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Posted On: 09/5/18 7:56 AM
If you didn’t know any player as you were walking into the gym for the Will Barton Elite camp last weekend, Devon Barnes wouldn’t be one to catch your eye. In a gym that was filled with players 6-foot-5 or above, Barnes, who stands 6-foot tall on a good day, got himself focused as the players warmed up.
Once drills and games began, Barnes quickly stuck out despite being one of the shortest and youngest players in attendance. But this is no big deal to Barnes. In fact, he embraces being overlooked and lets it fuel his game. I’d say that tactic is working out pretty well.
There were dozens of players from around the country who attended this camp and are regarded as top prospects in their class. If you go by efficiency and production, Barnes had an argument of being the best one there. We caught up with the rising sophomore after his impressive showing.
“This spring and summer as a team we played well,” Barnes said as he reflected on his time with Team BBC. “I think once we got nationally ranked we got a little too comfortable and let up, but going into next year if we can keep this group of guys, I don’t see why we can’t be a top-10 team. Individually, I stepped up as a leader and being more of a scorer. Defensively, I focused on being more vocal especially in crunch time of games and it seemed to help.”
Barnes had a busy summer that included many camps, one of which was the Super Sophomore Camp down in Plano, Texas where he was named an all-star.
“I really focused on my leadership this spring and summer, “Barnes continued, “I wasn’t a good enough leader for my high school team last season. I also wanted to improve on my one-on-one skills and be more dynamic with the ball.”
As a freshman at Lawton Christian (OK), Barnes averaged an impressive stat line of 18 points and eight assists per game. While he is a threat from all three levels of the floor, Barnes can change the game with his ability to shoot from outside. I wouldn’t categorize Barnes as a scorer, but he’s exactly what coaches look for in their point guards. Someone who can score when called upon, create open shots for teammates and play good pressure defense on the ball.
“My goal going into this season is to win a state championship,” Barnes said. “I also want to make all of my teammates around me better. Being more of a leader by pushing them in practice and being more vocal.”
Barnes recently took an unofficial visit to Oklahoma State. Division I programs are starting to track his progress after a strong summer.
The floor general finished his freshman year with a 3.4 GPA.
What can a coach expect with Barnes?
“You’re going to get a kid that says yes sir, no sir,” Barnes continued, “and a kid who works hard in the classroom and in the gym. A leader on and off the floor.”