Top draft pick Matt Barnes looks forward to super regional and beyond

Matt Barnes, whom the Red Sox chose with their first pick in the 2011 draft (19th overall), just finished up a conference call. We’ll have more information later, but some highlights:

He’s been a lifelong Yankees fan, and now he’s in the Red Sox organization. Barnes thinks his appreciation of the Yankees helps him understand his new home.

“It’s definitely ironic, but as much as I’ve always been a Yankees fan, I’ve always respected the Red Sox,” Barnes said.

Barnes’s UConn team defeated Clemson in NCAA regional play this week and the Huskies advanced to play South Carolina this weekend.


“The draft actually took place during our regional championship game against Clemson, which was kind of neat,” Barnes said. “As much as I would have loved to be with my family and friends, it was great to be with my teammates and experience not only the draft with them but winning a regional and going to the super regional.

“This week, we’re just practicing really hard and hopefully going into USC and take two out of three from the Gamecocks and head to Omaha.”

Barnes wasn’t the only UConn player to be drafted this year, which means he’s not the only guy on his team dealing with that hoopla and a postseason run at the same time. In all, 10 Huskies were drafted.

“That helps,” Barnes said. “It also helps that we have a lot going for us, and we’re playing well. All focus right now is on UConn and trying win a super regional.”

Barnes said he will meet with his parents and Sox officials after his college season ends.

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