KNOXVILLE -- The Tennessee basketball program welcomed point guard Antonio Barton to Knoxville this week. Barton is enrolled in fall classes at UT and will play for the Volunteers as a senior this season.
A native of Baltimore, Md., Barton graduated from the University of Memphis earlier this month, earning his degree in just three years. He had been enrolled at UM since the 2010-11 academic year.
NCAA transfer rules allow student-athletes who earn their degree and have remaining eligibility to request a one-time transfer exemption from that institution. If granted, the student-athlete can then transfer to another institution and be eligible to compete the following academic year as long as they enroll in a graduate degree program not offered by the first institution.
Barton studied Sport and Leisure Management at Memphis and is enrolled in graduate level Sports Psychology classes at Tennessee.
VIDEO: ANTONIO BARTON COLLEGE HIGHLIGHTS - http://1tn.co/1744ABf
“We’re excited to have Antonio on board,” Martin said. “He’s a very talented young man. He makes shots, he can make plays at the rim and he can really facilitate the offense. I like the way he defends. I’m ecstatic to welcome him to the program.”
In three seasons on the hardwood with the Tigers, Barton appeared in 95 games (31 starts) and averaged 21.4 minutes and 6.9 points per game while shooting .417 from 3-point range.
“I’m excited to be a Vol,” the 6-2, 178-pound Barton said. “I look at this situation as a fresh start for me. I think I can bring a lot of experience, leadership and toughness to the table, and I look forward to building a brotherhood with my new teammates.”
Barton owns a +1.3 career assist/turnover ratio and has never shot worse than 40 percent from beyond the 3-point arc in a season. He ranks second on Memphis’ career list for 3-point field-goal percentage (.417).
Ironically, two of Barton’s best collegiate performances came against the Vols.
At the 2011 Maui Invitational, Barton shot 8-for-11 from the field – including going 4-for-5 from long range – during an impressive 21-point, six-rebound effort. His jumper with 1:14 left in the second overtime proved to be the game-winning basket.
Less than two months later, Barton scored 19 points on 5-of-7 shooting – while again making four of five 3-point tries – when the Vols and Tigers met at the FedEx Forum.
Barton is not the first men’s basketball player to transfer from Memphis to UT. Guard Scooter McFadgon suited up for the Vols from 2003-05 after playing his first two collegiate seasons with the Tigers.
In McFadgon’s two seasons on Rocky Top, he appeared in 54 games (52 starts), averaged 16.0 points, shot .359 from 3-point range and was an All-SEC second-team selection in 2004. That year, he led the team and ranked fourth in the SEC with 17.6 ppg.
Barton’s older brother by 11 months, Will Barton, completed his rookie year with the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers this past season.
In 2008-09, the Bartons led Lake Clifton High School to a 28-0 record and the Maryland 3A state championship. Antonio Barton then attended Notre Dame Preparatory School in Fitchburg, Mass., as a senior before enrolling at Memphis.
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