Exclusive: Don Showalter Praises Florida State’s Scottie Barnes

Exclusive: Don Showalter Praises Florida State’s Scottie Barnes

by July 14, 2021 1 comment

Former Florida State forward, Scottie Barnes, has flown up draft boards in recent weeks, shattering the narrative that there is a clear top five in the 2021 NBA Draft. Barnes has been moving up due to his length, improved shooting, and high energy.

For more on Barnes, check out our scouting report on him.

Barnes spent one season playing at Florida State, where he came off the bench. Despite a limited role, playing 23.8 minutes per game, Barnes impacted on both ends of the floor. He scored 10.3 points, picked up four rebounds, dished out 4.1 assists, and had 1.5 steals per game in his one-and-done year.

The Director of Coach Development for USA Basketball Youth Division, Don Showalter, had the opportunity to coach Barnes in 2018 during the FIBA U17 World Cup, where Barnes was a member of a talented Team USA roster. The team included young other highly touted prospects such as Jalen Green, Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, and current NBA players Isaac Okoro, Isaiah Stewart II, and Vernon Carey Jr. Team USA dominated the tournament beating their opponents by a combined score of 749 to 373.

Showalter said Barnes possesses the intangibles that are uncoachable. 

“He does the things that take no talent, his effort, his attitude, which doesn’t take any talent at all, and he’s good at those things. A lot of kids are very very talented, but you know, when it comes to doing the little things that take no talent they are a little suspect at it, but that’s Scottie.”

Showalter also praised Barnes as a great personality off the court and never looks to be selfish.

“Well, he’s fun to be around. He’s got a great personality. He never takes himself too seriously and I mean that as a positive thing. If something doesn’t go quite right, he moves on. He’s learned to move on to the next play, or the next thing in life. He’s never, he never takes himself too seriously like he is the guy… Off the court as well. Players migrate to him. They migrate to what he does which is a nice compliment to him.”

“He’s not somebody who’s going to gets down on himself or pilots a little bit because he isn’t getting the ball or he’s not scoring the way he thinks he should. He doesn’t care. His defensive ability is so good that you know, other kids love to play with him. I think he’s going up in the draft a lot and part of that is because of his defensive ability.”

Another reason Barnes has been moving up on draft rankings is due to his competitive spirit. During Barnes’ media session at the NBA combine, he was asked about a comparison between him and Draymond Green

“His competitive nature…  How competitive he is…. He wants to win” “He’s going to do whatever it takes to win. He’s going to do those little things on the floor.”

Showalter mentioned Barnes’ competitiveness as well. Although the United States dominantly won all of their games, Barnes, and other teammates, never failed to put out their full effort. 

“We always stress the fact that… you respect your opponent, and you respect your opponent is playing hard no matter what the score is. So if you’re going to respect a team like Argentina, France… you do that by playing [with] your heart, you play as hard as you can. In those games when you slack off [it] shows no respect for your opponent… They bought into that. Secondly, I think the team was involved in doing the details, they never got tired with the details” said Showalter. “We had Jalen Suggs, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley, Scottie Barnes. You know, those guys were all high-level competitors. And they are going to they’re going to do what it takes to do to play well, regardless of what the other team brings.”

Showalter shared his thoughts on the Green comparison to Barnes.

“I think it’s a great comparison… I’ve said that many times too… I think he’s got better lateral quickness than Draymond does… They both like to pass [and] get their teammates involved.”

Some critics have brought up Barnes’ lack of ability to shoot the ball well consistently. Showalter said he is not worried about Barnes’ shot. He expects Barnes to develop “at his own pace.”

“I think he can improve it at his own pace because he does so many other things well. He’s a player that can be very effective without even scoring so I think when you add some scoring, and then he gets to the basket, he’ll get rebounds, put backs, but he doesn’t feel he has to make three-pointers… When you have that happen… it says a lot about the player.  He’s going to improve no question, but he’s going to improve at a pace that is good for him and a pace is going to develop him. He’s not going to feel like [he has to] hit three-pointers every game to be a player that stays on the court. He’s going to be a player that says, you know what, I do so many things well, that I don’t have to hit a three-pointer to be effective with with with the team.”

Showalter believes that Barnes will “surprise everybody”. He said that if Barnes continues his growth, he could become an all-star. 

“If he stays on course to continue to improve, I think he’s an all-star”. “I think he’s going to surprise everybody from the standpoint of how he brings his talents to the court. We’ve had two players that played for us, Jayson Tatum and Bradley Beal [who] now are, are a part of the US Olympic team.  so the younger players that we’ve had now are starting to develop, but you know, it takes five, six, seven years for those guys to come into their own and fit and get adjusted to the NBA game because of the NBA game is very difficult… I think young kids… want things to happen quickly. They want things to be better right away, but Scottie Barnes will be patient… He’ll just bring his talent and whenever that happens, you know, he’ll be ready”.

Although Barnes has tons of talent as a player, Showalter’s favorite trait of Scottie Barnes was his leadership. 

“When he would make a great play for his teammates, how happy and enthused [he was]. That got him going… He was happier when he made great plays for his teammates than when made a basket or a play for himself. He thrived on making his teammates better. That got him pumped up more than anything”.

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Main Image Credit: 
From Google Images

Kamran Nia is a journalist from Los Angeles, California.

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  1. Jaden Quilman
    #1 Jaden Quilman 14 July, 2021, 13:23

    What a great article by kamran wow this guy deserves a promotion

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