(UPDATE: CBSSports.com texted with Barton, and Syracuse didn’t make the cut.)
The 6-foot-2, 178-pound Barton saw his minutes dip over three seasons with the Tigers, sliding from 24.6 per game his freshman year to 16.7 last season, when Barton averaged just 5.6 points per game. He also never averaged more than two assists per game for Memphis, though he boasts three years of NCAA tournament experience, ever valuable to a young Terps team that, without Barton, would have zero scholarship seniors.
Adding Barton would help shore up the back court, allowing incoming freshman Roddy Peters some breathing room for his transition to college point guard and Seth Allen to play more off the ball, where he’s probably more comfortable anyway. The Terps would then have seven scholarship players in the back court and along the wing — Barton, Allen, Peters, Nick Faust, Dez Wells, Jake Layman and Evan Smotrycz — and three in the post — Shaquille Cleare, Charles Mitchell and Damonte Dodd.
The need for Barton became more pressing after Pe’Shon Howard decided to transfer home to the Southern California area this offseason. His recruitment still remains wide open, though reports have indicated that USC and UCLA might be the front-runners.
Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon and his staff brought in grad transfer Logan Aronhalt last offseason, filling a need for a three-point specialist. Barton, however, would likely handle a larger role, and if he adapts well to the system could be handed the offense’s reins. He’s a lifetime 41.7 percent three-point shooter as well, though his free throw mark (66.1 percent lifetime) isn’t as steady.
Regardless, the Terps aren’t in a position to pass on such opportunities, and probably pitched Barton on potential playing time when he and his mother, Karen Bush, visited College Park. Barton also has a four-year-old daughter who lives with his family in his native Baltimore.