Basketball: Crown Point’s Barclay chasing the D-1 dream — anywhere
By Brian Peloza Post-Tribune correspondent July 13, 2013 4:32PM
Crown Point's Bret Barclay looks to pass during the boys basketball sectionals against Michigan City on Thursday, February 28, 2013, in Michigan City. | Mark Smith~Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 15, 2013 7:04AM
INDIANAPOLIS — Crown Point rising senior Bret Barclay is willing to do whatever it takes to play Division I basketball.
Sure, like numerous other players, Barclay has put in plenty of hours on the basketball court honing his game.
But it goes beyond that for the 6-foot-6 Barclay, who has the perimeter skills and size that has drawn interest from several mid- to low-major Division I programs.
He’s also done the necessary work in the classroom to draw interest from multiple Ivy League schools, a viable option with his academic standing.
“I just want to play Division I basketball,” Barclay simply stated.
It’s not just lip service, though, as Barclay is willing to put forth a tremendous sacrifice to play Division I basketball, as he would consider going to Army, whom has also shown interest.
“I’ve talked with my parents about that option and it’s something I would have to think about but II want to play at the highest level possible,” Barclay said.
Barclay has spent his summer trying to impress college coaches through his play with Team Blaze, as the lone Northwest Indiana representative on a squad that includes several players from Bloomington.
Team Blaze was eliminated in bracket play of the Adidas Invitational on Saturday, a five-day event held throughout the Indianapolis area. The team went 3-2 during the tournament.
While playing in AAU tournaments is valuable for college exposure, Barclay said he’s using the summer to improve his game while going against competition that is more athletic and physical than seen on a daily basis on the high school level.
Barclay, an inside-outside threat, has worked on attacking the rim with more authority, no matter who is defending in the post.
“He sometimes has tended to shy away from contact when there is a really good shot blocker,” Crown Point coach Clint Swan said. “I think he’s starting to realize that he can now finish through that contact and doesn’t have to worry about his shot being blocked. He’s physical enough that he can now score through people and were already starting to see a lot of strides for him.”
Swan labeled Barclay as a “multi-faceted” player who will be counted upon heavily for the Bulldogs to improve on last season’s 5-16 record.
“Bret is a little bit like (former Butler player) Brandon Crone (who he coached at Frankfort),” Swan said. “He can step out on the floor and is one of our best shooters and a good 3-point shooters. He’s a very good finisher and can play around the rim, as well.”
Barclay not only has the vote of confidence from Swan, but also his teammates. Along with Nick Jeffirs, both were selected as captains prior to the end of school, as each were selected by every teammate during exit interviews.
“A lot of it is because of how the kids see him and how hard he works,” Swan said.