Will Barton Doesn’t Lack Confidence
The 2012 NBA Draft features several players that project as potential all-stars: Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal, Micheal Kidd-Gilchrist, Thomas Robinson and Harrison Barnes to name a few. One name that isn’t on that list is Will Barton, but if you ask him, he deserves to be.
“I respect all the other guys in the draft, I think they’re real good. I’m not saying they’re bums or anything and can’t compete with me. I just think I’m the best, at the end of the day,” Barton explained at the 2012 NBA Draft Combine.
Barton’s numbers at Memphis last season back up his bravado. The 6’6 guard/forward averaged 18 points per game while shooting over 50 percent from the field and grabbing 8 rebounds. In fact, he averaged more points than each of the projected top five picks in this year’s draft.
“I feel like my numbers stack up against everyone else, I feel like I’m clear cut better than everybody so why not feel like I’m the best?” Barton discussed. “I feel like any job that you are going to do, you have to feel like you’re the best or you’re probably not going to last that long. I do say I’m the best, but I don’t go around bragging, I’m just saying that I’ve earned it. If someone feels like they’re better then it’s going to be proven on the court.”
Barton believes his two years at Memphis were well spent and his time there has prepared him for the jump to the next level.
“We had a lot of pros on that team: Joe Jackson, Tarik Black, Chris Crawford, my brother (Antonio), Wesley Witherspoon. We had guys that could flat out play,” Barton said. “Any given night anyone could lead the team in scoring or rebounding or anything. We had so many versatile guys it’s hard to stand out on a team like that.”
Barton did standout at Memphis; thanks in part to his ability to play different roles, which he believes will help him in the NBA.
“I already know that I’m going to have a role. I wasn’t just out there the only guy on the team,” Barton continued, “I was playing with, in my opinion, about four pros ready to go to the NBA. I’ll be well adjusted and ready to fit in and do whatever coach and the team needs me to do.”
When Barton compares himself to players in the NBA, he doesn’t choose superstars, but role players who can fill up a stat sheet on any given night.
“I might have some similarities to guys like Marshon Brooks, Marquis Daniels, a young Larry Hughes or Jamal Crawford.”
It wasn’t just the players at Memphis that helped Barton evolve into a potential NBA draft pick, but also his head coach.
“I feel like Memphis prepared me and I had great teammates and a great coaching staff,” Barton explained. “Coach has helped me tremendously, he’s told me a lot. Make quicker moves, get right to the rim, attacking, and my ball handling and passing. Making pro moves and making pro plays, and conditioning me, it was a big help, I’m definitely glad I went there, it worked out for me.”
Barton is confident, hungry and out to prove he belongs in the NBA.
“Whatever team gets me, they are going to a get a kid that works hard and is a producer but still has potential.” Barton concluded, “I’m still young and I’m just going to get better and just produce, that’s my focus.”