Report: Syracuse eyeing Memphis transfer Antonio Barton

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Syracuse has emerged as a potential destination for Memphis transfer Antonio Barton, according to a report from Syracuse.com.

Barton, the younger brother of Will Barton, spent three years playing for the Tigers, but after averaging 8.2 points in just under 25 minutes as a freshman, Barton has seen his minutes get cut significantly in the last two seasons. Injuries have played a role in that, as Barton missed much of last season. But with Joe Jackson continuing to develop, and with the emergence of Chris Crawford and the addition of Geron Johnson, there just wasn’t many minutes available for Barton to play.

Barton is on track to graduate this June, which would allow him to play immediately wherever he ends up. And while Barton has reportedly had more than two dozen schools reach out to him, Syracuse seems like it would be a good fit for both sides.

The 6-foot-2 Barton likely wouldn’t be a starter for the Orange, not with heralded recruit Tyler Ennis entering the program. But he would be the only other point guard on the roster, as sophomore Trevor Cooney, Duke transfer Michael Gbinije and freshman Ron Patterson are all off-guards. A veteran presence could help ease the transition from high school ball to the ACC for Ennis, and it would be nice for head coach Jim Boeheim to avoid having to play his back court out of position to give Ennis a rest.

There’s also a connection to the program: Barton played AAU ball with fellow Baltimore native CJ Fair, and Fair played with Will at Brewster Academy.

“He likes Syracuse’s system and their style of play,’’ Barton’s mother told Mike Waters, although he has yet to visit the school as he is focusing on graduating from Memphis on time. “It’s just a matter of getting to Syracuse and sitting down with Coach Boeheim and the Syracuse staff and seeing what they expect of him.’’

Would Barton be OK with once again accepting a role as a back-up?

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

North Carolina to wear black jerseys December 19 vs. UCLA

UNC Athletic Communications
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While there have been some alterations made to North Carolina’s basketball uniforms over the years, there haven’t been too many drastic shifts. Of course there was the move to the Alexander Julian-designed argyle print during the 1990’s, and there were also those jerseys in 1999 that had the interlocking “NC” logo as opposed to “North Carolina” on the front.

Friday the program announced a major uniform change for its game against UCLA December 19 in Brooklyn. North Carolina will be wearing black jerseys for the first time in school history. Senior guard Marcus Paige showed off the new look to his teammates, and it’s safe to say that they’re happy with the new uniforms.

Traditionalists probably won’t like the uniforms, and that’s fine. Changes such as these tend to focus more on the younger crowd (especially recruits), which in some instances like the status that can come with having something that’s both new and exclusive.

Villanova forward to undergo hip surgery

Jay Wright
Associated Press
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Two-time defending Big East champion Villanova will be down a man in its front court, as the program announced Friday that freshman forward Tim Delaney will undergo hip surgery. According to the release a torn labrum in Delaney’s left hip is the reason for the surgery, and it has yet to be determined how long the freshman will be sidelined.

“I’m disappointed for Tim,” Villanova head coach Jay Wright said in the release. “Tim had a great summer and preseason. He’s a very coachable young man and was picking up everything we do. The good news is that the doctors tell us this is an injury that can be fixed and we know Tim will be fully committed to his rehab.”

Villanova’s front court rotation will be led by senior Daniel Ochefu, who averaged 9.2 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game in 2014-15. Junior Darryl Reynolds and sophomore Kris Jenkins will also see minutes in the front court, with redshirt freshman guard/forward Mikal Bridges factoring into the competition as well.

Villanova also has Fordham transfer Eric Paschall, but he isn’t eligible to compete in games this season.