Antonio Barton would be the perfect final addition to the Syracuse hoops team this fall. The former Memphis point guard has experience over three seasons with an NCAA-caliber program. He has solid length at 6’2″ atop the zone, and can help out both scoring (averaging more than eight points per game as a freshman) and dishing.
Most importantly, he would provide a much-needed backup to young Tyler Ennis, who will have a lot of responsibility placed at his feet as a true freshman this season. Barton’s playing time has decreased each season with the Tigers, so one has to wonder if he’d willingly select a next destination where he once again plays second-fiddle.
But that’s reality in Orange land, where Ennis will be handed the keys to Jim Boeheim’s car immediately. While SU has plenty of incoming talent, the roster is extremely thin at the point. Outside of Ennis, there’s a handful of players who could swing from SG to PG in a pinch. But after Ennis, there are no true 1-guards on the roster.
Barton’s mother told Mike Waters at Syracuse.com last week that Syracuse was definitely in the mix for Barton. However, so is Maryland. While SU is a superior program to the Terps, there’s plenty of connections in College Park. Three days before the Syracuse.com story, the Baltimore Sun ran an extremely similar one, connecting Barton to the Terps.
Barton is from nearby Baltimore. He will visit with coach Mark Turgeon in a few weeks when his daughter holds her 4th birthday. Barton says Maryland is on a short list of contenders for him. Terps guard Nick Faust is also a close friend and Barton’s godbrother.
“[Faust] said it would be a perfect fit for me inside and outside the program,” Barton said.
Here’s a quote from the Sun that makes you wonder if SU is truly a fit for Barton.
“Barton said this decision is strictly based on playing time. ‘(I’m) trying to find a perfect school to fit me, fit my game, where I’ll be on the court and showcase my full potential and talent my last year.’”
One thing we know is Boeheim will be loyal to Ennis, and prioritize him for minutes, If Barton’s decision is strictly on playing time and showcasing his skills, SU is handicapped. Has his family put pressure on him to come to Maryland?
“They have brought it up [about coming home]. They do want to come to my games, and I do want to be around my child.”
Barton would be the perfect fit for SU. But it sounds like SU might have a tough time selling it as the perfect fit for Barton.