I got a chance to see Will and Antonio Barton face off against each other today at Pembroke Academy, in the finals of the NH Prep School Classic, where Will's Brewster Academy, of Wolfboro NH, beat Antonio's Notre Dame Prep, of Fitchburg MA, 93-89 in overtime.
Antonio scored 10 points, and played steady basketball at the point, for much of the game. Will was the slasher, and played all but one minute of the contest, which might account for the way he seemed to pace himself during the game.
In college I would expect he will learn to play with high intensity at all times, and isn't this a challenge for almost every freshman, in division one.
It's not that Will is lackadasical. I was impressed with the way he orchestrated the team. He was clearly the leader. Clearly the one who managed the on-court huddles, and directed the defense.
And when he has the ball in his hands, in the half court, there is no one who can stop him from getting to the rim, or at least within jump shot range.
He scored twenty five points, including an important bucket with less than a minute left in the overtime, and one three pointer, in the opening minutes of the second half.
Brewster has a lot of guns, and plays like your high level travelling AAU team, with speed and elbows and jams.
At one point the team on the floor was 6'10" Maurice Walker (undeclared, ESPN center #8) , 6'7" C.J. Fair (Syracuse bound, ESPN small forward #12), 6'6" Melvin Ejim (Iowa State bound, ESPN small forward #68), 6'6" Will Barton (Memphis bound, ESPN shooting guard #1), and 6'1" Ashton Kahn (undeclared, ESPN point guard #121).
Perhaps it's because Kahn is more of a combo guard, and not too likely to be the pure distributor, but Will was left to basically create his own shot, which was fine when he had the ball in his hands.
He has a sweet flutter step, and the defender never knows which way he is going to go, and whether he is going to go to the rim, or stop for a short jumper.
But as a shooting guard, Will never came off a screen to take a pass, and make the shot. In fact, I don't think anyone got an assist, feeding Will the ball, at any point in the game.
Which is another way of saying, I guess, that Will didn't seem to move well without the ball. But perhaps this is just the style that Brewster plays, where Will is being asked to take the ball and be creative.
On defense, Will was all over the court, with five steals/deflections, but at times he was gambling too much, found himself out of position, and got burned.
And on one such occasion it was brother Antonio, who blew past him to the rim.