Antonio Barton says he will graduate Aug. 11, report to UT

Memphis guard Antonio Barton (2) passes Tennessee guard Skylar McBee (13) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012, in Memphis. Barton has since transferred to Tennessee and enrolled in classes on Monday.

Photo by Lance Murphey, Associated Press

Memphis guard Antonio Barton (2) passes Tennessee guard Skylar McBee (13) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012, in Memphis. Barton has since transferred to Tennessee and enrolled in classes on Monday.

Incoming Tennessee point guard Antonio Barton is a little over three weeks away from arriving in Knoxville and officially joining the Vols.

In a text message to the News Sentinel on Monday, the senior transfer from Memphis said he will “be done with classes on August 8th,” and “graduate on the 11th.”

“I’ll be there after that,” said Barton, who is taking three online summer courses to complete his degree at Memphis.

Once Barton graduates from Memphis he will be free to transfer to Tennessee and be instantly eligible for the 2013-14 season.

After announcing he was leaving the Tigers, Barton verbally committed to UT on May 26 over scholarship offers from Maryland, Texas A&M and Kansas State.

Barton, a 6-foot-2 guard from Baltimore, averaged 5.6 points and 1.1 assists in 16.7 minutes per game as a junior last year. He missed nine games in the second half of the season due to a hairline fracture in his right foot.

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn

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Comments » 25

ETNTigerFan writes:

Y'all got you a good one! Good luck AB!

vol98champ writes:

It is going to be a fun winter and spring in Big Orange Country.

BetsyVol writes:

in response to vol98champ:

It is going to be a fun winter and spring in Big Orange Country.

Heck, I'm looking forward to Fall in Big Orange Country, THEN Winter and Spring.

It's a good time to be a Volunteer!!

CoverOrange writes:

One of the few things the NCAA did right, allowing players that graduate with eligibility remaining to transfer w/o waiting.

SouthPaVol writes:

I am excited to see this seasoned veteran step into Knoxville. AB adds strength to an already strong lineup, giving the Vols the senior leadership needed to win early. By mid-Jan, though, AB is gonna have to scrap for minutes. He's got a freshman that will be pushing for PT. Go Vols!

Ayres_Hall writes:

I thought he was already on campus? Seems like he could be taking the online courses from Knoxville as easliy as from Memphis.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to Ayres_Hall:

I thought he was already on campus? Seems like he could be taking the online courses from Knoxville as easliy as from Memphis.

Can't be on scholarship until he graduates from Memphis, thus may not be able to afford a place to live in K-town.

ColdBlackWind writes:

The pieces of the puzzle are all on the table now for CCM. Patience has worn thin. I believe Cuonzo will step up.

John_10065 writes:

in response to ColdBlackWind:

The pieces of the puzzle are all on the table now for CCM. Patience has worn thin. I believe Cuonzo will step up.

Only the unrealistic would have their patience worn thin in two seasons after the debacle Pearl left UT in with his departure. Martin has met expectations thusfar and one could make a good argument that he has exceeded them.

Now should be the year in a natural progression of improvement we should start to see a pay off if Martin is the coach of UT's future.

hikerdude writes:

The picture is a summary of one of the Vols' weaknesses last season. It shows Skylar a step behind the man he is supposed to be guarding. Neither Skylar nor Trae could guard effectively on the perimeter and we lost several games as a result. I hope Barton will be of some help in that area.

volboy81 writes:

in response to BetsyVol:

Heck, I'm looking forward to Fall in Big Orange Country, THEN Winter and Spring.

It's a good time to be a Volunteer!!

Me too...and Lord knows we deserve a few great years after the disaster we've been thru since 2008!

brod writes:

sounds like barton is excited. just goes to show you how underrated the tennessee basketball program is when barton chose ut over home state school maryland and kansas st. now it's time to return to the big dance.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to John_10065:

Only the unrealistic would have their patience worn thin in two seasons after the debacle Pearl left UT in with his departure. Martin has met expectations thusfar and one could make a good argument that he has exceeded them.

Now should be the year in a natural progression of improvement we should start to see a pay off if Martin is the coach of UT's future.

I agree. The Vols missed the NCAAs by the narrowest of margins the last two years. They had narrow losses to decent opponents that, if they had pulled out just one or two more each year, a matter of a couple of points either way, they would have been in the tournament. It was obvious that they were as good as half the NCAA field both years, they just fell outside the criteria for an invitation those years. They might well have made it with the same record in other years. This, as you say, should by natural progression be the year they put it all together and finish the season far higher than they will begin it.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to hikerdude:

The picture is a summary of one of the Vols' weaknesses last season. It shows Skylar a step behind the man he is supposed to be guarding. Neither Skylar nor Trae could guard effectively on the perimeter and we lost several games as a result. I hope Barton will be of some help in that area.

