There’s no place like home for Jordan Barnett.
That’s what he was thinking when the 6-foot-7, 215-pound sophomore forward decided to transfer from the University of Texas to Missouri last month.
“Texas was really fun, but I decided that it was time to make a change for the better of myself,” Barnett told reporters on Monday. “What better place to come than back home. I’m from St. Louis, so to come back to Missouri, where all my friends and family can come see me play, it’s a great feeling.”
A standout at CBC High School, Barnett considered the Tigers during his original recruiting process but ultimately ended up picking the Longhorns.
The small forward averaged 1.9 points and 1.3 rebounds per game as a freshman a year ago, playing 19 games under former UT coach Rick Barnes, but appeared in just four games this season under new coach Shaka Smart. He averaged 3.3 points and 2 rebounds per game over those four games as a sophomore.
When he decided to transfer from UT, Barnett said he called Missouri assistant coach Corey Tate, who had coached him with the St. Louis Eagles during his high school years. Instead of considering other options and looking around, Barnett focused on coming home.
“For the most part honestly it was pretty much just come back home,” he said. “I was thinking, what better place to come back to than Missouri, where it seems like I should have been all along almost.”
Barnett said he has fond memories of watching the Tigers.
“I used to go to Missouri games all the time,” Barnett said. “That season when they were really good, with Marcus Denman and all of them, I used to go to their games all the time. I don’t remember what exactly happened, but some other schools got on my radar and then I end up going somewhere else.”
The athletic small forward said one memory stood out above the rest about his time watching Mizzou.
“I came here when Mizzou played Kansas, when they were still in the Big 12,” Barnett said, “and I remember they were down like eight with 1:30 and Marcus Denman hit like three 3’s in a row to put them up and the gym was rocking. It was crazy. That’s like the biggest memory I have.”
There’s another memory from Mizzou Arena, also.
The one from when he led his CBC Cadets to an overtime win against Columbia Hickman in the 2014 Missouri Class 5 championship game. He put up 43 points and 20 rebounds.
“That’s definitely the first memory, for sure,” he said. “That was just a special night. That was a good time.”
Barnett is hoping to have more special nights and make more memories at Mizzou Arena now that he’s a Tiger. But he will have to wait one year to be eligible — he’ll be in the middle of his junior season when he first takes the court officially with the Tigers.
When that finally happens, he’s hoping to add some scoring punch to a squad that has been lacking that so far this season.
“From the games I’ve watched, they’ve had some trouble scoring a little bit,” Barnett said, “but I think I can help a little bit and add some more fast-break opportunities.”
But, really, Barnett said he is just looking to contribute however he can when he takes for the floor for the Tigers in 2017.
“I just want to help,” he said. “That’s all I can do. Whatever the case may be — if they need me to score, if they need me to defend — I just want to be able to make a difference. That’s all.”