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Dominick Barlow is dominating the G League

The Spurs undrafted sophomore has been on a tear in Austin to begin the season.

Austin Spurs v Oklahoma City Blue Photos by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

The San Antonio Spurs have a lot of interesting young talent in the organization. That includes on the team’s G League affiliate in Austin, where an undrafted sophomore is making a big splash in his first five games.

Dominick Barlow is leading the G League in scoring to start the season. He’s averaging 28.6 points and 7.2 rebounds while shooting 58.3% from the field and 33.3% from deep. These are all huge statistical leaps over his numbers last season, where he averaged 9.5 points and 4.4 rebounds in 16 games. It’s a small sample size, but so far Barlow has dominated his competition.

Barlow has been doing most of his damage at the rim, where he’s shooting an eye-popping 77.6%. Spurs fans shouldn’t be surprised to see Barlow thrive at getting to the basket. In the summer league we saw Barlow flash his combination of size, strength athleticism and creativity in finding ways to finish inside.

Barlow’s handle is advanced for a big of his age. He was great playing the Zach Collins role of a connective hub at the top of the key for the summer Spurs, and has had some good looks attacking out of this position in the G League. He’s got great instincts on when to attack, and the ability to change speeds and shift his body to open up lanes for himself.

Above all else what makes Barlow such an intriguing prospect is his athleticism at 6-foot-9. He can explode off the bounce into an athletic finish at the rim, which also makes him a threat in transition.

He caught a body against the Oklahoma City Blue last week. This is another display of Barlow’s high level strength and athleticism. This rim finishing could do the big league club wonders at the back up center position.

Barlow is shooting 33% from three, but on just 14 attempts. He’s taking more jumpers in the G League, with about 28.4% of his attempts coming on jumpers according to Synergy. The results aren’t quite there yet, as he’s converting just 29.6% of his jump shots. That’s a major swing skill for Barlow. If he’s able to shoot it at a respectable clip from outside the paint, he could play the four or five for San Antonio.

Of course Barlow’s immediate value for the big league club is on the defensive end. His ability to guard 1 through 5 on switches is immensely valuable. He’s got quick feet and guards his tail off. His athleticism makes him a respectable defender at the rim. In the G League, opponents are shooting just 38.2% when Barlow is the primary defender.

The Spurs have a bit of a question mark at the backup center position. Charles Bassey is a strong interior defender, rebounder and screener, but doesn’t offer much on the offensive end. Sandro Mamukelashvili has gotten some run, but hasn’t defended at a high enough level to stay on the court, despite his offensive versatility. Could Barlow be a happy medium? He could provide defensive versatility combined with some offensive intrigue.

As of right now, Barlow is still developing, and the G League is a great place for him to get a lot of reps. If he continues to play as well as he has in this small sample size, he may be knocking on the doors of San Antonio’s big man rotation soon.