2005 Focus: Korvotney Barber

Korvotney Barber may have made as much of an instant impact as anyone in April, but he's already fairly set on his top three. In fact, he's got a leader and plans to take a trip to his frontrunner this weekend.

It's hard to imagine that, at once point in time not too long ago, Korvotney Barber was scared to step onto the court.

That's right. The 6-7 ½, 215-pound junior forward, who is one of the most aggressive players in the nation and appears to be unfazed by anything or anyone on the court, was nervous.

``I was sorry," said the Manchester High (Ga.) standout, who recently came out of virtually nowhere on the national scene while playing with Gary Graham's Smyrna Stars at the Kingwood Classic. "I didn't want to do anything because I was scared. I wasn't as strong as I am now. I was weak and people would bump me off the ball. Now you gotta tackle me."

These days Barber is one of the most physical players in the Class of 2005. He still has his deficiencies, such as shooting from the perimeter, but if you're looking for a big-time athlete who runs the floor, rebounds, block shots and finishes with authority, Barber's your guy.

He dunked just about everything he could in Houston last month, also showed a nice little jump hook and displayed tremendous quickness off his feet. He went up against the nationally known Playaz Basketball Club and had no difficulty outplaying consensus Top 50 player Brandon Costner for much of the game.

There's only one problem. If you're not from the south, there's little chance you can convince Barber to come.

Barber, who has a 3.2 GPA, will take an unofficial visit this weekend to Georgia, his early leader in the process. Georgia Tech and Auburn also comprise his top three. Georgia even said they want to recruit him for football despite the fact the former quarterback hasn't seen the gridiron since the ninth grade.

Schools like Cincinnati, Arizona and USC have expressed interest, but it's almost a certainty he won't go that far. Miami and UAB are also in the mix.

Barber didn't even start on his high school team as a sophomore, but he worked with new coach Curtis Noble and got a chance to start last season – and averaged 14 points, 14 boards and 4 blocks per game.

There were really no calls that came in during the year, but Furman, Youngstown State and Southern Illinois called shortly after the season ended. ``He started to believe he could play at the next level," Noble said. "He's made great adjustments. He's worked on a jump hook and understands how to post up and take advantage of his quickness. He was just so raw a year or so ago, but now he understands the fundamentals."

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