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C.J. Barksdale Commits to Hokies

Virginia Tech received a huge verbal commitment over the weekend when 6-7 George Washington-Danville junior forward C.J. Barksdale committed to the Hokies. Barksdale is rated a 4-star recruit by both Rivals (#78) and (#28), thus making Barksdale the highest rated prep star to pick Virginia Tech since McDonalds All-American Dell Curry in the early 80’s.

He chose the Hokies over offers from alabama, florida, maryland and wake forest. Barksdale can officially sign with the Hokies in November 2010 and joins Florida shooting guard Robert Brown as the second member of the 2011-12 recruiting class. Stay tuned to for more news on this exciting commitment.

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- who has written 52 posts on Tech Hoops.

VT class of '92, B.S. in Finance. Legendary Playground balla from the outdoor courts of Richmond to the courts outside of Lee Hall & N.U.F. Also 2 time captain of Sigma Nu C Team Basketball. We once qualified for the VT Intramural version of the Big Dance & lost our first round game by over 100 points. Not to brag, but I connected on a 4 point play off the opening tip, & we took a 4-zip lead. Things went downhill fast after that. Favorite bball memories as a student (88 - 92) include watching the great Bimbo Coles for a couple of seasons. Other than that, not many. We did beat jmu once when Lefty Driessel was the coach there. Also beat a nationally ranked alabama team when I was a Freshman which led to a mattress battle on the prarie between Pritchard & O'Shag - I still have a t-shirt somewhere. Favorite all time VT basketball moment, the win '07 win over #1 unc goes straight to the top.

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17 Responses to “C.J. Barksdale Commits to Hokies”

  1. Danram says:

    It’s hard to overstate the importance of this verbal commitment to the development of the VT basketball program. As Rob says, Barksdale is the highest-ranked kid to commit to the Hokies since Dell Curry nearly 30 years ago. C.J. is a very high priority target for us for 2011. Seth and his staff deserve major props for securing his commitment.

    Now, the challenge will be holding on to him for the next 10 1/2 months until he can formally sign his LOI in November 2010. No doubt the staffs of the schools he didn’t pick will still be all over him. But he wants to stay close to home and he wants to play in the ACC. So unless UNC (his childhood favorite) were to come through with an unexpected last offer, we should be OK. The word is that Roy Williams and his guys in Chapel Hill really liked Barksdale’s game, but they are tight on ‘ships for 2011 and have already accepted verbals from two kids ranked a bit higher than Barksdale (P.J. Hairston and James McAdoo).

    But just as importantly, a commitment of this magnitude may help us get commitments from some of the other highly-rated 2011 players with whom we’re seriously involved. A few names of note are …

    1) Dai-John Parker from Georgia, rated by Scout as the #7 shooting guard in the nation and the #29 overall player (the choice is reportedly down to VT and Northwestern)

    2) Marques Rankin from NC, rated by Scout as the #4 point guard and the #23 overall player

    3) Mikael Hopkins from Maryland (DeMatha), rated as the #4 center and #26 overall player

    4) Michael Gbiniji from Richmond, rated as the #4 small forward and #14 overall player by Scout

    If Seth and his crew can close out the 2011 class with any three of the above four players, the 2011 would represent, by far, the highest-rated recruiting class in Virginia Tech basketball history. In particular, I’m hoping that maybe the Barksdale verbal might cause Parker to pull the trigger. According to imformed posts on another message board, VT wants to get a full starting squad in the 2011 class: a point guard, two wings, and two bigs. We now have one of the wings (Robert Brown) and one of the bigs (Barksdale) accounted for. We still need a PG, another wing, and another big.

