I feel like playing at a higher level every night will ultimately allow me to showcase my skills on the national stage.”
Scheierman means Power Five schools, and as of Tuesday afternoon, he’s already heard from dozens. To name a few: Kansas, Kentucky, Gonzaga, Duke, UCLA, Michigan State, and of course, Nebraska and Creighton.
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The 6-foot-6 guard grew up a Kansas fan, but “I always wanted to play in-state,” he said.
He’s heard from plenty of Aurora natives that would love to see him play closer to home. But that decision depends on a few variables.
First, the NBA’s feedback. Scheierman doesn’t have a target draft slot in mind, but he said his goal is to be drafted this season. He’ll accept any NBA role he can earn.
“We’re talking about the NBA,” Scheierman said. “If a team just needs me to go in and make hustle plays, I’ll do it. If they need me to be a spot-up, catch-and-shoot, run-off-screens shooter, I’ll do that. Whatever they ask me, I’ll do.”
If Scheierman returns to school, he’ll be more selective about his fit. Every school wants Scheierman for his 3-point range, from which he shot 46.9% last season. But he believes his playmaking talent is Power Five ready, too, and he wants NBA scouts to see that.
Scheierman said he’s heard from a few schools that want him to handle the ball less. They aren’t the ones that will make his final list.
“I feel like my passing ability and my ability to read the defense is what makes me unique,” Scheierman said. I wouldn’t want to sacrifice those parts of my game. Ultimately, I’d like a similar role to what I had (at South Dakota State), just at a higher level.”
The big names are lining up to give him that role if he comes back to school. Scheierman said he wants to make his decision sometime between May 15 and May 22, which is the week of the NBA combine. By then, he’ll have a better idea where he fits best.
NBA or college? Blue bloods or in-state schools?
Those are strong options for a player who received little Division I interest as a preps player. As Scheierman said Tuesday, none of the schools calling him now were calling in high school.
Now it’s hard to find one who isn’t.
“It’s special,” Scheierman said. “Growing up, having the aspirations I did, that’s what I dreamed of having — having Kentucky and Kansas and Duke and all those High Times schools (recruit me).
“You look at your phone and it says Bill Self’s calling you — from a small town kid from rural Nebraska, that’s what you dream of. It’s a surreal moment, and I’m grateful for it.”