Regional Recruiting Analyst covering high school and junior nationally.
Raleigh, NC (Future150) -- Standing only 5’8,” he may not initially pop out on the sidelines, but once the game starts, he’ll likely be noticed quickly. To Julius Barnes, size is an absolute non-factor, and several division one schools already appear to see it that way, as well. Future150 spotlighted Barnes back in May, but this kid’s talent and on-court mentality justify more recognition.
Players who lack size usually must make up for it in other areas, and like other successful small point guards that have come before him, Barnes does it with never-ending confidence on the court. There is nothing on the hardwood that Barnes thinks he cannot do.
The Garner High School (NC) standout is fearless in everything he does. He puts constant pressure on defenses and has that dominant mentality that makes kids like him so fun to watch.
As Chris Myatt, director of the Garner Road AAU program and coach of Barnes, put it, “He’s a guy who can go out and give you an easy 20 points on any given night, and he knows he can do it, too.”
Basketball comes easy to Barnes and after watching him for just a few minutes, you quickly forget that he is a good six inches shorter than many of his defenders. He has that all important ability to create his own shot, something that many other sub-six footers do not have. His tight, quick handle allows him to shake defenses, and his recognition of lanes followed by blinding open court speed gets him to the hoop before defenses can collapse.
Athleticism adds to his impressive offensive package, and it makes him a very capable finisher at the rim, as he can either finish acrobatically around defenders or accept contact and hang in the air long enough to complete the play.
When he’s not attacking the paint, Barnes is hurting defenses from the outside. His jump shot owns elevation and accuracy, both off the dribble and off the catch. And he’s not just a scorer, either. Barnes has great court vision and an element of control in his game, and these qualities make him very dangerous as a distributor, as well.
Overall, he’s someone who gives off an air of extreme confidence and a knowledge of what to do with the ball. He can be a creator for himself and a creator for others, and all these qualities are translating into division one interest.
Barnes informed Future150.com last weekend that UNC-Wilmington, East Carolina, and Clemson have all been in to see him workout recently. More schools would be wise to follow, as he clearly has the talent and approach to play college basketball. He is definitely one to track in the 2015 class.