After weeks of uncertainty and constant speculation, former Memphis guard Antonio Barton elected to attend Tennessee, spurning his hometown Maryland Terrapins.
After the departure of guard Trae Golden, the Volunteers were in desperate need of a guard and Barton fit the bill. They were relatively quiet throughout most of Barton’s recruitment. However, Tennessee popped up about two weeks ago when they expressed interest in the former Memphis guard and he allegedly came to Knoxville for a visit. During the entire recruitment, the Terps were considered the favorite, especially after Barton proclaimed that he had a “tremendous” visit to the Maryland campus. Several factors swayed in Maryland’s favor including Barton being a Baltimore native and having a four-year old daughter that lived in the area. Not to mention, Maryland guard Nick Faust is Barton’s godbrother. However, Barton ended up turning down his hometown team and chose to end his collegiate career in the same state that he played the first three years of college ball in.
To be honest, this isn’t the end of the world for the Terps. Yes, Barton would’ve been a solid point guard with the departure of guard Pe’Shon Howard. However, Maryland does have the depth at guard to survive without making an addition. Sophomore guard Seth Allen got some good experience running the point at times last season. Incoming freshman Roddy Peters is also expected to see big-time minutes and is likely going to be the point guard of the future. My guess is that Allen gets the bulk of the minutes while still seeing some time playing off the ball. It’s unclear if Mark Turgeon will target another transfer after losing out on Barton. One transfer that were linked to was Florida International’s Malik Smith but he has since committed to play at Minnesota. Baylor’s L.J. Rose is a possible option after being a top 75 recruit coming out of the Houston area. Regardless, with guards like Dez Wells, Faust, Allen, and Peters in the fold, Maryland will be just fine heading into the 2013-2014 season.