Originally from New Orleans, Bartley played four years of basketball at Christian Life in Baton Rouge, La., after been displaced from home by Hurricane Katrina. Looking to gain more exposure from college scouts, he attended Future College Prep in California and his performance there attracted the attention of coaches from Auburn and other colleges.
"Auburn is in my top three along with Utah and Marquette," said Bartley, who noted that he won't be ready to make his college choice after taking visits to those campuses. He said Utah and Auburn have offered scholarships, but so far Marquette has not. Previously, he took an official visit to Fordham in New York, but that team is not on his list of finalists.
The six-foot-three, 205 guard, who is being recruited by AU assistant Ryan Miller, said that Auburn set the bar high with his visit to the Plains. "I fell in love with it," he said. "Coach Barbee and Coach Miller showed me around. I met the players two nights ago. I hung out with them and they are just great people."
Bartley said he is looking for a college setting where there is a strong relationship between the players and coaches. "I am a family guy and I want the coaches to embrace me," he said, adding that he wants the coaches to be as committed to him as he is to them.
One of the highlights of the visit to Auburn was spending quality time with Barbee and getting to meet the head coach's family. "He is a real family guy and I am a family guy," Bartley said. "I am young, but I still realize how important family is. He talked to me and we had a heart to heart conversation about my past and stuff. He opened up to me and told me what was real."
Bartley also said he liked the university and the people he met at Auburn. "Just walking around it is a beautiful campus," he said. "The fans are crazy (about Auburn)."
The prospect noted that when he was being picked up at the airport in Atlanta that he was greeted with a "War Eagle" by an Auburn fan in the airport who saw a member of the AU staff in Auburn attire who was there to give him a ride to campus.
Bartley said Auburn is recruiting him to be a point guard, which is the position he wants to play in college. He notes that he averaged 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists this past season while spending much of his time as a shooting guard.
"Coach Miller said he is going to train me to be a true point guard at the next level, which is what I have to be at my height," Bartley said.
The prospect played on three Class A Louisiana state championship teams in high school and was twice an All-State selection hoops. As a senior the Louisiana High School Sportswriters Association Named him the Class 1A Player of the Year after he averaged 14.2 points per game.
Bartley noted that he also earned All-State honors as football wide receiver with more than 800 yards in receptions as a senior.
This past season he competed on a team that played a demanding schedule, finishing the year with a 52-9 record playing other prep school teams and even some junior college squads.
"It was like an NBA lockout season, but it was definitely worth it because coming out of high school I got a lot of exposure," he said. "A lot coaches came in. It was definitely worth it for me and a lot of players on my team."
Bartley said that he believes every player on his team will end up playing Division I basketball.
The guard added that Barbee told him that he wants Bartley to be a guy who contributes to a turnaround for the Tigers. "I like the goal Coach Barbee has for this team," Bartley said. "He is not used to losing and I am not used to losing so he is trying to change the culture and possibly bring back the fans and do something special."