Taylor Barnette was the final addition to Virginia's 2012 hoops signing class. Barnette, who hails from Lexington, Kentucky, was committed to UCF before getting a release from his pledge in the spring, amidst an NCAA investigation into the Knights' football and basketball programs. Barnette wasted little time taking a visit to Charlottesville and committing to the Cavaliers. The Kentucky native has a direct connection to the University, as his older sister Sarah Beth is a member of the Women's Basketball program.
Barnette, who was somewhat lightly recruited in high school, is a 6'3'' shooting guard. At Lexington Christian Academy, Barnette was an accomplished scorer, averaging over 20 points per game. Barnette also made 226 three pointers in his prep career, and logged a 40 point game during his senior campaign. The main reason Barnette intrigued the Cavaliers' coaches is his ability to shoot the ball. Barnette has a smooth left handed jumper from deep, and in Tony Bennett's scheme, players that can hit the long ball are a hot commodity. Barnette gets the ball out of his hands really quickly, making it really hard for defenders to get an opportunity to alter his shot.
Barnette also shows the ability to see the court very well, and Taylor averaged 3.5 assists per game as a senior. Tony Bennett's schemes also require players with high basketball IQ to execute on both ends of the floor. Although Barnette isn't the most athletic guard in the world, he seems to play smart and play within himself. Keep in mind that some of Bennett's best young players weren't the most highly regarded recruits. Early in his first year, with Jontel Evans hurt and Teven Jones suspended, Barnette could play significant minutes. If he grasps the defensive concepts and can translate his offensive game to the collegiate level, he could have a great Cavalier career.
Taylor Barnette is on twitter @tbarnette20
Taylor Barnette - Senior Year Highlight Reel 2012 (via Ross Barnette)