Barksdale Making Improvements

Scout Kentucky Preps recently caught up with Tates Creek (Lexington, KY) guard Ryan Fucci. However, the Lexington high school basketball team has another talented backcourt player on the roster in senior Marcellus Barksdale. Barksdale has been busy transforming his game this summer to get ready for the approaching high school hoops season.

Marcellus Barksdale has been thought of as a solid shooting guard in the state of Kentucky over the past several years. This summer he has been working hard on his point guard skills in hopes of becoming more of a combo-man for his upcoming senior season and beyond.

"I am most comfortable playing the two-spot," Barksdale said. "Until the start of the season, I am trying to transform my game to become a point guard. With my size and basketball IQ I feel like I could be a great college [guard]."

The Lexington prospect has received interest from a long list of schools this off season and is hoping to turn that attention into formal offers during his final high school year. Barksdale is getting looks from Murray State, Mercer, Lehigh, IUPUI, and Furman. Arizona State, Eastern Kentucky, and Western Kentucky have also taken notice. How does the skilled guard plan to convert this college interest into full scholarship offers?

"Right now, most colleges see me playing the two-spot," said Barksdale. "But, I think if I can showcase my point guard skills...I will receive a lot of interest from more places to be a combo guard."

At close to 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, Barksdale certainly has the size to play at the next level. Lately he has been working hard to make over his body in an effort to build himself into a more versatile player on both ends of the court.

"I'm focusing on my body and explosion mainly. I'm trying to get a lot leaner and stronger," the senior said. "I'm also trying to get explosive so that I'm able to defend quicker guards, and have the ability to dunk the ball without hesitation."

When asked if he has a role model or any players that he tries to replicate on the court, Barksdale provided a sizeable list of individuals who he believes have size and skill packages comparable to his own. Included on the list were players like Deron Williams, Allan Houston, Chauncey Billups, and Shelvin Mack among others.

"Just big guards that are highly skilled," said Barksdale. "Not necessarily the most athletic [players], but [players that] always get the job done."

Barksdale is a solid basketball player through and through. He possesses a wide array of skills that will make him one of the more sought after senior backcourt players in the entire state this season. Barksdale, who topped 1,000 career points last year, senses that he has plenty to offer a potential college basketball team.

"I am a great teammate and love to get better. I have a very high basketball IQ and I am a student of the game at all times," Barksdale said. "As a player, I think my IQ is my best skill. It's something that gives me the ability to be very versatile. I love to pass the ball and I can shoot it too."

Barksdale's versatility is easily seen when looking at his 14 point, 8 rebound, and 3 assist per game average as a junior last season. While the talented guard has a myriad of offensive skills, he is also capable of being a flexible defender at multiple positions when called upon.

"I also love my strength. It allows me to defend multiple positions," Barksdale said. "I always try to improve every aspect of my game."

As one of the best all-around players in the state of Kentucky's 2011 senior class, will keep a close eye on Marcellus Barksdale as the season approaches. With his hard work, size, and assortment of skills it is only a matter of time until the scholarship offers begin bouncing his way.

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