  2. HipHop_Hokie says:


    As I have eluded to previously on this site, I am a graduate of both GWHS and VT. I tried desperately in 2007 to get Seth to make an offer to Nick Barbour, who at that time was the star guard of an undefeated GWHS team that was on fire heading into the state tournament before having their flames shockingly extinguished by Cadarian Raines-led Petersburg HS in the quarterfinals of the state tourney. Nicky B wanted to come to VT and was locked and loaded to become a Hokie… but an offer never came. Instead he ended up going to the small High Point University in NC, where he has continued to shine as the star on an average team. In just his sophomore season this year, he is averaging 20.7 points per game… good for 18th in the NATION. Malcolm Delaney, comparatively, is tied for 15th at 21.5ppg. Would have been awesome to see those two play together.

    I digress, however, and move on to the subject at hand. Because while I argued with Seth about whether Nick Barbour was an “ACC-caliber player” (and ultimately lost that battle), it is extremely refreshing to see that with this latest rising star from my high school, there is no question about that. In fact, after seeing him play numerous times and reading all of the press surrounding him, I was pretty sure that C.J. had gotten TOO good to become a Hokie. And I say that only because when you have offers from the likes of Maryland & Wake Forest and interest from the likes of North Carolina, historically speaking it’s not likely that you’ll end up at Virginia Tech. Unless we are talking football. But we’re not… this is VT hoops!! Which is why THIS signing could prove to be an incredible turning point in Virginia Tech Basketball.

    So anyways, right now this is just a verbal committment and CJ still has to finish up his junior season and play his senior HS season before he can truly become a Hokie. Which is why I’m trying NOT to get TOO excited. But for those of you who may just be reading this headline and brushing it off with a “hey, that’s cool!!”… trust me, it’s much more than that. This is going to mean BIG things for the future… and at 10-1 so far this season even the present looks pretty large!!

    Kudos to Seth and his staff for helping lock up the next Hokie BEAST… fans, get ready for CEEEEEEE JAYYYYYYY!!!!

    • Niemo says:

      Danram and HipHop – thanks for the additional info! This was a major get for us. We are far from “locking down the state” like we’ve done for the most part in football, but with four Virginians on-board between this past class (Raines, Green, Boggs) and Barksdale, we are certainly improving. We’ll still lose guys like Ed Davis, but if we can at least compete for them now and get the occasional big time VA recruit, that’s a big improvement.

  3. HipHop_Hokie says:

    No doubt! Since you brought up Ed Davis as someone of a caliber that we typically won’t get at Tech, it’s worth mentioning that C.J. is actually a lot like Ed – but with a better offensive game. Ed is about 3″ taller than C.J. so his presence down low is a bit more imposing, but C.J. has the same natural knack to block shots without fouling like Ed does. And as he gets bigger and stronger, that’s only going to enhance that part of his game that much more.

    I only saw Ed play once in person at Benedictine, but have obviously seen him play for UNC many more times on TV since then. And having seen C.J. play for GW a few times as well, the gap between them isn’t all that large. Just wait for C.J. to continue to develop through his junior year this year and over his senior year… by the time he straps on the orange & maroon as a true freshman, he’s going to be good to go. I think he would have been recruited just as highly as Ed if he went to a program with the level of media attention that Benedictine gets – but that certainly isn’t true when you’re at GW in good old Danville, VA. Not that we Eagles don’t have one of the best and most respected HS basketball programs in the state – because we obviously do – but, the cash and clout that Benedictine has really helped vault Ed (and will do the same with Gbinji) into the recruiting stratosphere.

    At any rate, now that we have a verbal from C.J. I think that it’s best that we start tracking his work at GW. Given that I have at least a decent bit of knowledge of his thusfar brief but already allustrious career, I’ll take a stab at it.

    2007-2008 (freshman year)
    Even as a lanky freshman 2 years ago, it was already obvious that C.J. was ready for the big-time. He played for a GW varsity squad which to call competitive would be a massive understatement. This team, led by senior all-everything Nick Barbour, started out 25-0 and was the team to beat in the states before being shocked by Petersburg in the quarterfinals. Still a legendary GW squad however, and even as a freshman C.J. helped play a vital role in that.

