Posted On: 03/30/18 3:45 PM
It’s no secret that Baltimore and D.C. are known for being a hotbed of talent when it comes to high school basketball. Southern Maryland is often times thrown to the wayside because of its separation from these areas, but they have their fair share of basketball talent as well. One of them being Great Mills senior guard Demetrius Barnes. Luckily for Barnes, he has a coaching legend, Tubby Smith, for an uncle. Smith hailed from the same area Barnes has grown up in and is constantly in his ear about work ethic.
“I use my uncle as my biggest influence,” Barnes said. “Him coming out of here and doing what he’s doing now and becoming a coaching legend gives me plenty of reasons for me to use him as an example of what can really happen if you put in hard work. I went down Memphis last summer and he told me that he knows I can do it, I just have to take my work ethic to another level. Down here all we have is long roads and a lot of land, so you could always catch me running to work on my stamina. For games, it translates into the fourth quarter being my quarter so I can stand out. There’s not too many people that make it out of here, so I’m just trying to be one of the few.”
The 6-foot-4 King’s Christian Academy (Va.) transfer helps the Hornet boast a 19-4 overall record this season. Barnes averaged 21 points, four rebounds and three assists per game. He was named St. Mary’s County Player of the Year along with being awarded with Athlete of the Year. He was selected to play in multiple all-star games around the state, including the MCBA All-Star game in which he finished with a game-high 26 points (with six three-pointers).
Heading into his senior season, Barnes wanted to improve on his jumpshot in order to make him the dynamic scorer that he is today.
“My focus came to me and said we’re going to get your jumpshot better for this season,” Barnes told Prep Hoops. “Day after day I’d be in the gym just doing nothing but shooting. I used to have a set shot and didn’t elevate well, so that was a point of emphasis in our workouts. I’d do little drills and no matter where I was on the court, I had to finish with a jumpshot.”
Barnes studies Markelle Fultz and James Harden’s styles of play the most. With his size and length, he fits the same mold that Fultz presents.
“I watch both of them because I like how they can create their own shot at a high level,” Barnes said. “The side-steps, step-backs and using their body to create space when they attack the rim are the things I try to put into my game.”
Dealing with his recruitment, Barnes is looking into doing a post-grad prep season after he visits a few schools. He’ll go on a visit to Massanutten Military Academy Friday. There have been a couple of Division II schools that have been tracking Barnes closely, but he thinks the extra year can benefit his game tremendously. He missed his entire sophomore season after suffering a broken tibia, so he was only seen during one live period.
What can a coach expect when they bring Barnes to their program?
“I’d say a long guard that can shoot the ball well and at a high percentage. I’m athletic and can play above the rim. I’m bouncy.”
— 22 (@DeeBarnes22) March 1, 2018