While the triumvirate of Barden, Tate Unruh and Tevin Svihovec were all double-digit scorers last season, junior forward Tim Hukisson (11.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg) has increased his scoring output by nearly four points per game compared to the 2012-13 campaign. He, Barden and junior Dominique Lee are key figures in the front court for Northern Colorado, which has just one player in its rotation who stands taller than 6-foot-5 (senior forward Connor Osborne).
The 6-foot-5 Barden’s led the way on the boards for the Bears, and he’s posted two 17-rebound efforts this season with the first coming in their season-opening win at Kansas State. While that game was a step forward for Northern Colorado as a team, it was also a step forward for Barden.
His numbers are slightly better than his averages of a season ago, but there has been a noticeable difference in the way in which Barden approaches the game according to Hill.
“I think Derrick’s biggest improvement is from the shoulders up,” said Hill. “He’s shown a greater maturity when going against bigger, stronger guys and a more consistent work ethic day in and day out.”
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