• 55°

Lady Tigers’ Barrier gives verbal nod to James Madison

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ three-time All-Ohio guard Lexie Barrier has given a verbal commitment to attend James Madison University. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ three-time All-Ohio guard Lexie Barrier has given a verbal commitment to attend James Madison University. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

Same state, new school.

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers three-time All-Ohio basketball standout Lexie Barrier has switched her verbal commitment from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., to James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.

Barrier said Virginia Tech has changed its coaching staff with the exception of the head coach.

“I didn’t want to walk in blind. None of the coaches who recruited me weren’t there except the head coach,” said Barrier.

James Madison is coached by Kenny Brooks who is in his 14th season and has a 310-116 record, thus making him the winningest coach in JMU history.

The Lady Dukes were 29-4 last season, won their fourth Colonial Athletic Association championship and earned a berth in the NCAA tournament for the fifth time during his tenure.

“Everything about it I really liked. I really liked the atmosphere and I get along with the people there. Everything was just great,” Barrier said.

Although her position could change, Barrier said she initially will play a two or shooting guard.

“They told me I’d play the two guard but we didn’t get into anything yet,” said Barrier. “Like anywhere you go, I have the opportunity to play. If I put in the work, there will be a good opportunity to play.”

Barrier has more than 1,000 career points. The 5-foot-11 senior averaged a career-high 19.8 points a game last season as Ironton went 19-6 and reached the regional semifinals.

A first team Division III All-Ohio selection, she averaged 9.3 rebounds, 28 assists, 3.5 steals and 2.2 blocks a game. She shot 52 percent from the field and 38 percent from behind the 3-point line and shot a 67 percent clip from the foul line.

Barrier is happy to have her future secured.

“It definitely takes a lot of stress off me,” said Barrier. “I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I don’t have to worry about it or scholarships and were I go. I just have to worry about doing my best this season.”

Barrier plans to major in psychology.

“They have a good academic program,” said Barrier.