Terps still in running for Antonio Barton

Terps still in running for Antonio Barton
May 22, 2013, 1:00 pm
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Memphis Tigers guard Antonio Barton (2) carries the ball up the court during the game against the Charlotte 49ers at the Fed Ex Forum. Memphis Tigers lead the Charlotte 49rs at the half.

(Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports)

Maryland fans will soon find out where transferring Memphis guard, and Baltimore native, Antonio Barton intends to play basketball next season. 

Portland Trail Blazers guard Will Barton announced that his younger brother Antonio will pick his next school this Sunday.

Barton (Lake Clifton High School and Notre Dame Prep) played for three years at Memphis before deciding to transfer.

Since playing almost 25 minutes per game as a freshman in 2010-2011, the 6'2", 178 lb. Barton has seen a steady decrease in minutes in the years following. Last season Barton averaged under 17 minutes per game and less than 6 points a game, down from his freshman year where he scored more than 8 points per game.

Despite the decreasing productivity, Barton is still a hot commodity on the transfer market.

Word is the former Memphis guard will decide between Tennessee, Kansas State, Texas A&M and Maryland, and Syracuse was also previously mentioned in the recruitment. Barton will not have to sit out a year per most transfer rules, as he will be transferring as a graduate student after earning his undergraduate degree at Memphis. 

Maryland could certainly use a veteran guard on their roster.

Point guard Pe'Shon Howard decided to transfer earlier in the offseason, and the remaining options in College Park to run the offense are decidedly young. Sophomore Seth Allen is the only guard on the roster with ball-handling experience, though junior swingman Nick Faust has also run point for the Terps. Neither Faust nor Allen are natural point guards.

Incoming freshman Roddy Peters is a highly touted point guard prospect, but Peters is coming off an injury, not to mention the pressure of a freshman playing point guard in the ACC.

Whether Barton takes over the starting point guard role, there would likely be many minutes available for the Memphis transfer.

In Barton's three year career at Memphis, he never averaged more than two assists per game. Regardless, the Terps offense suffered from poor point guard play last season resulting in frequent turnovers and sluggish pace, and one year of Barton could provide a buffer for Peters this season.

In 2014, another highly touted guard Romelo Trimble should provide an offensive boost for the Terps.

Barton has a daughter in the Baltimore area, though it is not clear what impact that will have on his decision. In previous reports, Barton and his family have stated that the best basketball fit will be the deciding factor in his decision.