2012 Combo Guard Commits To UVa

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Lexington Christian Academy (Lexington, KY) combo guard Taylor Barnette landed an offer from head coach Tony Bennett today, while finishing up an official visit to UVa. The 6’3″, 175-pound senior accepted and will sign a letter of intent with the ‘Hoos.

LCA head coach Tommy Huston confirmed the news, but Barnette also tweeted the info around 6:20 this evening.

“I’m officially a University of Virginia Cavalier. Blessed to be a part of the program here. All the glory to God!,” Barnette wrote.

Huston said: “With his sister (Sarah Beth Barnette, who is a rising sophomore eligibility-wise for the UVa women’s basketball program) going there, I think it was a no-brainer. Plus playing in the ACC.”

Barnette originally signed a letter of intent with Central Florida last November. Last month, though, he asked for and was granted a release from the letter. Early this week, he took an official visit to Miami of Ohio before heading to Charlottesville on Thursday.

A 4-year starter at Lexington Christian, Barnette’s abilities were easy to recognize early on.

“As a freshman, he was a skinny kid. He was about 6’1″. But it took us about five minutes of practice to know he was a starter,” Huston said. “His first game ever, he hit several 3s. We played one of the top two or three teams around in the second game, and he hit five more 3s. That tells you what kind of shooter he is. Shooting is his good part, but he is a good athlete. He can jump. He can get his shots off.”

Barnette averaged 17 points and 6.4 rebounds per game as a sophomore. As a junior, he averaged 17.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists per contest. And as a senior, he averaged 20 points and 8 rebounds per game. A foot injury suffered in early January sidelined Barnette for the rest of his senior season, but in the five games prior to the injury he was averaging 30 points per game.

Huston calls Barnette a “gym rat” with a “tremendous IQ” for the game. He believes his standout prospect could play either guard position on the major college level.

“He definitely has point guard ability. He’s such a good shooter that I didn’t want to put him there,” Huston said. “He’s an outstanding dribbler. He has worked his tail off. He has every dribble you can think of. He has