Barrett's trainer: Phenom shone against NBAers, beat some 1-on-1
Drew Hanlen is a basketball skills coach who's trained dozens of NBA players, including Joel Embiid, Jayson Tatum, Bradley Beal, and Andrew Wiggins. This summer he's been working with Duke-bound forward R.J. Barrett - the current consensus No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft - and has some high praise for him.
"He competes harder than anyone I've had at that age," Hanlen said of the 18-year-old Barrett to Alex Kennedy on the HoopsHype Podcast. "He was playing in the pickup games with our NBA guys, not only holding his own, but kind of shining at times and beat some of the NBA guys in one-on-one."
Hanlen, the CEO of Pure Sweat Basketball, credits Barrett's strong support system for his poise - the Canadian's father Rowan played professionally, and his godfather is Steve Nash.
"To me, Jayson Tatum was the most professional ... kid I've ever had as far as walk into the gym, just handles himself like a pro, watches film like a pro and works like a pro," Hanlen said. "I put R.J. right behind Jayson in that category."
Hanlen added that Barrett has gotten better in one needed area of improvement: his jump shot.
"That was his one kind of little question mark," he said. "He's improved his shot a ton. I think he'll get better results at Duke than people have seen in the past."
Barrett joins Cam Reddish, Zion Williamson, and Tre Jones in a loaded Blue Devils' recruiting class this fall.