    2008-2009 (sophomore)
    With Nick Barbour gone, C.J. and crew knew that they had to find a new leader. They had to look no further than to Mr. Barksdale, who gladly stepped up to fill the void. While there were certainly other older leaders on the floor with him, it was definitely C.J. who stole the show many times including the memorable Northwest Regional semifinal victory over C.D. Hylton, where he had 28 points, 14 rebounds, and 5 blocks. Just another day at the office!! This was a weird season for GW though, as even though they were 23-3 after beating Hylton, they lost in the Regional final to William Fleming for the FOURTH TIME IN FIVE GAMES that year. Yes, you did read that correctly. Not only is it weird to play a school 5 times in a single season (normal home&home + tournament game + district final + regional final), but to beat GW more than once in a season – let alone 4 times including 3 in Danville – was unheard of. Gotta give it up to Fleming for that. Nevertheless, the GW Eagles made it to the state quarterfinals once again before falling to eventual champion King’s Fork. C.J. had two lackluster games against Fleming (6 points) and King’s Fork (11 points) to close the season, which definitely showed room for improvement especially in big games. Still though – for his young career he had posted two solid statistical seasons (don’t have all the exact averages) and had made it to two state quarterfinals.

    2009-2010 (junior)
    So here we are with THIS season, one of the most pivotal for C.J. as he is now the unquestioned leader on the team and has all the press of being one of the best and most highly recruited players in the state. I can actually give you a game-by-game breakdown of this current season, and will keep it up as things go along. To start the season however, GW opened things up as the consensus #1 public school team in the state, with many having them ranked higher than even the privates of Benedictine, Bishop O’Connell, etc, and just under the likes of Oak Hill Academy.

    Game 1 – #1 GW (1-0) 64 – Park View (1-1) 45
    C.J. led the way for the Eagles with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Nothing worth mentioning from this game, as Park View is a smaller AA school and was definitely out of their league in this one.

    Game 2 – #1 GW (2-0) 71 – #5 Booker T. Washington (1-) 55
    Balanced attack for GW as they crush the #5 team in the state by 16. C.J. posts 13 points and 7 rebounds in a true team effort.

    Game 3 – #1 GW (3-0) 69 – Dudley (NC) (4-1) 62
    GW storms back from being down 17 to Dudley, one of the best teams in North Carolina with UNC commit P.J. Hairston on their roster, to win this one in a thriller. C.J. showed why we’re all going nuts over him committing to VT in this one, as he posted up 20 points, 22 rebounds, and 8 blocks in this one. RI-DONK-U-LOUS!!! The rematch to this game comes later in the season @Dudley… be there.

    Game 4 – #1 GW (4-0) 76 – Green Run (1-3) 58
    This was a cool game as former GW state champion Kenneth Harris returned to GW, except this time he was patrolling the sidelines as the Green Run head coach. His team was severely outmatched though, and they lost by 18 in a game that could have been uglier if GW didn’t call off the dogs in deference to one of the all-time great role players in GW history. Most importantly for us Hokies, C.J. posted a game-high 26 points and 10 rebounds in this one, including 2 3-pointers and a 4/5 effort from the free throw line. Yes Hokies… our future star forward can shoot the rock as well!!

    Game 5 – #1 GW (5-0) 65 – Gretna (0-2) 36
    What can you say? This was an old-fashioned 29 point butt whooping in the opening round of the Danville Register & Bee Holiday Shootout – a tournament that has existed for 27 years and which GW has won an astounding 18 times in that stretch… including FOURTEEN OF THE LAST FIFTEEN!! Wow… sorry, just had to get that out there. Oh, and did I mention that in this game GW led Gretna by a score of 16 to ZERO at the end of the first quarter? And that Gretna didn’t even score a point until a minute and a half had elapsed in the second quarter?? Plain and simple – dominance. C.J. played less than a half of basketball and put up 9 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 blocks. Feel free to extrapolate those numbers on out to get a feel for the type of triple double he could have had.

    Game 6 – #1 GW (6-0) 80 – Eastern Alamance (NC) (1-1) 67
    Semifinals of the Holiday Shootout and what’s new – GW crushes another opponent. C.J. dominated the affair once again, finishing this one with 25 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 blocks.

