As one of the top high school point guards to come out of Arizona in recent memory, 2017 Alex Barcello naturally sits in the crosshairs of the Wildcats’ coaching staff.
Last weekend, UA assistant coach Josh Pasternack watched Barcello lead Team Bayless at the Adidas Gauntlet in Indianapolis, where Point Guard U caught up with the Tempe native.
The 2015 Arizona Gatorade Player of the Year, Barcello is already a commodity in the class of 2017 with offers from UA, Virginia, Colorado, and a handful of others.
“It meant a lot,” Barcello said of his offer from Arizona. “It means I have to work even harder because there’s a target on my back. Everyone is going to bring their best game against me so that just means I have to play hard every game and give one hundred percent.”
While Barcello was not around Arizona basketball growing up, he expressed interest of getting down to Tucson and said he would take a visit some time in late April. Barcello also said that he and the staff communicate regularly.
“I like Coach [Miller],” Barcello said. “I like how they get up and down the floor. I just like the environment that they play in. They have a great crowd and everything.”
Right now, Barcello’s focus is less on recruiting than replicating the success he had with his high school team to his summer AAU program.
This past season, he helped lead Corona del Sol to a 33-1 record, a state title, and a top 10 national ranking. Of course, it helps to have a teammate like Marvin Bagley III, who is considered to be the top class of 2018 prospect in the nation.
Playing for Team Bayless early this spring, it has been more of a challenge for Barcello to build cohesion with his team.
“We don’t really practice much so it’s difficult,” Barcello said. “Once we started going, we found what we were good at and what our strengths were. We just try to feed off each other.”
Barcello said repeatedly that his biggest role on the floor is to make the players around him better, whether that’s shooting when he needs to shoot or giving teammates the best looks.
“When guys hit shots,” Barcello said, “it just puts a smile on my face seeing that they’re having fun.”
In one game over the weekend, Barcello put all he has on display, dropping 30 points, five assists, and eight rebounds in front of Pasternack.
Barcello’s skill set and size – he’s currently 6’2 and 165lbs – should transfer well to the college level.
As for what Barcello is looking for in a school, he said he wants to play for an up-tempo program that also emphasizes tough defense.
“I’m trying to be a coach and leader on the floor,” he told PGU.