After having to sit out the remainder of the Tigers’ season following his transfer for the spring semester, that’s a bit of a different feeling for Barnett now during offseason workouts.
“I’m still going to have eight games but it is what it is,” Barnett said. It feels much better knowing that pretty much the redshirt’s over — it’s pretty much over with — so it’s time to get down to business and start working even harder than I was earlier.”
Is it really eight games? Barnett was asked.
“Eight was really just a random number,” he said. “I just know it’s Dec. 22 is when I should be eligible. I’m assuming that’s going to be around eight games. I don’t know.”
Whenever he’s officially eligible to take the court, the 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward will be looking to make an impact for a Tigers team that has won a combined 19 games over the past two seasons. He’s got good size, can run the floor in transition and can also shoot the ball, skills that the Tigers could certainly use next season.
Barnett was a highly-regarded player at CBC High School in suburban St. Louis, where he led the Cadets to the Missouri Class 5 championship as a senior in 2014 and was selected as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch player of the year.
His two seasons at Texas — well, technically, one and a half seasons — didn’t go as played for the versatile forward. He averaged 1.9 points and 1.3 rebounds in 21 games as a freshman playing for Rick Barnes and then 3.3 points and 2.0 rebounds in four games as a sophomore under new coach Shaka Smart.
Barnett’s addition to the Mizzou roster has made him one of the more veteran players despite not having a lot of experience himself.
“That is kind of unique,” he said. “I haven’t played with these guys yet but I’m coming from a school where I played, quote-unquote played for two years, so it’s definitely interesting coming in here as a veteran and having to share stuff with guys who don’t necessarily know like what I’ve been through.”
The Tigers have been through plenty over the past few seasons, specifically the first two years under coach Kim Anderson. But now it is on the remaining players, including Barnett, to help get things turned around.
“I think the chemistry here is the biggest thing,” Barnett said. “I think the chemistry here is getting close to being already there. I feel like that’s the biggest part. If you can play together, anything’s possible.”
Barnett described the chemistry as being a bit off when he first arrived in Columbia.
“I feel like some people might not have been bought in as much but I think everybody here has bought in and we’re going to work on getting better,” he said. “I think that’s going to manifest in a great way.”