Just two months after getting the job, the new Memphis coach landed commitments from blue-chip brothers Will and Antonio Barton of Baltimore (Md.) Lake Clifton High School. The brothers are visiting the school for the Memphis Elite Camp.
“Me and my brother decided to choose Memphis because it was a great family atmosphere,” Will, a 6-foot-6, 170-pound shooting guard ranked No. 1 at his position and No. 7 overall in the Class of 2010, said by phone Friday night.
“We just went down there [to campus] and saw it for ourselves, man.”
Will (pictured) is a five-star recruit according to Rivals and Antonio, a 6-2 point guard also from the Class of 2010, is a three-star.
“We had a great relationship with Coach [Glenn] Cyprien and Coach Pastner,” Will said.
Will said he chose the Tigers over a Who’s Who of top programs, including Kentucky, Kansas, Louisville, Indiana, Maryland, Virginia, Texas, Florida and Miami.
“It was a list of schools,” Will said.
The commitments represent a bit of a recruiting coup for Pastner over his former boss, John Calipari. The boys were to have visited Kentucky next weekend, but Kentucky had yet to offer Antonio. Pastner offered both brothers.
Earlier this week Pastner also announced the signing of Martin Ngaloro, a 6-foot-8 small forward from France.
The Barton commitments also come a time when Memphis is embroiled in an NCAA investigation over whether someone else took former point guard Derrick Rose’s SAT. Memphis could forfeit its 38-win season in 2008 and its Final Four appearance.
That incident occurred under Calipari, and Pastner has maintained that the current team and future of the program won’t be impacted.
Will Barton said he spoke to Pastner about it and felt satisfied.
“Yes, all is settled so we’re good,” he said.
Will Barton describes himself as a “very versatile big wing at 6-6, a scorer. I can do a lot on the floor, get my teammates involved and make them better.”
He’s very much looking forward to playing with his brother. Will is just 11 months older.
“That’ll be great getting to play with him,” he said. “We’ve been together all my life and we’re trying to take it to the next level and be as successful as we have been.”