Brendan Barry arrived at Temple University with one job: shooting 3-pointers.
“He’s an incredible shooter, and based on last year’s team, that’s something we desperately needed moving into this year,” said head men’s basketball coach Aaron McKie.
Although Temple tried to recruit Barry in Summer 2020, his final decision to play with the Owls came when the Ivy League canceled its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic on Nov. 12, 2020. Now a part of the Owls’ program, Barry is impacting the offense with shooting and assisting the freshman on their decision-making on the court.
After the Ivy League canceled their season, graduate student guard Barry transferred to Temple from Dartmouth University, where he led the team in 3-point shooting with 81 3-point shots made in his 2018-19 season.
Barry, who leads Temple’s team in 3-pointers, was looking for a comeback after sitting out the 2019-20 season with a labral tear, so he committed to Temple on Nov. 13, 2020.
“I decided to pull the trigger, sign and come play here,” Barry said. “I’m here to help Temple win games. I don’t have any other agenda other than trying to win, especially with this possibility of being my last year of college basketball.”
Barry originally entered the transfer portal in Summer 2020 but decided to return to Dartmouth to finish his undergraduate degree, which he completed this fall.
In the Ivy league, student-athletes can’t compete in college sports as graduate students, so once he completed his degree he knew he needed to transfer. However, that rule is now temporarily rescinded due to the COVID-19 pandemic as of Feb. 12, NBC10 Philadelphia reported.
McKie’s intuition about Barry’s fit with the team is paying off, he said, as Barry currently leads the team with 26 3-pointers made this season and is 91.7 percent in free throws.
“He leads by example, he’s a quiet kid, but he uses his voice when he has to and the team was already starting when he came in,” McKie added. “He was able to adjust and get a feel of the other guys.”
Although Barry’s basketball journey led him to Philadelphia, it started in Rumson, New Jersey, when he was two years old.
Luke Glass, Barry’s assistant coach at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, helped Barry establish his physical development and his basketball intelligence.
Glass met Barry when he was in the seventh grade and Barry would be at the high school gym practicing with the older kids, Glass said.
“Right off the bat, I knew he was going to be a talented player,” Glass added. “He was able to hold his own in middle school while playing 18 years old.”
In his senior year of high school, Barry led the team with 642 points and 55 steals.
“The thing is with [Barry], you can plug him in in any situation,” Glass said. “For our high school, he was the all-time leading scorer, and for our offense, it was basically, ‘Give him the ball and get out of the way.’”
Barry’s knowledge of the game and willingness as a passer makes him a valuable asset as the team approaches the end of its season, McKie said.
“Whatever he lacks in size, speed or length, he makes up for it with his basketball IQ since he has an overall nice feel for the game,” McKie added.