ECU Head Basketball Coach Jeff Lebo has added an impressive verbal commit to his 2015 class. Northern Durham small-forward Kentrell Barkley pledged to the Pirates on Labor Day yesterday and brings with him an impressive skillset.
For starters, Barkley is a physical specimen. The 6-foot-5 small forward, with a 6-foot-11 wingspan, used his athletic ability last season to propel him to the top of North Carolina’s talent pool. Barkley, a 3-star recruit, is currently ranked as a top five recruit in the state of NC by most recruiting websites. p>
Notable schools to offer Barkley include Cincinnati, Virginia Tech and VCU. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that he chose ECU, he mentioned to Scout a couple months ago he could see himself fitting in Lebo’s system.
Barkley had a very successful unofficial visit to ECU as a sophomore that likely played into his decision. He attended the Pirates’ homecoming game against Marshall and described the crowd as unbelievable. Add his friend who runs track for the Pirates, Jalen Peterkin, to the equation and it’s easy to see why Barkley committed to ECU.
This summer Barkley made headlines for an interesting reason.
During a pickup game at a Durham YMCA Barkley found himself in a physical altercation with Charlotte Hornet’s first-round pick and former Carolina star P.J. Hairston.
Supposedly the game got heated after Barkley’s team beat Hairston’s a couple of times. When he was on the losing end of things Hairston was unhappy and punched Barkley multiple times. Barkley suffered minor injuries and said he would likely press charges.
Lebo shouldn’t have to worry about Barkley being a hot head however, those who saw the altercation said the incident was all due to Hairston losing his cool.
If Barkley stays committed he is a solid pickup for Lebo and the Pirates. It could be a match made in heaven too. Barkley mentioned he wants to be on a team that pushes the ball, apparently he believes that team is ECU.