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Kentrell Barkley Will Be a Key to ECU's 2016-17 Basketball Fortunes

ECU standout Kentrell Barkley returns to help lead the Pirates this season in the tough AAC. (PirateIllustrated.com photo)

Kentrell Barkley at 6-5, 205 was selected to the 2015-16 American Athletic Conference All-Rookie Team last year. The Durham sophomore ranked in the top-8 in eight ECU freshmen categories as a freshman.

Barkley hopes to add experience to his list of accolades this season and wants to move East Carolina to the next rung of the AAC ladder.

“I’m ready for the season to start. We’ve got a great group of guys this year and a lot of talent. At every position we’re set. We can go big or we can go small this year so it’s a great feeling for this upcoming season,” Barkley tells PirateIllustrated.com.

“The key is working hard and don’t be satisfied because that’s just one major accomplishment, but just build on that, be a team player and try to be a leader.”

The Durham product played in 31 games and made 11 starts in AAC play averaging 10.1 points, a team-high 6.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and an ECU-best 1.2 steals in 28.1 minutes per game. He shot over 46 percent from the field, over 35 percent from the arc with 24 treys and was right at 68 percent from the stripe.

The two things he says he’s worked on the hardest for this season is his outside shot and his ball handling and he says he wants to continue to get stronger in the weight room. What does he expect for this season?

“Well to play a little bit more at the four position, to learn the spots and learn how to hedge and drop at the four position and try to help my team out wherever I’m needed.

The former first team all-state performer out of Northern Durham is the first freshman in ECU history to post more than 300 points, 190 rebounds and 90 assists in a season.

Click into the audio interview with Kentrell Barkley as PirateIllustrated.com preseason basketball coverage continues.