Former Memphis point guard Antonio Barton (Lake Clifton) wrote in a text Sunday to The Baltimore Sun that his visit to Maryland on Friday “went tremendous”.
Barton wrote that he loved the campus and was impressed with Terps coach Mark Turgeon and his assistants as well as the academic support staff. A source said Barton has not committed to the Terps.
Barton expects to graduate this summer and be eligible to play immediately next season. He is reportedly also considering Syracuse, Texas A&M and Kansas State.
The Terps are hoping that Barton, who played three years at Memphis, can become their starting point guard and a team leader, given that he has been part of three NCAA tournament teams with the Tigers.
Maryland won’t have another scholarship senior on the roster next season.
Barton announced last month that he was leaving Memphis after fellow rising senior point guard Joe Jackson, a Memphis native, was returning to school. Barton’s playing time dropped from nearly 25 points a game as a freshman to less than 17 last season.
With Pe’Shon Howard’s departure from Maryland last month -- Howard is reportedly considering playing at Southern Cal next season for new coach Andy Enfield -- the Terps are trying to give incoming freshman Roddy Peters time to develop and allow rising sophomore Seth Allen to concentrate on more of a scoring role.
The Terps were also reportedly considering Florida International transfer Malik Smith, but CBSSports.com listed Smith’s possible landing spots last week as Alabama, Arkansas, Minnesota or St. Mary’s (Calif.).
It appears that Maryland and Syracuse are the frontrunners for Barton, who is close friends with Terps guard Nick Faust as well as Orange forward C.J. Fair.
Barton’s older brother, Will, who just finished his rookie year with the Portland Trail Blazers after playing two seasons at Memphis, tweeted that he and Fair were together Friday in Baltimore.
Syracuse is in a similar situation to Maryland after losing sophomore point guard Michael Carter-Williams, who declared early for the NBA.
The Orange have a highly touted recruit in five-star prospect Tyler Ennis coming in at point guard, but also need a shooting guard to replace Brandon Triche. Barton is a good 3-point shooter, but probably needs to showcase his point guard skills for pro scouts.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun