Will JC Superstar Antwain Barbour go pro?

Antwain Barbour, the versatile and multi-talented 6-5, 190 pound swingman from Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel, Ill, recently sat down with JUCO Junction/Rivalshoops.com for a lengthy question and answer session.

Antwain Barbour, the versatile and multi-talented 6-5, 190 pound swingman from Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel, Ill, recently sat down with JUCO Junction/Rivalshoops.com for a lengthy question and answer session.

Barbour sparked Wabash Valley to a 99-78 victory over St. Louis C.C./Meramec at the recent Meramec JUCO Shootout in St. Louis, Mo.

Barbour was terrific in the second half, connecting on four three pointers on the way to 22 points in the victory. After Meramec had cut the lead to 12 points, Barbour capped a frantic 28-13 run that allowed the Warriors to take a commanding 73-46 lead midway through the second half.

Prior to the season, Barbour enjoyed a hectic fall, taking four official visits before casting his lot with Kentucky. He picked the Wildcats over UNLV, Cincinnati and Indiana.

Here is a transcript of the Q&A we conducted with Barbour in St. Louis:

JUCO Junction: Can you talk about some of the factors that went into your decision-making?

Antwain Barbour: It was basically that Kentucky had been there since my senior year in high school. It's close to home, and I really wanted my mom to be able to come watch the games every night, so she could get back and go to work. That was kind of the main reason I chose Kentucky. Plus, they are one of the biggest powerhouses in Division I.

JJ: In the end, who did it come down to -- Kentucky and who else?

AB: I really did not have a second choice. I put all four of them on the table and looked at the pros and cons and just picked one.

JJ: When it came down to it, was there anyone that finished second, or was UK so far out in front?

AB: UK was so far out in front. They were there in high school and everyone else came in so late. I guess they just saw me late. I don't know what the reason was. Since Kentucky was there since high school, there really was no number two.

JJ: Was it tough to say no to Coach [Jay] Spoonhour and UNLV? You had a relationship with him last year and he coached you at Wabash Valley?

AB: It was a hard decision to say no to him. Coach Spoon and I had a great relationship here at Wabash last year. He understood where I was coming from. When he first came in [replacing John Loyer as Wabash Head Coach], I told him that I was looking to go to UK. He knew that, but he wanted to give it a fair shot.

JJ: Can you talk a little about the official visits? Which was the best of the four?

AB: I had a great time in Vegas. Anybody would have a great time in Vegas. That's a great place to be.

JJ: Just talk a little about Indiana. They kind of snuck in there late to make your final cut.

AB: Mike Davis is a great coach. He came in a little late. If he would have been there a long time ago

JJ: Can you talk a little about your game. Last year, you were more of a scorer. This year, you seem like you are more of a quarterback. Not necessarily a point guard, but just kind of directing things, calming people down.

AB: I think it's my job to be a leader. I don't have to come out and score 20 points a night. I just come out and play, and try to get everyone involved in the game so we can win. I want to go back to Hutch and try to repeat. So I just have to do everything I can to help us be a great team.

JJ: Have you talked with Tubby Smith on a regular basis?

AB: I talked to UK's coaching staff around once a week. We just talk about their games and how they are coming along, and my games and how I am coming along. They just want me to be a leader on the floor.

JJ: What are some of the things you need to work on for the next level?

AB: Everybody knows I need to get stronger. I just think I need to keep working on my jump shot.

JJ: Can you talk about how you are doing academically?

AB: Right now, I have around a 3.3 [GPA], somewhere in there. I am doing great in the classroom, because I made a mistake once and I can't make it again. I already got my scholarship, now I just have to follow through with the grades. I should graduate in the spring.

JJ: Last spring, there was some talk about you possibly looking into the NBA situation after your terrific performance at the NJCAA Tournament in Hutchinson, Kan. Since that time, that talk has kind of cooled off.

AB: The NBA is going to be there. If I was projected to go in the top 10, I'd have to think about it a lot. But anywhere below there, I think I would have to go to college and improve on the things I need to so I could go top five.

JJ: Where does UK see you fitting in next year?

AB: Either the two or the three, wherever I can get in. I am just going to come in and try to be a leader with Tayshaun leaving.


Inside the Rebels Top Stories