Cat Barber is the ACC’s Allen Iverson: Shiftiest PG in NCAA?
6’2″ Anthony “Cat” Barber might be the quickest point guard in college basketball today. The NC State front man leads the ACC in scoring, averaging 23.2 ppg while also adding 4.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. A vastly improved jump shot has also allowed Barber to find himself at #7 on this year’s NCAA scoring list. Barber is an isolation based, scoring point guard who molds his game after fellow Newport News, VA product; Allen Iverson. [It was rumored that during his time at NC State, Barber contemplated transferring to join Iverson's former coach Larry Brown at SMU.] Luckily for the Wolfpack, he decided to stick with Mark Gottfried and has been a man on a mission ever since. He has become an efficient free throw shooter (86.8%) & has developed an effective step back & pull up jumper which, when paired with his “Cat-like” speed, has made him a lethal 1-on-1 threat. Is he Allen Iverson? No. But his struggles growing up in Newport News were similar, both considered “too small” by critics, both played for the legendary Boo Williams, their speed & quickness is comparable, but ultimately he is his own man. Cat Barber is Cat Barber, and fortunately for him that’s pretty damn good.
Cat attended Hampton High School in Hampton, VA where his jersey was retired in 2016. He won a state title in 2012 and broke Allen Iverson’s district scoring record in 2013 before being named a McDonald’s All-American.
“… in the winter of 2011, Hampton Roads was buzzing over a new homegrown talent: Hampton High School sophomore Anthony Barber. Known to most simply as ‘Cat’ because of his dizzying quickness and formidable reflexes, the young phenom was making waves in Virginia Beach.
Barber led the Hampton Crabbers to new heights as a junior, boosting the team to a 27-6 record and their first Virginia state championship since 1997. Barber capped his high school career with a total of 2,097 points, making him the all-time leading scorer in Peninsula basketball history.”
Not buying what I’m selling? How about Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski? After NC State lost at Duke 88-80, Krzyzewski was quoted saying the following about Barber:
“I mean, that kid is really good, I’m not N.C. State sports promotions here but don’t judge just how good a guy is by the record of his team.”
“He’s responsible for a lot of points for that basketball team. You can figure it out mathematically but also in spacing.”
“He gives them a chance to win every game. … He’s very good.”
Cat will have a big decision this year on whether to stay for his senior year and join probable one-and-done high school phenom, Dennis Smith Jr, or leave and test the NBA/overseas waters. What’s certain: Anthony “Cat” Barber has the potential to make some serious money in this game, the only question is… where and when?