The Florida State Seminoles secured one of the biggest recruiting victories of the 2020 class Monday when small forward Scottie Barnes joined the fold.
Scott Barnes @ScottBarnes561
I am proud to be announcing that next year I will be playing for Coach Hamilton and his staff at Florida State University. To all the coaches, mentors, teachers, and family members that have molded and helped me to get to this point in my journey thank you! https://t.co/rMQDwXLNZf
The 6'8", 210-pound Barnes is a 5-star prospect and the No. 9 overall player, No. 3 small forward and No. 3 player from the state of Florida in the 2020 class, per 247Sports' composite rankings.
His combination of athleticism and size helps him blow past defenders with an explosive first step and then finish through traffic at the rim. He can also use his speed to fill the lanes in transition and is always ready to be on the receiving end of a lob pass.
While he figures to make an immediate impact as an offensive threat at the collegiate level, his defense makes him a complete playmaker destined for the NBA.
Barnes is versatile enough to defend almost every position on the floor and either bother shooters with his length or keep up with ball-handlers with his lateral quickness. That helps him stay on the floor even if he is struggling with his outside shot when defenders back off him some.
"Defensively, he's a complete game-changer," Rivals.com national analyst Corey Evans told Ben Roberts of the Lexington Herald-Dealer. "He's a playmaking defensive guy that can guard four positions. He has an alpha-dog, super-outgoing personality on the floor. He has a college-ready body already. He kind of is what he is, and that's what makes him great, because what he is is an elite guy."
An elite guy is exactly what Florida State is looking for in a recruit so highly regarded. Barnes is talented enough to spearhead a championship-level run if he lives up to his potential even if he remains on campus for just one season.
The fact the Seminoles were able to keep him in his home state is a significant boost in their ongoing battle to keep pace with the likes of Duke, North Carolina and Virginia in the ACC.
They've reached the Elite Eight and Sweet 16 the last two years but need top-notch playmakers to take the next step as a championship contender. Barnes fits the bill.