Originally posted on www.wyosports.net by Robert Gagliardi
The University of Wyoming men’s basketball team has received a verbal commitment from Jonathan Barnes, a 6-foot-10, 245-pound post player from Parker, Colo.
Barnes made an official visit to UW last week.
Barnes, who is home-schooled, averaged 14.9 points and 9.5 rebounds per game as a junior last season for Ponderosa High in Parker. Barnes’ AAU basketball team was the Colorado Hawks.
Barnes hopes to sign during the early signing period next month. NCAA rules prohibit college coaches from talking to the media about recruits until they have signed their national letter of intent.
“It was the people and (UW’s) ability to develop players,” Barnes said. “It was close to home, and they have a good thing building there, proving they can develop players and win games.”
This season will be Barnes’ third year of playing organized basketball. Despite that, Barnes said he also had scholarship offers from LaSalle and Washington State.
Barnes’ high school coach, Mike Gibbs, said around 25 schools showed interest in him, including Utah, Pepperdine, Toledo, Belmont and Northern Colorado.
Rivals.com ranks Barnes as the ninth-best recruit in Colorado.
“He doesn’t know how good he can be,” Gibbs said. “He’s a specimen. He can move, he’s athletic. He’s not a robot. He has good hands and can jump. Once he realizes it and gets his confidence up, he’s going to be a walking double-double guy. He will be a very scary guy in the Mountain West.”
Gibbs said Barnes recorded career-highs with 25 points, 12 rebounds and nine blocked shots in an early-season game last season. Gibbs also said Barnes had six games where he had a triple-double.
However, Barnes said his offensive game still needs some work.
“Communication on the defensive end — that (is something) my coaches worked really hard with me,” Barnes said. “Scoring and my offensive game is getting better, but right now I’m not extremely talented on the offensive end.”
Added Gibbs: “His priorities are in line, and he is a very high-character guy. He cares more about helping others than himself. He’s a team-first guy. He’s done everything I’ve asked of him, times 10. He’s a great kid and a kid whose basketball upside and potential is off the charts.”
Barnes is the third player to verbally commit to UW for its 2014-15 recruiting class. The others are 6-6 wing Diontae Jones from Clark High in Las Vegas and 6-1 point guard Jeremy Lieberman of Calabasas High in Calabasas, Calif.
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