Barham Commits to SIU

Tuesday night, Drew Barham verbally committed to Southern Illinois University. Barham is a 6-6, 183 pound guard/forward from Christian Brothers High School in Memphis, Tennessee. Last season, Barham led his team to a regional championship and a trip to the state title game before falling to Briarcrest in the final.

Tuesday night, Drew Barham verbally committed to Southern Illinois University. Barham is a 6-6, 183 pound guard/forward from Christian Brothers High School in Memphis, Tennessee. Last season, Barham led his team to a regional championship and a trip to the state title game before falling to Briarcrest in the final. Barham said he averaged 15 points and 6 or 7 rebounds a game during the season.

Barham said about why he chose SIU, "It is a good fit. The program would give me a big chance to improve. It is a challenge and will push me." Barham also said SIU is a "good program that has had success over the years." He noted that the Salukis have good fan support and play in a strong conference (Missouri Valley Conference).

Another factor in his decision was he liked the coaching staff and players at SIU.

Barham is a pure shooter. "People compare me to (former Duke All-American) J.J. Reddick." As for the strengths of his game, Barham previously told RedHawk Insider, "My strength is my shooting and I move well without the ball. Also, I am a smart player." As for his weaknesses, he said, "I need to get a little bit stronger." Barham stated he would like to move from his 183 pound frame to 200 pounds in college.

Although listed as a wing forward, that is not necessarily the position he will play in college. Barham said, "I can play wing forward and two guard." Barham believes he will play more as a shooting guard at the next level.

Barham indicated that the SIU coaches will use him as both a shooting guard and as a small forward. He said, "They don't want me to be just a shooter. They want me to be an all around basketball player."

Barham has not been promised immediate playing time for the Salukis. "They will play the people who work the hardest in practice."

Barham had a long list of schools interested in him at one time or another. Besides SIU, the list included Rice, Stanford, Belmont, Davidson, Miami(OH), Butler, Arkansas State, St. Josephs, Bucknell, Jacksonville, American, and Gardner Webb. Of those, he held offers from Southern Illinois, Belmont, Arkansas State, Bucknell, Jacksonville, American, Rice, and Gardner Webb. Barham said Butler was likely to offer in a few weeks and Stanford was not sure if they would ever offer.

Barham indicated that Miami might have offered at some point. However, after the RedHawks received the fifth and final verbal commitment from center Drew McGhee, they called Barham and told him that Miami was out of scholarships to give. Barham said, "They told me they went and got a big man which turned out to be my (AAU) teammate Drew Kelly."

Barham was considering taking a visit to Rice. Also, Barham said, "Butler was coming down or I was going to visit on the 28th or 29th (of September)." Obviously, both visits are now cancelled.

Barham said he took an unofficial visit to SIU this summer and an official visit this past weekend. It was the official visit that sealed the deal. Barham said of SIU, "(SIU) was always one of my top schools. My coaches (high school and AAU) thought it was best for me."

On his official visit to SIU over the weekend, Barham said he was taken around the town of Carbondale. He got to meet with the coaches and academic people. He then played a pick up game with the team. He also watched the individual workouts the coach put them through. Finally, he just hung out with the team.

Barham said his parents are excited and supportive of the decision. Carbondale is only 3.5 hours away from Memphis. He said, "My parents will try to make as many games as possible."

On a personal level, Barham describes himself as a funny guy who likes to dance. He is also strong in his faith and is an active participant in church activities.

Barham is an excellent student. He is academically qualified and has a perfect 4.0 GPA with an ACT score of 24. However, the 24 was not personally good enough for Barham and he plans on retaking the test.

In college, he would like to major in either business or aviation. Barham's interest in aviation stems from wanting to be a pilot. Barham said, "My dad had a private pilot's license (when I was younger)."

Lofty goals have been set for SIU by Barham. He said, "I am really excited about coming. I cannot wait. I hope to have a nice four years there and win the national championship."


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