Barksdale’s Commitment a Sign of Progress

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Virginia Tech received a basketball commitment over the weekend from GW-Danville
power forward C.J. Barksdale, and it’s a big commitment indeed. This is the type
of commitment that followers of the program have been waiting for since ACC
expansion, and Barksdale provided it over the weekend. It was unexpected, but it
was a nice Christmas surprise nonetheless.

Barksdale is the #24 rated recruit by PrepStars.com, perhaps the most
respected recruiting service in the basketball industry. Scout.com, which is
right up there with PrepStars, rates him #28 nationally.

To our knowledge, Barksdale is the highest rated recruit to verbal to
Virginia Tech since McDonald’s All-American Dell Curry chose the Hokies back in
1982. To put that in perspective for you, I was not alive when Curry verballed
to Tech. It’s been that long since Tech signed a Top 25 type player.

Barksdale is a 6-7, 225-lbs athletic forward from Danville who chose the
Hokies over Alabama, Florida, Maryland and Wake Forest, among others. He
averaged 18 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks per game last year as a
sophomore. So far this year, he is averaging 19.5 points through GW’s first five
games of the season.

His best performance came against Dudley (Greensboro, NC) and UNC commit P.J.
Hairston (#17 in the nation by PrepStars). GW trailed by 17 in the second half,
but rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat Dudley 69-62. Barksdale finished
that game with 20 points, 22 rebounds and eight blocks, outperforming Hairston,
who finished with 17 points (21 below his average).

If guys like Gus Gilchrist make you fear a possible decommitment from
Barksdale, let me put your mind at ease. He is coached at GW by Bobby Martin, a
former Tech football player who still has strong ties to the program. Cam Martin
and Orion Martin are Bobby Martin’s nephews.

Martin’s character is well-regarded, and I don’t think he’s going to let
poachers

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