I certainly agree that you pinpointed a serious weakness in last year's Vols. I would consider Barton a resounding success if he can defend and rebound his position adequately, shoots 45% on FG, 40% on 3's, 80% from the line--for maybe 10ppg--and maintain a 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. If he can perform at that level, the Vols will explode this year.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

YOu gonna look better and play better in orange.

tnhiker (Inactive) writes:

Why do we allow the illusion of academics to continue in college athletics? Just pay the athletes and quit pretending they are actually engaged in a collegiate-level learning environment.

vol98champ writes:

in response to BetsyVol:

Heck, I'm looking forward to Fall in Big Orange Country, THEN Winter and Spring.

It's a good time to be a Volunteer!!

Don't believe Barton will help our football team. Last fall was frustrating and painful. I believe this fall will be better, but fun is beating Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and competing against Alabama. Right now I would take 2 out of 4 of those and be delirious. In 3 years I expect to hope for at least 3 out of those 4.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to hikerdude:

The picture is a summary of one of the Vols' weaknesses last season. It shows Skylar a step behind the man he is supposed to be guarding. Neither Skylar nor Trae could guard effectively on the perimeter and we lost several games as a result. I hope Barton will be of some help in that area.

Yeh Barton was one of many players to "pass" our perimeter. It didn't take a great basketball school to do it either. Or that great a player really. On our bad nights any average Joe could get by us. Golden had his injuries and so did Skyler who even healthy at times had trouble with D. Unfortunately we didn't develop a "team" strategy to compensate for this. LAST year would have been a perfect time to throw some kind of zone in the mix. ?? I'd ask JohnOO for the answer to exactly what kind of mix though. My point is we didn't come up with an answer and that's because we didn't really have an answer with those players injured. Along with some other player's injuries.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to vol98champ:

Don't believe Barton will help our football team. Last fall was frustrating and painful. I believe this fall will be better, but fun is beating Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and competing against Alabama. Right now I would take 2 out of 4 of those and be delirious. In 3 years I expect to hope for at least 3 out of those 4.

In 3 years we'll either have a new coach or will be calling for his head without some good wins. NOT ME though. I'm for whoever our coaches are. Jones to me is looking great...and personally I didn't dislike Dooley...for offense anyhow. Some have accused me and others of being "Doolaiders" but I didn't love him either. I was for waitin' to see if. "If" obviously got slaughtered.

I just can't imagine Jones being a quitter and not fightin' for his team. I'm not accusing Dooley of this but I'm saying the team had a bad attitide with all those injuries and close losses. It was tough for them.
This fall "win or lose" I think we'll keep the proper attitude to get better. We can hope.

vol98champ writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

In 3 years we'll either have a new coach or will be calling for his head without some good wins. NOT ME though. I'm for whoever our coaches are. Jones to me is looking great...and personally I didn't dislike Dooley...for offense anyhow. Some have accused me and others of being "Doolaiders" but I didn't love him either. I was for waitin' to see if. "If" obviously got slaughtered.

I just can't imagine Jones being a quitter and not fightin' for his team. I'm not accusing Dooley of this but I'm saying the team had a bad attitide with all those injuries and close losses. It was tough for them.
This fall "win or lose" I think we'll keep the proper attitude to get better. We can hope.

As I have posted before; we have met the enemy and it is us. I never posted against Fulmer until after the Wyoming loss, but many were viral against him. Maybe an adoring fan base would have him still winning 10 games a year. Hard to imagine it being any worse. I was hopeful for Dooley, but last year was unbearable. Was it his fault? I don't know, but the buck stops with him. Jones sounds like the real deal and you are probably accurate about him being in trouble if he doesn't win in year three. Be patient Vol fans and if we go 5-7 or 6-6 this year stay hopeful and keep the negatives at zero.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

Yeh Barton was one of many players to "pass" our perimeter. It didn't take a great basketball school to do it either. Or that great a player really. On our bad nights any average Joe could get by us. Golden had his injuries and so did Skyler who even healthy at times had trouble with D. Unfortunately we didn't develop a "team" strategy to compensate for this. LAST year would have been a perfect time to throw some kind of zone in the mix. ?? I'd ask JohnOO for the answer to exactly what kind of mix though. My point is we didn't come up with an answer and that's because we didn't really have an answer with those players injured. Along with some other player's injuries.

Not only was Golden hobbled by injuries on defense, his footwork was bad. It may have in fact been due to his injuries, but when he attempted to slide over in front of a ball-handler, he took long slide steps, bringing the back foot all the way up to the front foot before extending again. When you do this, you automatically raise up out of sound defensive position and become a sitting duck for a drive, especially on a quick crossover move. Golden was not the only one who did this. When you are down in a good defensive position, you move side to side by moving each foot independently no more than a foot or so at a time. You "skitter" across the floor instead of "sliding". I will be interested to see if the players' defensive body positioning improves; that would be one clue about how Martin is progressing as a coach.

