Freshman Barber Showing Signs of Improvement

Auburn, Ala.--Korvotney Barber came to Auburn as a McDonald's All-American basketball player and a raw athlete with tons of potential. However, he has struggled to be a consistent player as a freshman.

However, as the season has progressed Barber has shown obvious improvements on the offensive end, but he still has a long way to go to for his skill level to be as good as his athletic ability.

"Coach (Jeff Lebo) had a talk with me about being a leader on the floor," Barber says. "I thought if he wanted me to be a leader I have to be more of a threat on the offensive side. Being a good offensive player makes me a leader because I think my defense is already good. I have to step it up on the offensive end."

"Vot" has scored 14 points in each of the last two games against Tennessee and Arkansas and has averaged 11.5 points and 5.8 boards in the last four games, including a 13-point and eight-rebound performance in just 21 minutes at LSU.

Vot shoots over Tennessee's Andre Patterson on Wednesday night at Thompson-Boling Arena.

"He's getting better," says Lebo. "I think the big thing with Vot right now is that he's getting valuable experience and he's getting better each and every game. This offseason with him getting stronger is going to be a crucial time for him."

Barber leads the team in field goal percentage at 58.6 and has bettered that in conference play in shooting 62.5 percent from the floor. He has shot at least 50 percent in the last eight games. Free throws continue to be a problem for Barber, but his 45 percent in the SEC is better than he was shooting at the beginning of the season.

"I've been working on them a lot now," he says of his free throws. "They've been stressing that a lot with the free throws and my offensive play. I just have a work on it a lot.

"When I get the ball inside they tell me to do something with it since I don't touch it a lot. It's all right even if I don't score just as long as I attack the bucket."

With his current skill level offensively, Barber has been limited mostly to dunks and lay-ups, but he matches up athletically with anybody. On the defensive end at 6-7, 220 pounds he gives up a couple of inches and about 30 pounds to most SEC players he mans up with, which has led to foul problems and limited playing time.

Lebo says that Barber is a very coachable player who learns quickly. As long as that continues he could have the potential to develop into one of the SEC's top forwards.


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