TOC: C.J. Barksdale Spotlight

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- C.J. Barksdale had high expectations for the 2009 Tournament of Champions. Ranked among the nation's top power forwards in the class of 2011 by, he was ready to make a splash in the Triangle.

Instead, his Richmond Squires team suffered some big losses and made a quiet exit, with Barksdale averaging 10.0 points on the weekend.

"It hasn't been going as well as I thought it would, but maybe we just need to practice and keep working hard," Barksdale said. "For myself, I've played alright, but not up to where I can be playing at, so I've just got to work hard to keep getting better."

The traveling team circuit is providing Barksdale the opportunity to develop at a secondary position. While he's excelled as more of a power forward for Danville (Va.) George Washington, the bouncy 6-7 athlete has been playing more on the perimeter this weekend.

"I'm just trying to get used to playing both positions because I don't know if I'm going to get taller or stay the same height," he said.

Regardless of the projected position, college coaches have been quick to identify his strengths.

"[Coaches say they like] how hard I work on the glass – my rebounding and shotblocking – and my being able to run the floor well," Barksdale said.

The rising junior has picked up four early scholarship offers, with more assuredly on the way.

"I'm getting recruited by most of the top ACC schools and I'm getting recruited by Alabama, Florida, VCU and other schools like that," he said. "… [In the ACC], Virginia Tech and Wake Forest have offered me and UNC is looking at me. … [Outside the ACC], Florida and Alabama have offered."

While a decision appears to be a ways off, some campus trips are in the works.

"I'm going to call the coach at Wake Forest to visit them next month some time," Barksdale said. "And, I'm going to call UNC and Florida, so I can visit them soon."

Barksdale made a couple trips to Chapel Hill during the basketball season – one for Late Night October and then again for the season opener against Penn a month later. The UNC staff has also made the trip up to Danville for an evaluation visit during his sophomore season.

An admitted Tar Heel fan growing up, Barksdale said he was watching closely as UNC made its run to the national title earlier this year.

"I was happy because that's my favorite college and I just knew they were going to do it," he said.

C.J. Barksdale Profile

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