To cap off a weekend full of visits for the Pitt basketball program, the staff hosted one of the top ranked rising juniors in the midwest, Marlon Barnes, on Sunday afternoon.
Barnes is a 6-foot-6, 180-pound small forward from Cleveland, Ohio, who plays for Brush High School, the same high school that produced Pitt center John Hugley.
“The visit went great,” Barnes told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “The staff was great. Saw a couple buildings, classrooms. The facility was amazing. The campus, it is a good campus. I like it. Everything doesn’t seem too far from each other, everything seems pretty much walking distance. Overall, the visit was a great time. I was just happy to be there.”
Barnes, who went up to Pitt with his parents, spent the majority of the visit being led around by Assistant Coach Jason Capel, Graduate Manager Rob Lane, and Hugley, his former teammate and current friend. He also got the chance to talk to Jeff Capel and the rest of the staff.
“John was telling me about how they show a lot of support and they always make sure everything is good with school and tutoring,” he added. “They’ve got a lot of tutoring for you. My parents also liked the coaches a lot. My mom said they seem pretty caring and respectful.”
This trip was Barnes’ second to Pitt’s campus, as he was previously there during Midnight Madness two years ago. However, this time around, he experienced much more and got a real feel for the college athlete life due to Hugley’s presence on the tour.
“We didn’t get to go in the main gym because they were having graduation, but I saw the practice gym and the locker room, all of that, and that was pretty cool,” Barnes said. “I got to get some shots up. John was pretty much there with me the whole visit. He was showing me around, showing the dorms, where he stayed last year. We didn’t get to go in, but we drove by and saw the building.”
Barnes, a four-star prospect, is ranked as the No. 56 player in the nation according to 247 Sports. He holds offers from Pitt, Cleveland State, and Miami, and is being actively recruited by multiple other high-major schools.
Clips of the @247Sports #50 Nationally Ranked 2023 6’6 SG Marlon Barns Jr.
This past weekend playing in the Midwest Circuit I.D Camp in Indiana @MWCircuit @PaulBiancardi @john_stovall @RivalsDan @PrepHoopsOH @NorthernXPreps @Phenom_Hoops @hoops_oh pic.twitter.com/owBBdz1dF8
— chet mason (@ChetMason32) October 5, 2020
In addition to his friendship with Hugley, Barnes has also built a strong relationship with Capel and feels as though he can trust him, although it is still early on in his recruitment.
“He is a real good guy,” Barnes said about Capel. “He seems real about his word. He means everything he says and he cares about you.”
While he is a Cleveland guy at heart, Barnes still says he can see himself coming to the steel city in the future. For now, we will have to wait to see how his recruitment plays out over the next two years.
“The city seems like a great city, but, you know, I am from Cleveland, I don’t really like Pittsburgh,” he said, laughing. “But yeah, I can see myself possibly playing for Pitt.”