CARTERSVILLE, Ga. — Scottie Barnes is one of the most sought-after players in the class of 2020.
The 6-foot-8 small forward from the University School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is ranked No. 5 in the class per ESPN.com and has a final eight of Cal, Duke, Florida State, Kansas, Kentucky, Miami, Ohio State, and Oregon.
Several of those schools watched Barnes and the Nightrydas AAU program last month at the Nike EYBL circuit here.
"I'm probably going to go on Kansas and Ohio State visits soon," Barnes said, adding that no dates had been set. "Probably soon."
Kentucky head coach John Calipari also visited Barnes in late April at his school.
"They showed me a lot of their players and how they made it to the league," Barnes said. "Kentucky is a good program. I see how they develop their players, one-and-done. He could really develop me into a better player."
Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann also visited with Barnes.
"They just told me how they really care about me, how they really want me," Barnes said. "Basically things like that."
Barnes enjoys playing with the Nightrydas, which also features 6-foot-11 power forward Isaiah Todd, who recently released his top 10. Todd and Barnes share some schools in common, including Kentucky, Kansas, and Oregon.
"I know that he can score the ball if he wants to," Barnes said. "Our chemistry just worked really well today."
This past season, Barnes led University School to its second straight Florida Class 5A state championship while Duke-bound teammate Vernon Carey Jr. sat out with an ankle sprain. At the GEICO High School Nationals in New York in April, University School lost to in-state rival Montverde Academy, 65-57, in the first round.
“Scottie said to me in the handshake line after the game that he’d see me next year so I knew he would be ready,” Montverde coach Kevin Boyle told USA Today. “They’ve got great players in Scottie and Vernon that will have a chance to play in the NBA so it’s a good win. To me we looked rusty, but a lot of the teams do because we haven’t played in a while. Obviously, you have to give them credit, but we didn’t play well today.”
As for when he plans to decide, Barnes is looking at committing next spring.
"It's probably going to be late," he said. "I'm just trying to take my time with all of it, I'm not really worried about it."
Maurice "Kenoe" Jordan coaches Barnes with the Nightrydas and says whatever school lands him is getting a special player.
"When I first watched Scottie, he was in the eighth grade and he kind of reminded me of Brandon Ingram because he's big and he can handle the ball," Johnson said by phone. "But the difference is the energy and intensity he plays with on defense. That's his biggest attribute is, No. 1, he's like a leader on the floor, he's like an assistant coach, so he's always telling everybody where they need to be at. He talks a lot on defense, he talks on offense. He plays with a lot of passion.
"But he can also play the one to the five. Once he develops his jump shot a little more, it will make him an all-around complete player."
Before focusing on recruiting, Barnes wants to get the Nightrydas to Peach Jam in July.
"I'm trying to win Peach Jam," he told D1 Circuit.