There's blowing up and then there's what has happened with junior Will Barton. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard from Baltimore has seen his stock go white hot this spring thanks to a string of impressive performances. Playing with Baltimore Elite, Barton has catapulted himself into the national top 10 for the class of 2010.
According to Barton, he's always been able to play. People just haven't had much of a chance to see him.
"I didn't do any of these tournaments last year," said Barton. "I played in the Boo Williams last year and I dominated it, but I played at the 16 and under level. I feel that if I'd have played up people would have watched me more. Most people watch the 17 and unders so it's just been getting more exposure and working hard in the gym."
Long, athletic and quick with the ball, Barton is capable of beating defenders from deep or off the dribble. Watching him play evokes images of a young Larry Hughes or Jamal Crawford and Barton sees himself as a true matchup problem who can do a little bit of everything.
"I'm just versatile," said Barton. "At 6-6, I can play the one, the two and the three. I can defend, rebound, block shots and I score at will. People see all of that. Plus, I have a lot of fun."
Not surprisingly, Barton's recruitment has exploded as much as his reputation.
"It's been crazy, I mean everybody is calling," said Barton. "Kentucky, Memphis, Texas, Florida, Xavier, South Florida, Central Florida, Maryland, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Kansas, Louisville, I can't even list them all."
Rumored to be a lean to Kentucky, Barton denied having any leaders but did acknowledge that Kentucky was "high, high" on his list. He also mentioned that he likes Bill Self's Jayhawks as well.
"I like Kansas too," said Barton of the Jayhawks. "They've always been good. They've always had great wings and when I watch them play under coach Bill Self and they get up and down and they defend real hard, I like that."
The Kansas staff also dropped by his school in April and Barton says that he's had plenty of contact with them outside of that.
"I talk to them a lot," Barton told Phog.Net. "Actually, I just talked to Coach Self I would say a week ago."
For now, Barton is doing his best to keep all of the excitement from taking over his life. He's got a few more weeks of school left and is thinking that he'll put his recruitment on the back burner until he finishes that and some upcoming camps. When he does set up visits and start looking to make a choice, he'll be looking at the same things most prospects look at.
"I'm going to want a family atmosphere," said Barton. "I think that anywhere I go I can potentially make a big impact. So I'm going to be looking for a coach that can really help me and a place that I fit in."