"I wasn't focused. I came out (lazy) and my mindset was not right," said Barefield, who plays for the Compton (Calif.) Magic 17U AAU team. "I had to adjust myself. I came out when coach took me out--and then I played better after that.
"Usually it is mental when I have a bad game. It is nothing physical. I am in the gym a lot. I just have to adjust myself mentally. Every game I feel like the guards are trying to get into me just making a name off of me. I try not to think about it and compete and play hard."
Barefield has played in front of college coaches for two years now. He is being evaluated on his play, his ability to make plays, how he deals with adversity and can he be coached. Fortunately for him, he is doing quite well for himself this time around. His continued growth as a point guard will be doing the little things that don't show up on a stat sheet. The intangibles that set you apart from your peers to not only make you a better player--but make the players on your team better as well.
"Being a leader is being more of a true point guard and finding my teammates," Barefield said. "Me and my dad talk about it a lot. He played in college, so (I'm just trying to be) a true point guard and not looking for my shot-- but focusing on being an all-around player. When I went to the Nike Elite 100 (camp) that is when I realized that I had to be a true point guard. I had a lot of guys on my team that could play and I wasn't the only one on the team that could get off. All my teammates could, like Luke Kennard and some guys like that. I had to get them going and stuff like that."
Barefield credits most of his growth as player to his AAU coach, A.J. Harris.
"Me and Coach A.J. are really close, so when he tells me something-- I got to listen to it," Barefield said. "I know that he knows what he is talking about. I trust him and all the stuff he is saying to me. It's never (going) to hurt me no matter how he says it. I just try and listen."
With all the attention he is receiving, his parents are doing a good job of letting him just enjoy the process of being recruited. Barefield is making sure the glare of college coaches doesn't distract him from staying focused.
"My parents take care of it a lot more then I do," Barefeild said. "I just try and stay in the gym and get better and not focus on that other stuff. It is a blessing you're kind of nervous at first, but once you start playing in front of them you get use to it. You don't even think about it (anymore.) You start to realize that the main objective is to win and not focus on impressing them. They like winning that's what their job is."