    SOOOOO… there you have it. The 6-0 start to C.J.’s junior high school season. By my count, so far he has averaged 18.6 points, 12.6 boards, and a handful of blocks per game. And those numbers would be much higher if the Eagles weren’t blowing many teams out. The final of the Holiday Shootout is tonight against Reidsville High School – another North Carolina team, and the ONLY school other than GW to win this tournament in the past 15 years. Gonna need another massive effort from C.J. tonight though, as GW’s starting point guard (Jerail Howerton) injured his foot last night and is questionable for tonight’s final.

    I will continue to keep everyone on this site abreast on C.J.’s progress throughout the year – most likely on this board unless there is some better venue to do so. Needless to say, I’m VERY excited about yet another Eagle becoming a Hokie! Peace!!

  4. HipHop_Hokie says:

    Update to the previous post – found out that for his sophomore year, C.J. averaged 18 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 blocks. Not… too… shabby…

  5. tone says:

    ed davis wears women’s underwear!! fact!!

  6. HipHop_Hokie says:

    Game 7 – #1 GW (7-0) 80 – Reidsville (NC) (7-3) 69
    GW wins the Danville Register & Bee Holiday Shootout, their 19th title in the 27 year event including 15 of the last 16 and sixth in a row. C.J. was named the tournament MVP after putting up 10 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 blocks in the final, having averaged 14.6 points, 13 rebounds, and 6.3 blocks over the Eagles’ 3 tournament games.

    A great win over a talented Reidsville team, no doubt… but the excitement of the victory was halted a bit by the news that senior point guard Jerail Howerton broke his right foot in the semifinal win over Eastern Alamance and will now be out the next 6-8 weeks. A tough loss for GW, but there are definitely others chomping at the bit to fill his spot.

  7. HipHop_Hokie says:

    Game 8 – Patrick Henry (Roanoke) (7-2, 1-0) 76 – #1 GW-Danville 53 (7-1, 0-1)
    GW can kiss it’s undefeated season and #1 state ranking goodbye, as they rolled into Roanoke and then proceeded to roll over against Patrick Henry, getting pummelled 76-53. Very surprising to see this sort of let-down in the opener of district play, as now the Eagles fall behind in the chase for the title. In a losing effort, C.J. Barksdale nevertheless contributed a double-double, with 11 points and 12 rebounds including two 3’s and making 1 of his only 3 free throws.

    I expected a bit more from C.J. in this game, as I figured that he would reintroduce himself to the Western Valley District in a much more major way. Foul trouble held him back, though, and in general GW just didn’t get out of first gear. Keep reminding yourself that he’s only a junior… the best is still yet to come. GW’s next game isn’t for another 10 days, so they’ll have a while to stew on this one and hopefully learn from it…

  8. HipHop_Hokie says:

    Game 9 – Halifax County (9-3, 2-1) 52 – #4 GW-Danville (7-2, 0-2) 50
    This was a very tough road game for the Eagles, as they headed west to South Boston and lost a double overtime thriller against a much improved Halifax County Comets squad for their second straight defeat. While it certainly didn’t help that GW was missing senior PG Jerail Howerton (broken foot – out 4-6 weeks) and junior PF Daniel Clark (suspended following 2 tech’s in the loss @ Patrick Henry) for this game, it was still one that they certainly should have won.

    C.J. Barksdale, along with pretty much everybody else, had a rough night offensively for the Eagles, but still managed to put up 8 points to go along with EIGHTEEN rebounds, 7 blocks, and 4 steals. Not enough offensively, but still an outstanding overall performance from the future Hokie!!

