Nov. 22, 2012
ATHENS----The transition to college basketball from high school can be challenging for most players. In the early stages of her freshman season, however, this hasn’t been the case for Shacobia Barbee.
The freshman from Murfreesboro, Tenn., became the 70th freshman to start for the Lady Bulldogs during Andy Landers' tenure in Athens, as well as becoming the 22nd to start in her collegiate debut when Georgia hosted Rutgers.
Barbee said she wasn’t expecting her first appearance, as a Lady Bulldog to be in a starting role.
“It was shocking. I didn’t know it was going to happen,” Barbee said. “It was just a big announcement. I think it means I’ve been working hard and I guess doing some little things right.”
Barbee has since started Georgia's four game since and is increasing her contributions on a game-by-game basis. She is averaging 22.2 minutes a game, the second-most playing time of any Lady Bulldog, is contributing 4.0 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. Barbee also has a team-high 11 steals and 13 assists.
The experience of playing in her first collegiate games, especially against Rutgers, was one that she enjoyed.
“It was intense especially because we played against Rutgers,” Barbee said. “I think that was a really, really good game that everyone played and it was just good to be a part of it.”
Getting used to the college game is a daily process, not just for Barbee but the other four freshmen as well. It is a transition that she feels they are all making.
“It’s getting there. Everyday at practice it gets better and better and it just turns into games,” Barbee said. “It’s just getting used to the big differences and changes.”
One of the big differences is playing for Hall of Fame coach Landers. In his 34th season with the Lady Bulldogs, Barbee said that playing for Landers is everything she hoped it would be when he recruited her out of Riverdale High School.
“Obviously, I came here because I liked him and I liked his coaching style. I liked the get after you attitude that he has,” she said. “All the recruiting stuff that he said is all real, it’s all true everything that he said so it’s good.”
The Lady Bulldogs team also consists of six seniors, a group that has helped the freshman class adapt to life on campus and with the team.
“It’s good having the seniors here because they’re great leaders and they help us out at all times. Any of the freshmen that need help can ask them and they know exactly what they’re supposed to do and the things that they know Coach Landers expects of us,” Barbee said. “They know all the stuff about him, what he expects and stuff you shouldn’t do. They’re just big role models.”
Barbee appreciates not only the opportunity she has playing close to home, but also the newfound freedom of being four hours drive away from her family.
“Only being four hours away is far enough away from home but it’s also close enough that they can come to the games on the weekends that they want to come to,” Barbee said. “In fact, some of my family already has come up and watched me so that was nice.”