CSU Bakersfield’s men’s basketball Head Coach, Rod Barnes, proudly announced the completion of his 2019-20 coaching staff with the hiring of Brandon Barnes as an assistant coach for the Roadrunners.
A familiar face around Bakersfield’s program, Barnes is making his return to CSUB after spending the 2018-19 season as an assistant coach for the Houston Rockets’ NBA G-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Barnes helped the squad win the 2019 G-League Championship as the Vipers defeated the Long Island Nets in Game 3 of the Finals, 129-112.
“I am very happy to bring Brandon back to Bakersfield and have him on our coaching staff once again,” said Rod Barnes. “His two years as our Director of Basketball Operations gave him a great foundation to become an assistant coach and he did a great job of that last year in the G-League. He has consistently proven that he can pass along his knowledge of basketball and we are excited to have Brandon helping us lead our team this season.”
Rio Grande Valley helped four G-League players earn call-ups to the NBA in 2018-19 including Gary Payton II, Bruno Caboclo, Michael Frazier II, and Brandon Sampson. Barnes worked closely with the G-League’s Most Improved Player, Michael Frazier, as well as Rockets assignee and G-League Finals MVP Isaiah Hartenstein, who played 28 games with the Rockets last year.
As the defensive coordinator for the Vipers, Barnes helped Rio Grande Valley move from ranking near the bottom of the G-League in nearly every category to at least Top 10 in defensive rebounds, steals (3rd), Blocks (2nd), opponent FG% (5th), and turnovers forced (5th). With Barnes’ father, Rod Barnes, being a defensive-minded coach, Brandon Barnes’ roots run deep into a defensive culture and he imparted that on the Vipers, who posted their highest Defensive Efficiency Rating since the 2012-13 season.
“I’m very thankful to Coach Barnes for the opportunity to return to CSUB,” Brandon Barnes said. “It is such an honor to work at my alma mater. Bakersfield is a special place to me and I am excited to be back with family and friends. CSUB Men’s Basketball is truly a family atmosphere and emphasizes player development on and off the floor. I am confident that my time spent as an Assistant Coach with the Vipers, as a Director of Basketball Operations, and as a Student-Athlete here at CSUB has prepared me for this opportunity.”
Barnes continued on to talk about his time in the G-League: “I am thankful to Coach Joseph Blair. I learned so many great things from him. He is a great coach, mentor, and person. Having won a G-League championship in my first season as an assistant coach with the Houston Rockets affiliate Rio Grande Valley Vipers was an amazing experience. I will forever cherish my time with the Vipers.”
Prior to his time with the G-League, Barnes was a member of the CSUB men’s basketball coaching staff, serving as the Director of Basketball Operations for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. During Barnes’ first stint with the `Runners, he helped the team win its first Western Athletic Conference regular-season title and guided CSUB through a historic run to the NIT semifinals in Madison Square Garden.
Before joining the CSUBcoaching staff for his first stint, Barnes was a two-year letterwinnerfor the `Runners. After transferring to Bakersfield from Lipscomb University, Barnes was a member of the last CSUBsquad that competed as an NCAA Division I independent (2012-13) and the first for the school to compete in the WAC (2013-14). As a `Runner, Barnes averaged 11 points and five rebounds a game while shooting 44-percent from the field and 31-percent from three-point range.