  9. HipHop_Hokie says:

    Game 10 – Dudley (NC) (12-4) 60 – #4 GW-Danville (7-3) 37.
    Oh, wow. So… I was pretty hyped up earlier this year when Dudley and their UNC recruit P.J. Hairston came into Danville, built up a 17 point lead, but prompted were squashed by a determined Eagle squad that overcame that deficit and ended up winning 69-62. However, I was fully aware that we were going to have to go down to Greensboro for the rematch…

    …and this one wasn’t even close. 37 points??? 3 losses in a row??? These are not things that happen to a George Washington High School basketball team. Fine – I understand that losing Jerail has changed this Eagles team drastically, and that they have struggled to score without him – barely breaking even 50 points in the 2 previous losses. And fine – I understand that senior guard Darius Carter sprained his ankle against Halifax and wasn’t able to go in this one. But damn – 37 points??? Wow.

    Hairston had 19 for the Panthers, while future-Hokie Barksdale had 14 points and 10 boards for the Eagles. So for the season, C.J. dominated the first game, and both he and P.J. had decent games in the Dudley blowout rematch. Gonna be fun to watch those battles continue on into the ACC…

  10. HipHop_Hokie says:

    Game 11 – Franklin County (10-5, 2-1) 63 – GW-Danville (7-4, 0-3) 56
    CLEAR!!! (Nothing.) CLEAR!!!!!!! (still nothing.) Try once more… CLEAR!!!!!!!! (bump… bump…)

    Yes, that was indeed my heart being shocked back to life. Never in a million years would I have thought that I’d be saying this, but the George Washington High School Eagles have just lost their 4th game in a row and have fallen to 0-3 in the Western Valley District. I know for a FACT that GW hasn’t lost 4 games in a row in the past 20 years… and I am betting that this would hold true over the past 50 or 60 years, even. And to top it off, while I can understand losing tough contests on the road to Patrick Henry, Halifax, and Dudley… THIS GAME WAS IN DANVILLE!! TEAMS DON’T COME INTO GW’S GYM AND WIN!!

    Once again, GW dug a hole for itself right out of the gates, with cold shooting and a general lack of aggressiveness leading to a 7 point halftime deficit. They regrouped at bit while in the locker room obviously, as in the 3rd quarter they came out with energy and at one point went on an 11-0 run to take the lead at 39-38, but that was apparently all they had to give as Franklin County took control from there on. Yet again, for the fourth game in a row in the 5 games since Howerton broke his foot, the Eagles failed to break the 60 point plateau. This is epic stuff in Danville.

    Daniel Clark got big in this one for GW, scoring 20 points and grabbing 7 boards to match the 20 that Chris Tyree put up for Franklin County. C.J. Barksdale managed 13 points and 12 boards in yet another game where he was swarmed by 2 and even 3 defenders at times… after all, why not collapse down on him when nobody from GW is doing ANYTHING from the perimeter?? Something has to change…

  11. HipHop_Hokie says:

    Game 12 – GW-Danville (8-4, 1-3) 59 – William Fleming (3-9, 0-4) 31
    Well… I guess it never hurts to get healthy by beating up on the smallest kid in class. Sure doesn’t earn you a lot of street cred, though. The 4 game losing streak was finally snapped in Danville last night, as GW manhandled William Fleming in a 59-31 beatdown. This isn’t anything to get too excited about, though, as since handing GW 4 out of their 5 total losses in the 08-09 season, Fleming lost pretty much it’s entire core of players and has been awful this year.

    Nevertheless, this was definitely good medicine for a GW team that desperately needed a win – especially one in the district. C.J. lead the way for the Eagles with 18 points and 8 rebounds, with fellow front-court mate Daniel Clark the only other Eagle in double figures with 10. Still very little coming from the outside, as once again the 60 point mark was unreachable. Fleming was determined to make that happen though by holding the ball and scoring only 31 themselves… but it’s still fascinating to me that we’ve been unable to post 60 in now 5 of the 6 games without Jerail.

    Losing a dominant point guard sure does suck… but I’ll take the win!!

