TT Terps Team Camp Eval 3: Darron Barnes

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Under the tutelage of Coach Rob Garner, the Wise High School Pumas had an outstanding season, reaching the Maryland 4A South Championship before losing to eventual state champions DuVal. Their two-headed monster, Darron Barnes and Michael Speight, both rising juniors, were on display Saturday afternoon at the Xfinity Center for the Terps first annual Team Camp.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Under the tutelage of Coach Rob Garner, the Wise High School (Upper Marlboro, Md.) Pumas had an outstanding season, reaching the Maryland 4A South Championship before losing to eventual state champions DuVal. Their two-headed monster, Darron Barnes and Michael Speight, both rising juniors, were on display June 13-14 at the Xfinity Center for the Terps first annual Team Camp.

Barnes, who plays for the DC Premier 16-and-under team on the Under Armour circuit, is a 6-6 small forward/shooting guard. He is a big kid, maybe 220 lbs already. And Barnes is cerebral on the court, using his body where needed most on any given possession. On one offensive play he may be bringing the ball up the court with his strong ball skills. Or, at any given time, you may see Barnes posting up the opposing center or power forward for a bucket. He has very good low-post skills. His footwork in the paint is excellent. Or he may be waiting on the wing for a pass and an open jumper. And by the way, he has an excellent shooting touch from anywhere on the court. His flexibility is what makes him so entertaining to watch. Also add he is an excellent free throw shooter, runs the floor in transition like a small guard, is a ferocious rebounder, and you have a tremendous talent. Put Michael Speight next to him next year with an impressive group of young up-and-comers, and Wise will be a team TT will cover frequently next year.

Coach Garner runs a smart offense, keeping the ball moving constantly and fast. So it is necessary each player has excellent hands and is ready for any sudden change of direction from tipped balls, stolen passes, etc. His teams are meticulous and rarely turn the ball over. And we believe the heart and soul of the all-out style of play is Barnes. He seems to be everywhere on the court with unlimited energy. Unlike many of the local stars in the area, Barnes' main priority on the floor is not to score and put up big numbers only. His goal is to win every game at any cost, it would appear.

An average stat line for Barnes would be 15 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks, three assists and two blocks. He is known for being a double-double type of player. Diving is the stands or over scorer's table for a loose ball is not that infrequent with Barnes. The fact he is only an upcoming junior gives Barnes a chance to maybe grow a few more inches. The additional height would make Barnes a top power forward in the region and perhaps country.

Expect Wise to be a force its league again next season and deep into the playoffs again as well.

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