Tech’s Pursuit Keyed Barksdale Commitment

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George Washington (Danville, VA) forward CJ Barksdale ended his recruitment in late December, following through on a desire to commit to a school before the end of his junior year. The 6-7, 225-pound junior won’t be able to sign a letter of intent with Virginia Tech until November, but he decided to end his recruitment sooner rather than later. Why?

“In talking to him about it, he felt like Virginia Tech wanted him more than anyone else,” GW-Danville head coach Bobby Martin said.

At last summer’s NBAPA Top 100 Camp, Barksdale told TechSideline.com that Virginia Tech was “the first school to ever look at me and give me a verbal scholarship offer, before anybody knew who I was.”

He would commit to the Hokies six months later, choosing Tech over offers from Alabama, Florida, Maryland and Wake Forest.

“Virginia Tech’s coaches were on top of him from day one,” recalled Martin. “They really, really worked it. They really pursued him hard. And it wasn’t fake. They didn’t promise this and that. They were above the table with the way they recruited him.”

Barksdale, now rated a 4-star recruit by Rivals.com and Scout.com, is in his second season as a starter on the varsity level. A backup as a freshman, Barksdale’s abilities really started to show his sophomore season, when he first became a full-time starter for the Eagles. As a sophomore, he averaged 18 points and 12 boards per contest.

“That season, he really started to show that he had a bright side,” Martin said. “He has great upside. He’s young, so he’ll continue to grow and get stronger. And he’s a good kid. He’s coachable.”

Barksdale has shown the ability to score inside and out. He is Martin’s best 3-point shooter so far this season, making about 48-percent from beyond the arc. Barksdale sees a lot of action in the post, though, because “for us to be good, he has to be inside,” Martin said.

Martin continued, “I think right now his strongest part is his back-to-the-basket game, but he can play back-to-the-basket and face-up.”

Season update

Barksdale showed off his ability in GW-Danville’s last game, a 73-54 loss to AP in-state #1 Petersburg. He scored

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