PEORIA, Ill. – Bradley Basketball added to its spring recruiting class Monday with the signing of 6-foot-7 Odessa (Texas) College forward Auston Barnes (Lansing, Mich./Waverly H.S.).
“We are excited to add Auston to our program,” said Bradley head coach Geno Ford. “He is a tremendous student that possesses the ability to help our team immediately. He is a long, athletic, skilled big who will help stretch the defense with his 3-point shooting and, on the other end, he is an excellent team defender.”
Though Barnes will come to Bradley as a junior with two years of eligibility remaining, he remains a relative newcomer to organized basketball. A native of Lansing, Mich., Barnes was a standout youth hockey player and did not begin playing basketball at Waverly High School until his junior season.
After averaging eight points and seven rebounds and earning honorable mention all-conference honors as a sophomore, he began his college career at Central Michigan in 2010-11, where he redshirted as a true freshman before averaging 1.0 point and 1.3 rebounds in 29 games (six starts) in 2011-12.
Following a coaching change at Central Michigan, Barnes enrolled at Odessa College and led the Wranglers to a 25-8 record in 2012-13 by averaging 8.9 points and a team-leading 6.0 rebounds per game. Barnes shot 56.8 percent from the field, including 14-of-35 (.400) from 3-point range, and 75.4 percent from the free throw line.
Barnes becomes the fourth player to join the Braves since the start of the spring signing period Wednesday and the fifth member overall of Bradley’s 2012-13 recruiting class.
Led by rising seniors Walt Lemon, Jr. and Tyshon Pickett, the team’s top scorer and rebounder, respectively, Bradley will return eight lettermen from a squad that enjoyed one of the best turnarounds in the nation last year. The Braves made an 11-win improvement to 18-17 overall and advanced to the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.