  12. HipHop_Hokie says:

    Game 13 – #1 Petersburg (16-0) 73 – GW-Danville (8-5) 54
    What a difference a month makes. Okay so this game was originally scheduled to be played on like December 23rd. When GW was ranked #1 in the state and Petersburg was #5. And when GW point guard Jerail Howerton’s foot wasn’t broken. And when hell was still fiery hot. But then the heavens had to open up and dump over a foot of snow on the state of Virginia, prompting the game to be postponed and ultimately played a month later than originally scheduled. Since then, GW lost it’s point guard and leader, fell flat on it’s face through a horrific and unprecedented 4 game losing streak, and fell out of the rankings while watching the Crimson Wave ascend to #1. Not fair.

    So while I was a VERY confidant Eagle fan heading into the originally scheduled match-up, I was a quivering coward with very little hope as Petersburg came marching into Danville for the make-up date. And rightly so.

    The first half of this one was very exciting, as C.J. Barksdale single handedly beasted all over the court – scoring 18 of the first 20 points for GW. EIGHTEEN OF THE FIRST TWENTY!! That’s ridiculous. But GW was still down 29-20 even at that point, and outside of C.J. the rest of the Eagles simply just looked like a bunch of baby deer caught up in crimson headlights. Carter? 3 point. Clark? 6 points. Wimbush? 2 points. Only Paul Stone chipping in 8 points and FRESHMAN Jarod Williams coming off the bench with energy and getting 10 points proved any help at all to C.J., who ended up with 23 points and 5 rebounds himself.

    Petersburg is just a beast of a team, though. They’re incredibly balanced, can score from all over the court, and have insanely powerful big men inside in Duvaughn Maxwell and Quinton Spain (who’s going to West Virginia to play football – why didn’t we get him??). Amazing that they are STILL this good after losing Cadarian Raines… probably not even Howerton would have helped us in this one. GOTTA start finding a perimeter game… PRONTO.

  13. HipHop_Hokie says:

    Game 14 – GW-Danville (9-5, 1-3) 61 – #7 Patrick Henry (11-3, 4-1) 50
    So the theme of the Petersburg game was “what a difference a month makes”. And the theme of this one is what a difference 3 weeks and some home cookin’ makes!!

    That is because 3 weeks ago, GW was handed one of their worst losses in years – a 76-53 smackdown at the hands of the Patriots in which the home team shot 42 free throws. FOURTY TWO. Remember – high school basketball games are 32 minutes long.

    Well THIS time around, the game was in Danville. And GW finally started to look like the GW that started the year #1 and was blowing teams out of the water. They were aggressive – this time THEY had the free-throw advantage and shot 27 (and made 22 – 81%!!)… they were grabbing boards and blocking shots… and most importantly, they were potent from the perimeter.

    We’ll get to C.J. in a minute. Because yeah, he had one of THOSE games. But first off, we need to give a big time shout out to Paul Stone. This is the kid that almost single handedly helped GW climb back from a 17 point deficit against Dudley earlier in the year to take the win, but who since that game has almost totally vanished. Well in this one, it definitely looked like he found his confidence again, as he proceeded to pump out 15 points (including three 3’s) and 7 assists. THAT is exactly what the doctor ordered. A perimeter threat for the Eagles? If that can keep up, watch out.

    Now, for the Hokie news. C.J. Barksdale remained a man on a mission, looking 100% driven to salvage this season as he poured in 21 points (including 11 of 12 from the charity stripe!!), 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and TEN BLOCKS!!! TEN REJECTIONS!! GET THAT WEAK MESS OUTTA HERE!! Oh, and did I mention 11 of 12 at the free-throw line?? I can’t wait to see those kind of performances in orange and maroon…

    Knocking off the #7 team in this week’s AP poll (and the current leader of the Western Valley District) is going to be a huge momentum builder for the Eagles, who now head outside of the district to face Liberty Christian Academy on Thursday, followed by the Franklin County Tournament this weekend. They then jump back into the WVD mix to close out the year with games at Franklin County, against Halifax County in Danville, and finally at William Fleming. If they can keep the momentum building against LCA and through this weekend’s tournament, there’s no reason to doubt that they could close out district play with 3 huge wins to finish at 15-5 (5-3) with a great vibe heading into the districts and regionals.

    Back on track, for now… GO EAGLES!!


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