Posted: Nov 10, 2010 1:56 PM
Updated: Nov 10, 2010 5:34 PM
Tates Creek senior Marcellus Barksdale will head a few hours north to play his college basketball.
The 6-foot-4 guard will commit to Indiana University-Purdue Indianapolis.
Barksdale said his decision ultimately came down to his belief in Jaguar coach Ron Hunter.
"IUPUI is the perfect school for me. As my mom and I were driving back from Indianapolis we discussed our visit at IUPUI and couldn't find any negatives about the school and basketball program," Barksdale said. "The deciding factor in selecting IUPUI ultimately came down to my faith and belief in Coach Hunter. Coach Hunter has a tremendous amount of success during his tenure at IUPUI. He's been coaching there since I was born, an incredible 17 years."
Barksdale makes it clear his respect for the Jaguar coach runs deep.
"Coach Hunter made it known that he is a man of God," he said. "Secondly, Coach Hunter always keeps it real. He won't sugar things for anyone and always tells it how it is. He always has great intentions for all of his players and challenges them every day to get better as a team and as individuals."
The Commodore senior averaged 14 points and seven boards per game as a junior. Barksdale has already scored 1,057 points during his Tates Creek career, that with a season still to play.
"Marcellus has a variety of skills. He can shoot, drive, post and rebound. He has the ability to contribute to winning in so many ways," Commodore coach Wayne Breeden said. "He has an excellent demeanor and is always competitive in practice and in games. And he is great to coach."
The Tates Creek skipper said Barksdale has tremendous upside and will likely continue to blossom at the next level.
"Marcellus is only going to get better and better. He has the size - 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds - and skill set to contribute immediately as a wing player in college. I feel that he will personally work at a level that he will continually improve and be an outstanding college basketball player."
Barksdale said the opportunity to come right in and contribute played into his choice of schools.
"IUPUI is also a place where I can come in as a freshman and contribute quite a bit. That's my motivation for working hard for the rest of this year," he said.
Barksdale will enjoy the company of several other Bluegrass products up in Hoosier-land. Donovan Gibbs, Jordan Shanklin and Lyonell Gaines, along with assistant coach Todd Howard all hail from Kentucky.
"It's pretty cool to know that I will be playing with a few other Kentucky natives over the next few years," Barksdale said.