I would also like to see a lot more hands on defense; not reaching and slapping, but probing and mirroring the ball, preventing good looks and good passes. Very few of the Vols do this to my satisfaction, but maybe my views on this are out of date. Still, I DO see the better teams doing this, so I don't see why UT shouldn't do more of it. We have a LOT of long-armed guys on this team; they OUGHT to be harder to score on than they were in several key late games. And, yeah, I would like to see more zone. For one thing, it can be useful in any game to be able to change up the defense if necessary. Also, by practicing to USE a zone, you are also necessarily practicing to ATTACK a zone; the Vols could use a good deal more success in both those endeavors.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to vol98champ:

As I have posted before; we have met the enemy and it is us. I never posted against Fulmer until after the Wyoming loss, but many were viral against him. Maybe an adoring fan base would have him still winning 10 games a year. Hard to imagine it being any worse. I was hopeful for Dooley, but last year was unbearable. Was it his fault? I don't know, but the buck stops with him. Jones sounds like the real deal and you are probably accurate about him being in trouble if he doesn't win in year three. Be patient Vol fans and if we go 5-7 or 6-6 this year stay hopeful and keep the negatives at zero.

Don't tell anybody but I didn't understand the rants against Fulmer. I'm sorta like some are with Pearl. I'd love to see Fulmer back on the sodelines.lol But I understand that we've moved on and Butch seems to be a true motivator both in the media and with the High schools in Tennessee. We may not be getting the future NFLers like Fulmer did but we're getting alot of potential that can be taught to improve year after year. Isn't that what 'Bama did? Oregon,etc? I think that's what Martin is doing also. Only it can happen sooner in bball.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Not only was Golden hobbled by injuries on defense, his footwork was bad. It may have in fact been due to his injuries, but when he attempted to slide over in front of a ball-handler, he took long slide steps, bringing the back foot all the way up to the front foot before extending again. When you do this, you automatically raise up out of sound defensive position and become a sitting duck for a drive, especially on a quick crossover move. Golden was not the only one who did this. When you are down in a good defensive position, you move side to side by moving each foot independently no more than a foot or so at a time. You "skitter" across the floor instead of "sliding". I will be interested to see if the players' defensive body positioning improves; that would be one clue about how Martin is progressing as a coach.

I would also like to see a lot more hands on defense; not reaching and slapping, but probing and mirroring the ball, preventing good looks and good passes. Very few of the Vols do this to my satisfaction, but maybe my views on this are out of date. Still, I DO see the better teams doing this, so I don't see why UT shouldn't do more of it. We have a LOT of long-armed guys on this team; they OUGHT to be harder to score on than they were in several key late games. And, yeah, I would like to see more zone. For one thing, it can be useful in any game to be able to change up the defense if necessary. Also, by practicing to USE a zone, you are also necessarily practicing to ATTACK a zone; the Vols could use a good deal more success in both those endeavors.

Again a "like" button would be nice. My only comment since there is no like button is it's really hard to work when you're in pain. I know from past injuries as well as current arthritis. So I believe that the injuries were really hampering Golden and several others. Youth can play thru it sometimes but there were many nights I was either mad at the trainer or coaches or whoever was reponsible for letting Golden play. I guess it was him being silent in order to play. It was easy for me to sit and judge I guess.
Honestly I didn't recognize the flaws in defense you did. I'm not a coach and wasn't aware of most of that footwork stuff. It just looked to me like Golden and others just couldn't hang with the opposition. I DO recall in my mind Golden at times looking like he would take huge steps to keep up. He'd also fall at times and leave his man wide open. I credited this to injury and didn't think about footwork. Good analysis. Again.

whatever36 writes:

AB was trained as a team player and a defense first player. He will give his all 100% whether 2 minutes or 30 minutes a game. He had a lot of competition at UM and if he wanted to get his stats up, he had to make a move. Hope he will be a leader and school the Vols in team play and defense and playing hard every minute. Martin also needs to ramp up the fitness for his players. They seem to need some conditioning.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to whatever36:

AB was trained as a team player and a defense first player. He will give his all 100% whether 2 minutes or 30 minutes a game. He had a lot of competition at UM and if he wanted to get his stats up, he had to make a move. Hope he will be a leader and school the Vols in team play and defense and playing hard every minute. Martin also needs to ramp up the fitness for his players. They seem to need some conditioning.

If Barton is the team player and defender you say he is, he can help the Vols a lot whether he scores or not. So I hope when you said he had to transfer to "get his stats up", you meant stats like assists, steals, blocks, deflections, and the like. If he can also stick big FTs and nail open jumpers, all to the good, but I really want to see those other things more. Or first. Or at least.

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