Valparaiso coach Candy Wilson knows she has someone special with Lillian Barnes.
Wilson, in her ninth season with the Vikings after 16 seasons at Boone Grove, has seen many – but few, if any, players like Barnes.
“She is among the best players I actually have ever trained,” said Wilson. “She has the entire package. Quite a lot of it’s mentally except for the skill set, and the work ethic is amazing. “
It’s Wilson’s bite and the words she didn’t say evenly.
But such abilities and potential are shown in Barnes, who had three offers to Division I before she entered highschool.
She demonstrated this skill in her first two games for Valparaiso, making the expected impact.
Barnes took all of it calmly.
“It was very nice,” she said. “All of the people within the upper class really support me. We’re already family. Helping my team is de facto my goal – just doing my part and having a successful season.
“Just have equal stats in all places,” said Barnes.
She achieved that goal in every game, a few wins for the Vikings.
Barnes made his debut with 18 points, eight rebounds, three assists, nine steals and a blocked shot against Winamac.
On Tuesday, she unofficially scored 13 points, five rebounds, six assists, five steals and a block against Kankakee Valley.
It’s a part of the educational process.
“I definitely should be smarter with my ranges and fouls,” said Barnes.
She shares the duties of a ranger with senior Kristin Bukata, who’s herself among the best players within the region.
Consider Bukata impressed.
“She was phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal,” said Bukata. “There may be nothing she cannot do on the basketball court. She has been blessed with such great talent and continues to be learning. That is the crazy part. A lot can grow. It’ll be great to observe him smash the competition.
Indeed, Barnes boasts a flexible game.
Can rating points with a wide range of moves.
He predicts that along with his quick hands he’ll create interceptions and general havoc in defense.
With a sturdy 5ft 10m frame, it bounces off aggressively.
But what’s really striking is her vision and her ability to string these transitions.
“He sees things before everyone thinks about it,” Wilson said.
Along with Bukata, Valparaiso returned as the primary striker Becca Gerdt, the junior who was the team’s top scorer last season. Gerdt has benefited from the Barnes passes against the Kankakee Valley on several occasions.
“She just has so many natural instincts,” Wilson said of Barnes. “She makes everyone round her higher, and that is what an actual quarterback does. I actually have two great playmakers after which people to enhance them. They’re a really nice band. We start to see all of those pieces beginning to flow, triggering the chemistry.
“We definitely have some fixes, do not get me fallacious. But she is the entire package. She’s not perfect yet, but she works hard. Instincts are amazing. Especially when he shows up within the open field, it’s just crazy.
Barnes attributed this element to playing the sport practically all his life.
“I just played numerous basketball,” she said. “It really comes naturally. Since I used to be traveling I can play basketball on daily basis. Moving from defense to offensive, pushing the ball out, is de facto my forte – and moving the ball to the open person.
Kankakee Valley competed against Barnes for the primary time on Tuesday. But Kougars coach Brandon Bradley isn’t any stranger to her.
“I’ve seen her for the previous few years because I’m an expert scout and essentially the most underrated a part of her game is her passing,” said Bradley. “People will have a look at it and see what points it represents. Well, they’ll knock over so many individuals, they’ll get numerous easy baskets. But it surely’s her playing on the ground, her ability to differ speed and have a look at the ground in addition to she does and find people.
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“She caught her fourth foul within the third quarter and had to come back out, so we went 1-3-1 and had little success with that. As soon as she got here back and played against him, she made those two or three passes in a row that gave them baskets, just long diagonal passes. That is what it does exceptionally. It is easy to stare on the numbers; it’s hard to see such things. “
Barnes has deals from Milwaukee, Western Michigan, and Valparaiso University. He’s on the radar for shows like Purdue, Fort Wayne, Marquette, Miami of Ohio, and Xavier.
Barnes said she tries to not get too caught up within the hiring process.
“I’m really grateful for that,” she said. “I do not let this affect my game. After I get on the court, I leave. I’m really grateful for that and I would like to develop and gain experience ”.
Wilson believes the ceiling for Barnes is nearly limitless.
“He can go so far as he wants,” said Wilson. “She really could.
“Everyone likes to play together with her because she’s only a selfless kid. She has an incredible mentor with Kristin and the opposite teammates complement her very well and he or she makes everyone higher. It has the entire package.