Friday, September 12, 2008

Chris Barnes Expected to Have Break-Out Season

According to the readers of the Chronicles, Chris Barnes is the big man who is most likely to have a break-out season. Barnes garnered 45% of the votes in the poll, while Albert Jackson, Howard Thompkins, and Jeremy Price tied with 18% each.

Implicit in the idea of a break-out season is the realization that a player has untapped potential. Jeremy Price had a nice season last year. Albert Jackson came on strong. Howard Thompkins should provide Georgia with an elite scorer.

But out of all of Georgia's big men, Barnes is the one who is most intriguing. We saw flashes last year of him being on the receiving end of a few Zac Swansey assists. Barnes definitely has all the physical tools. He can rise with the best of them. He has great hands and decent fundamentals.

Last year, Barnes averaged just 2.6 points and 2 rebounds per outing. True, he was hurt for a good bit of the season, but he still played in 21 games, averaging 9 minutes per contest. He shot only 45% from the free throw line.

He can do better. With the graduation of Bliss providing more playing time in the post, Barnes figures to get an increased amount of minutes.

I voted for Barnes in the poll, and if I were Felton, I would start by making Barnes watch footage of Trevor Booker, the power forward at Clemson. Then I would roll film of UGA's own Anthony Evans.

Barnes can play just as big as Booker and Evans. He can seal guys off in the post and score. He can be a big-time rebounder. I think all he needs is a relatively injury-free season, more playing time, and confidence. It's time for him to break out.

We're expecting it.

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