The 2016 NBA Draft process has been good to former N.C. State point guard Anthony Barber so far as he's participating in the Combine in Chicago.
After a tremendous junior season, expectations are high for Barber as he's playing in front of a lot of NBA personnel and GMs. In the opening game of his combine experience, Barber played 22 minutes and scored 13 points and dished out six assists, while grabbing three rebounds and turning the ball over three times.
"It's been good. Interacting with all of the guys. Some of them you know from college, some of them you don't know. It's been a great experience," Barber said. "Getting a feel for the NBA ball, NBA court and just interacting with different people and seeing the coaches out here."
In addition to the NBA coaches in attendance, N.C. State head coach Mark Gottfried was in attendance to show support for his former point guard. After the game, Gottfried could be seen talking to Barber while looking over the game's box score.
"It means a lot. Me and Coach Gottfried built a great relationship throughout my years there," Barber said. "Seeing him there is joy; it's uplifting. It shows that he really cares about me and he wants me to succeed. He didn't have to be here but he came here so it was a great experience.
"He was just saying, "be yourself. you worked hard to get to this point and you just have to be yourself and have confidence and keep striving for better.'"
Barber left N.C. State and signed with an agent because he felt like it was time to move on and be a professional. In addition to on-court decision, Barber's decision was also changed by having his daughter, Cadence.
"It was a decision that I had to make. I felt like it was time for me to move on to the pros. I have a daughter and I have to make life better for her. I just felt, deep down, it was my time," Barber said.
Part of the reason Barber is moving on is because he feels like his game translates well to the pro level.
"[I have] quickness, open floor [ability], speed, and can play pick and pop, pick and roll and just [make] the reads," Barber said. "The NBA is open and I can make the reads. In college it's kind of packed in and the NBA they spread it out.
"I watch Tony Parker a lot. I like how he comes off ball screens and makes decisions. Good decisions. I just try to watch him as much as possible."
Barber has also received positive feedback from teams, including some that say he could be in the first round.
"Right now I'm getting 18 on back," Barber said. "I get good feedback. A lot of teams like me, a lot of teams want me to go work out for them. So it's been good."
Although he's gone from N.C. State, Barber will still be keeping an eye on what's going on next season with his former team. He thinks the Wolfpack have a chance to be a good team.
"They're going to be good. They have Dennis, they have Torin Dorn, Terry didn't play last year because of his foot. They have solid guys," Barber said. "I feel like they can be in great position. People don't think they can be good, but I do."
During his time in college, Barber said he grew up quite a bit and had to learn on overcoming a difficult start. But his favorite moment came in the postseason, during an unlikely Sweet 16 run.
"When we made the Sweet 16, how we overcame some of those games and won them," Barber said of his favorite memory. "Not a lot of people thought we were going to be able to do that. It was tough but we did it."