Catching Up With 4-Star CJ Barksdale

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At last year’s NBPA Top 100 Camp, CJ Barksdale had just finished his sophomore year at George Washington High School (Danville, VA) and was considering a number of schools for his college future. A year later, the 6-8, 220-pound forward is now a rising senior and eyeing a future at Virginia Tech. He’s also preparing for his senior year, which will not be at GW-Danville.

“There is always an opportunity to get better and I feel that going to Hargrave Military Academy will improve my game and help me take my game to another level, so when I get to Virginia Tech I’ll be able to play early and put in big minutes,” Barksdale said.

Barksdale committed to Virginia Tech last December and plans to sign in the Early Signing Period in November. He discussed why he decided to commit to Virginia Tech relatively early in the recruiting process.

“Recruiting, getting called by all these people. Everybody was wondering what I’m going to do. I thought it was best to get it out of the way early. That way, I don’t have to get pressure from anybody,” said Barksdale, who also claimed offers from Alabama, Maryland and Wake Forest.

While the 2009/2010 season was a frustrating one for GW-Danville, Barksdale performed well, averaging 17 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks per game. Over the course of the past year, the standout prospect has worked hard in the weight room. He looks impressive physically yet still has a lean frame from which to build on.

“I’ve gotten stronger than I was last year,” Barksdale said. “I’m in the weight room constantly. I’m shooting better. Still, I need to work on my ball-handling a lot. They’re going to look for me to play the three some, so I need to improve my ball-handling. My whole game can improve.”

Tech head coach Seth Greenberg knows exactly what kind of role Barksdale will play.

“He would really like me to be like be another version of Jeff Allen,” Barksdale said. “Coach Greenberg sees me as someone who could post up and then step out and shoot it. That’s what he sees me as.

“I watch Virginia Tech a lot. Seeing what Jeff Allen does, I can definitely see myself in that position.”

NBPA Top 100

I caught parts of C.J.’s first game of the event. He looked active, grabbing