June 28, 2012
NEWARK, N.J. - Former Tigers hoops standout and 2012 C-USA Player of the Year Will Barton gave his former head coach an assist Thursday night when the 6-foot-6, 175-pound guard became the program's latest NBA Draft selection. Portland chose Barton with the No. 40 overall pick, making Pastner the first Memphis head coach since Larry Finch to have two NBA Draft first or second round picks in his first three years at the helm.
Barton joins fellow Tiger Elliot Williams in Portland, as the Trail Blazers selected Williams with the 22nd pick (first round) of the 2010 NBA Draft. Pastner's first NBA Draft pick was Williams in 2010. Finch's two first or second round NBA Draft picks in his first three years as the Tigers head coach were Vincent Askew in 1987 (2nd round; No. 39 overall) and Sylvester Gray in 1988 (2nd round; No. 35 overall).
In the program's history, Barton is the Tigers' 22nd overall NBA Draft first or second round selection. The Baltimore, Md., native is the ninth Memphis NBA Draft second-round pick in the program's history, joining Robert Dozier (2009), Joey Dorsey (2008), Chris Douglas-Roberts (2008), Antonio Burks (2004), Cedric Henderson (1997), Elliot Perry (1991), Gray (1988) and Askew (1987) in that elite group.
Barton had one of the most-prolific sophomore seasons in school history, leading the Tigers in scoring (18.0 ppg) and rebounding (8.0 rpg). He netted 631 points his sophomore campaign, the most points scored by a Tiger in a second year in school history. Barton finished his career with 1,062 points (15.2 career ppg), moving up to the No. 39 spot on the Memphis all-time scoring chart.
Barton surpassed the 1,000-point milestone in the 2011-12 regular-season finale victory at Tulsa in which he netted a career-high 30 points. He became one of nine players in Tigers history to reach the 1,000-point plateau in only two seasons wearing the Blue and Gray.
In the final 2011-12 Conference USA statistics, Barton ranked among the league leaders in scoring (1st), rebounding (7th), field goal percentage (11th), free throw percentage (10th), assists (14th), steals (5th) and minutes played (4th). He was the only guard ranked in the top-10 of C-USA's rebounding leaders.
A Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy midseason candidate, Barton had 11 double-doubles and was one of three players in the nation to average at least 16.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 2011-12.
In addition to the numbers he put up in 2011-12, Barton also took home the hardware in the postseason. He received a total of six postseason honors, including CBSSports.com All-America third team, National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District 11 first team, United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) All-District 4 Team, Conference USA Player of the Year, All-Conference USA first team and C-USA All-Tournament Team.
For his career, Barton played in 70 games and made 59 starts. In addition to his 15.2 scoring average, he posted averages of 6.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists. Barton shot 47.1 percent from the floor and 73.3 percent from the free throw line in his two seasons.